I’m curious. How many of you are listening for what your cervix is saying?
It’s a fertility sign I usually don’t talk about until the second or third follow-up consultation. It’s in the Justisse Method Guidebook, and Taking Charge of Your Fertility, but it’s “secondary” to cervical fluid and BBT – so who’s using it? Comment or email and let me know!
I check cervical position, but I didn’t for years. I started relying more on this sign when I started breastfeeding my first child, and taking my BBT became impractical.
If you haven’t been checking cervical position and want to, here’s what you need to know:
Your cervix changes position, openness, and softness throughout your cycle – in response to the exact same hormonal changes that make you change between having cervical fluid, and being dry.
When you have cervical fluid, your estrogen is rising, ovulation is approaching - and your cervix becomes more SOFT, HIGH, OPEN and WET ("wet" refers to the presence of cervical fluid): S.H.O.W.
After ovulation passes, and cervical fluid dries up, your cervix becomes moreFIRM, LOW, CLOSED and “DRY” (though the vagina is never totally dry, your cervix isn’t wet with cervical fluid).
Check your cervical position by reaching all the way back in your vagina with one finger. (Wash your hands first!)
It’s best to do this while squatting on the floor, or with one leg raised on a chair. (Just use the same position every time.)
Your cervix is the little donut-shaped thing you’ll find back there. Feel how high it is, or how close it is to your finger. “High” is sometimes better described as “further back,” further away from the vaginal opening and your reaching finger.
Check how soft it is. Press on it. You’ll have no way of knowing what the difference is between “firm” and “soft” until you check your cervix throughout an entire cycle, but if you do check every day, you’ll notice the texture change. (It’s a subtle difference, like the difference between pressing on your lip, and pressing on the flesh over your chin.)
How open is it? Check the width of the hole in the middle. If you’ve delivered a child vaginally, “closed” will always be a little bit open – but “open” will be even MORE open! Again, you figure out the difference between “closed” and “open” by checking every day and feeling the change.
Don’t worry about checking for wetness at the cervix. Continue to use your toilet paper checks to check for cervical fluid. But the “W” in S.H.O.W. reminds you that “soft,” “high” and “open” go with “wet”.
So, your cervix shows your estrogen is rising (or at its highest) when it’s Soft, High, Open, and Wet (S.H.O.W.), and that progesterone as taken over (and ovulation has passed) when it goes back to Firm, Low, and Closed.
Your cervix is being very helpful by showing you all this, if you check what it’s doing! It’s especially helpful if you have double peaks, or irregular cycles, or you’re breastfeeding, because it will S.H.O.W. much more when you’re really at peak levels of estrogen, and, if you're avoiding pregnancy, it will give you that reassurance that your fertile phase has passed when it goes back to firm, low and closed.
Remember, though, it’s cervical fluid that tells you whether you could conceive or not on any given day, and always include a Count of 3 after Peak Day! Cervical fluid determines Peak Day, not cervical position.