Where is the cervix?


[.highlighted] Q: Dear Teal, [.highlighted] I know pap smears are checking for cervical cancer and that cervical cancer is cancer in the cervix, but where is the cervix in the body?

A: The cervix is the lowest portion of the uterus which connects the uterus to the vagina. It is a muscular channel that sits behind your bladder and in front of your rectum. The cervix is about one inch in diameter, and is circular with a hole in the middle, like a donut or puckered lips. 

If you want to feel it for yourself, you can go right ahead! Just wash your hands very thoroughly and attempt it when your cervix is likely to be low and therefore, more easily reachable, like right before or after menstruation. (And yes, the way your cervix feels and even its position changes throughout your menstrual cycle.) Next, squat on the ground or lift one leg up, then insert a finger carefully into your vagina. Your cervix is most likely to be at the top of the front vaginal wall (meaning, closer to your belly button than your back) and will feel like a round, raised circle with a dimple in the middle.

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Liz Swenson, MD, FACOG, MSCP
Medical Director & OBGYN

Liz Swenson is a board-certified OB/GYN who has been providing care to women for more than 20 years. She has learned that women are genuinely interested in their own health and want to understand the science behind their medical conditions. Originally from Iowa, she completed her medical training in Northern California where she still lives with her husband and two daughters. She has worked in a busy multispecialty practice in Palo Alto and has taught OBGYN residents as an Adjunct Clinical Faculty Member of Stanford University. Now, with a focus on helping all women have choices and access to the gynecological care they need, she is excited to use her clinical experience to help improve the lives and longevity of all Teal patients.

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