Why is it so dang important to know this stuff about your body. Well, one reason would be so that you don't freak out when you go exploring and think there's something wrong with you. Another reason is that we have to pass it on.
It's just a cervix, no biggie, it's just the remarkable hole that a lot of us passed through on our way into the world. I'm not embarrassed to say that I once had no idea what the cervix was, or what it meant when a woman was '10 cm's dilated in labour.'
When I was trying to get pregnant with Charlie I went searching on
Dr Google the internet for ovulation tips. One of the most helpful, informative, and fascinating websites I came across was www.beautifulcervix.com.
I've shown it to some friends who think it's incredible and so informative, and then to other friends who flinch away in horror and disgust at photos showing a woman's insides. Yes, you heard right. There are photos of the inside of vaginas, and that means your see what a cervix really looks like. Incredible and amazing, not disgusting. Ok fine, seeing someone having their period is a little bit gross, but still so damn fascinating because it's on the inside.
What did I think it looked like before seeing these photos? I guess I imagined the cut view, like above, meaning anything can just go willy nilly into the Uterus. I guess sperm have a harder job than I ever realised before.
Remember being a teenager and wondering if you'd lose a tampon up there and being told that couldn't happen but wondering why that couldn't happen? Or hearing some weird story only teenagers would tell, about the girl who put a frozen hot dog wiener up there and lost it?
The cervix is a very narrow cylinder-shaped neck of tissue that connects the vagina and the uterus. It's the very narrow hallway from the living room to the kitchen, so to speak, a tunnel. The only time it widens enough to let anything that big in or out is for a baby to be born. It does widen ever so slightly when you ovulate to let the sperm in too but nothing like the size of a baby's head when you're in labour.
Now you have to go see the real-life photos to know what I am talking about, (*too graphic to show you here). A 25 yr old woman (with some help) takes one photo of her cervix every day of her cycle. If you are trying to get pregnant this is really useful because you get to see what your cervical fluid should look like when you're ovulating (i.e: your egg is ready for some spermy action).
The woman below left a comment on the Beautiful Cervix website. She had given birth and still not known what her cervix was (the place her baby passed through): "... i’m glad i found this site i’ve been checking the inside of my vagina lately since i’ve had some yeast infection problems that wont go away i’ve had a baby one year now.and so when i put my finger inside i felt a big bump like with a hole in it and it was to the left its like i have to go around it to pass and go further up inside my vigina i was really worrying about it and when i looked at my vigina in the mirror it looked like there was a bulge showing i’ve been meaning to see my gyna because i was beginning to worry that its the infection thats been causing it all plz i need to hear from u."
|Image Credit: Getty|
Why aren't we taught this? The poor woman didn't know what the heck the bump was that she was feeling with her finger; the bump she describes is her cervix and feels like the end of a nose.
What a useful educational tool this website is for so many women and teen girls. Please share this post to get the word out about our bodies. I think a lot of us are just pretending we have this stuff figured out. It's so sad so many of us feel embarrassment or shame about this part of our bodies. Let's get talking, ladies!