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Ok ... I am sure this will seem a bit strange, but I had good reasons for learning, and this is going to be pretty graphic (sorry) but I cant think of any other way to explain.

First, you have got to make sure to wash your hands well before and after (or use sterile med gloves, I suppose).

It is easiest done sitting on the toilet because it tips the uterus forward and shortens the vaginal passage.

You take one finger and reach inside the vaginal passage to the uppermost and locate your cervix (which is circular with a "dimple" in the middle of it). You feel around the edges, the middle, etc. Basically become familiar with what it feels like. It changes at different times in the cycle, and with pregnancy. That's it. If you are mid - late pregnancy you can also feel the tissue just behind it to see if you can feel the baby's head (sign of effacement).

I am not sure what use this is except for checking for pregnancy and during pregnancy (the reasons I learned) but it could be useful in TTC, I imagine. I am extremely thankful that I learned to do this because during my last pregnancy my doctor kept trying to tell me that all the contractions were fine, no big deal, and had I not personally felt the changes - dialation of the opening, loss of all length, feeling baby's head - I probably would have believed him, never demanded he do a pelvic, and would probably have given birth at 30 weeks if not before. Now, instead of calling the doc everytime I have an instance of severe, prolonged, frequent contractions, I only call if I am not sure what to think of what I feel in my cervix. It helps me to feel more secure about my sittuation of being at high risk for PTL.

Anyway, there ya go - I am SURE its not for the ultra-shy or faint of heart, but after my history, I prefer to know every little intimate detail about my body!!

Stephanie (7), Caitlen (5), Arica (1), Kai Thomas EDD 1-23-03
Just wanted to add to Angel's message. I read somewhere that before and during the first 4-5 weeks of pregnancy that your cervix should be hard like the way the tip of your nose feels "maybe even harder" when you touch it and if and when you are pregnant the cervix will become soft like the way your earlobe feels. I tested this theory and it was right. my cervix was soft last week and I was about 5 1/2 weeks. I have also read that before preg. and in the early weeks of preg. Your cervix is low and within a few weeks of preg. the cervix pulls itself up making it harder for you to reach with one finger. This for me was also true. I have to say I have learned more about my body during pregnancy than ever! lol!
P.S. my very first symptom of preg. was a week after my af (period) I began cramping and then a few weeks later my nipples bagan to tingle and then I began making frequent trips to the bathroom.
Best of luck to you :) Amanda

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