This article was medically fact-checked by Women’s health expert and Gynaecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck.
There’s something seriously satisfying about the body traits that make us unique. Whether you can roll your tongue, wiggle your ears or have a super cool scar – our quirks define us. Why is it then, that so few women are familiar with the individuality of their intimate anatomy?
Cervix height is an easily accessible and very useful bit of info that can improve everything from your sex life to your period – but it’s an absolutely essential part of owning a menstrual cup.
What is the cervix?
The cervix is a tiny but very important part of the female anatomy. It is essentially the connection between the vagina and the uterus. It looks like a little doughnut of flesh around 3cm in diameter, that varies in firmness depending on your menstrual cycle, pregnancy and arousal.
It has a tiny opening that allows sperm to swim in and menstrual fluid to flow out. Your multifunctional cervix is also designed to adapt for childbirth, with the ability to expand up to 10cm during labor. Check out pictures of actual cervixes at the Beautiful Cervix Project (very NSFW).
What has the cervix got to do with menstrual cups?
Buying a pair of jeans that don’t fit you is a pretty uncomfortable (and frustrating..) experience for most of us. Well, imagine buying something for your vagina that doesn’t fit. Ouch isn’t the word… If you know the length of your vaginal canal, then you can choose the menstrual cup that is the best length for your body.
Cups come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but what’s important is that it sits below your cervix to collect the flow, while also being fully inside the vagina (stem and all). So find out your measurements, check the dimensions of your cup, and see how it measures up before you buy.
So how do I measure my cervix height?
- Insert a (clean) finger into your vagina. Keep moving until the tip of your finger is touching your cervix. You’ll be able to distinguish your cervix from the rest of your vagina, as the tissue is a little bit firmer than your vaginal walls. It feels a little like the tip of your nose.
- If you can only get one joint of your finger in then you have a very low cervix. Two joints? You have an average cervix height. If you can fit your entire finger into your vagina before you touch your cervix then you have a high cervix.
- Once you are familiar with the height of your cervix, you can note the measurement and compare it against length of different menstrual cups to find out the perfect one for you. Just make sure you check out these other factors before you make your final decision.
The monthly cycle of your cervix
It’s not just your period that is affected by your monthly hormone cycle. Your cervix can actually move throughout your cycle as well! Around ovulation (when you’re most fertile) the cervix is often higher in the vaginal canal and tends to be a bit softer. Close to and during menstruation, many women’s cervixes move lower in the vagina and become firmer.
Your cervix height even changes throughout your period – which also affects the type and length of cup you should buy. Try checking your cervix height at different stages throughout the month and your period, so you can be sure to pick a cup that fits you throughout menstruation.
Best menstrual cup for low cervix
For women with a low cervix, shorter menstrual cups like the Lily Cup Compact tend to be a better fit. The Lily Cup Compact is a full 2cm shorter than the classic Lily Cup, so it can be fully inside the vagina and still sit below your cervix. Plus, the Lily Cup Compact’s stem can be trimmed down for comfort or you can even turn the cup itself inside out to make it even shorter.
Best menstrual cup for a high cervix
If you have a higher cervix, then you can use either a longer cup or a shorter cup – according to your preference. For women with a higher cervix, a longer cup, like the classic Lily Cup, can be easier to reach during removal, and also has the added benefit of a higher capacity. However, you can also use a shorter cup, you’ll just need to engage your pelvic floor muscles to push the cup down a bit more for removal.
It just depends on what’s most comfortable and convenient for you.
So if you haven’t already, it’s time to check that cervix height and then you can choose the best menstrual cup size for your own body. Happy measuring!
Facts checked by:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck
Alyssa Dweck MS, MD, FACOG is a practicing gynecologist in Westchester County, New York. She provides care to women of all ages; she has delivered thousands of babies. She is proficient in minimally invasive surgery and has special interest and expertise in female sexual health and medical sex therapy. She is top doctor in New York Magazine and Westchester Magazine. Dr. Dweck has co-authored three books including the most recent release The Complete A to Z For Your V.
Lane Baumeister is an internationally-based Canadian writer with several years’ experience creating educational and entertaining articles that discuss intimate health and sexual well-being. When not waxing profound about menstruation, she devotes herself to enjoying extremely good food and equally bad movies.