The cervix. Everyone assigned female at birth has one and has surely heard about them before, but, do you really know what this amazing organ does? Understanding the anatomy and importance of the cervix is a great way to continue celebrating 30 years of female empowerment and all of the incredible aspects of the female body within our I Am Woman: A Celebration of Womanhood.
What Is The Cervix?
Before diving into the role of the cervix, it’s important to understand what it is and where it’s located. The cervix is a passageway or tube that connects the vagina to the uterus. Although being only roughly 2 inches in size, the structure of the cervix is quite complex. There are three main parts to the cervix; the end closest to the vaginal opening called the ectocervix, the middle, tube-like area called the endocervical canal, and the opening closest to the uterus named the internal Os. The opening of the cervix is very small and only minimally expands to let discharge, menstrual blood, or sperm pass through.
What Does The Cervix Do?
Now that you understand the structure of the cervix, you may be wondering, what exactly does it do? The cervix is a crucial part of the female reproductive system. It not only helps keep your vagina clean but also aids in the facilitation of pregnancy and keeping your fetus safe and healthy.
The cervix is responsible for creating cervical mucus or discharge that can serve different purposes. For example, during the menstrual cycle, this discharge can help keep the vagina clean. Likewise, during pregnancy, this thick cervical mucus can also help keep bacteria out of your vagina, keeping your fetus safe and healthy.
The Cervix and Menstruation
The cervix is also considered a “smart” organ. It senses changes within our bodies and menstrual cycles and adapts to the changes. When you are ovulating, your cervix will position itself high up within the body, allowing for sperm to more easily access your uterus. During your actual menstruation period, the cervix will sit lower in your body and become stiffer, creating more mucus and discharge.
The Cervix and Sex
In addition to its important functions within the female body, the cervix can also serve as a source of pleasure during sex. During penetrative sex it is possible for the cervix to be stimulated, leading to a pleasurable feeling for some.
Caring For Your Cervix
Because the cervix is such a vital part of the female reproductive system, it is important to care for it and ensure it can continue doing its important jobs. Getting regular pap smears, every 1-3 years, or more, if recommended by your OBGyn, is crucial.
During a pap smear, a small brush is used to gently remove cells from the surface of the cervix and the area around it so they can be checked under a microscope for cervical cancer or cell changes that could lead to cervical cancer.
We are thrilled to be able to advocate for and encourage those to prioritize cervical health as a part of our I Am Woman: A Celebration of Womanhood.
I Am Woman: A Celebration of Womanhood
In March 1992, Dr. Karen Addis and her husband Dr. Walt Patton opened Copperstate OB/GYN, a premier women’s healthcare facility focused on providing exceptional care such as pap smears, to women of all ages. This year we are celebrating 30 years of female empowerment with I Am Woman: A Celebration of Womanhood. In addition to our monthly blog posts, we’ll be hosting Facebook Live sessions and giveaways each month in our Facebook group, Tucson Women: Healthy Living, that will celebrate womanhood and test followers’ knowledge!
Are you looking for an OB/Gyn you can trust to ensure your cervical health in the Tucson area? Let us support you in achieving true health and wellness. Call (520) 721-8605 to book your appointment today.