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Q: Size of cervix after childbirth ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Size of cervix after childbirth
Category: Health > Women's Health
Asked by: smithkatey-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 14 Jul 2004 08:35 PDT
Expires: 13 Aug 2004 08:35 PDT
Question ID: 373981
After childbirth, how should the cervix feel as far as size and shape is concerned?
Subject: Re: Size of cervix after childbirth
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 14 Jul 2004 11:09 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello smithkatey, 

?The cervix is the lowest portion of the uterus; it protrudes down
into the vagina. The normal cervix has an opening to allow sperm to
flow into it and menstrual blood to flow out of it. While this opening
is normally very narrow, it opens to about 4 inches (10 cm.) across
during labor to allow for childbirth. There are strong cervical
muscles around the cervix's bottom opening to keep it closed.?

The mouth (os) of the cervix never closes completely, even in a
pregnant woman or one who has never given birth, as you can see in
photos and illustrations below. After birth, the mouth of the cervix
will have be somewhat wider, with a fish mouth appearance, rather
slit-shaped. For an estimate of cervical size, most diaphragms are
sized 50-105 mm in diameter, need to be sized differently after a
woman gives birth, and should be checked when a woman stops
breastfeeding as well. (50mm is just under an inch wide, and 105mm is
just under 6 inches wide)  An interesting thought: it is believed that
a lemon half, with the fruit scooped out, was the first contraceptive
device, as it fits snugly upon the cervical os.

?A fertile cervix feels like your lips: soft and somewhat mushy. A
handy mnemonic to help you remember this concept is the word SHOW, for
Soft, High, Open and Wet. Right after ovulation, under the influence
of progesterone, all the above signs reverse. That is, the cervix
becomes firm, low and closed, and the cervical fluid dries up. An
infertile cervix feels more like the end of your nose.?  And  ?One of
the subtle differences between the cervix of a women who has never had
a vaginal birth versus those who have, is that a woman who has had
children vaginally tends to have a cervix that has more of a slit-type
cervical opening, as opposed to a tiny round circle.?,,166251_114078,00.html

?The pelvis and cervix change shape and size after childbirth. (The
cervical opening is more linear in shape, less like the small round
hole it once was, and the cervix may be larger, softer, or floppy?

?It is probably fine for you to resume sexual relations as soon as two
weeks postpartum. I would advise this additional week to assure the
healing and closure of the cervix.?,,239773_262173,00.html

A cross section drawing of a cervix

This image is rather graphic, but shows you exactly what a cervix looks like.

Getting the location of the cervix in perspective:


There you go, smithkatey! I hope this answer has satisfactorily
answered your question. Please request an Answer Clarification, before
rating, if any part of my answer is unclear.


Search Terms
Cervical shape postpartum
Cervical os postpartum
smithkatey-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thankyou VERY much for such a thorough response, you have been a great help!

Subject: Re: Size of cervix after childbirth
From: purkinje-ga on 14 Jul 2004 10:09 PDT
I know it usually takes a week or less for the cervix to close back up
and heal from all the stretching. Right after birth, of course, it is
going to be streched and dilated beyond normal. Don't know if that's
specific enough.

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