How Does The Cervix Change At Ovulation?

Ovulation and Ovary

Just as each woman’s body is unique, so too are their individual signs of ovulation. The cervix is the passageway into your uterus, and you can feel it change throughout your cycle. Checking on these changes can help you determine where in your cycle you are. During different phases of your cycle, your cervix will behave differently. There are two main phases for the cervix – the infertile phase and the period where the cervix is approaching ovulation.

Most women have a menstrual cycle of 28 days, but it is also normal to have anything from 21 to 35 days. Some women have irregular menstrual cycles, which can greatly affect their chances of conceiving. There are those who have more than one menstrual period a month (shorter menstrual cycles) and those who have longer menstrual cycles with fewer menstrual periods a year. The cervix changes throughout the menstrual cycle.

You can check the position and texture of your cervix by inserting your clean, middle finger into your vagina up to at least your middle knuckle. Notice how it feels, and then continue checking your cervix throughout your cycle.

The Cervix during the Infertile Phase

During this period, the cervix seems to be elongated and off-center so it can rest against the vaginal wall. The cervix will feel firm, similar to the tip of your nose. Furthermore, the opening will feel dry. Finally, the cervix is easily reached at this time, as it lies low in a woman’s vagina.

The Cervix Close to Ovulation

Increasing estrogen levels force the cervix further up into the vagina the closer a woman is to ovulation. As a result, the cervix comes across as positioned more centrally in the vagina. It also appears shorter and straighter in addition to feeling softer. Rather than feeling like the tip of a nose, the cervix now feels like your lower lip. As ovulation approaches, the cervix begins to relax allowing the cervical opening to open up enough for a fingertip to penetrate.

Differences in Cervical Fluids

The role of your cervix is to create fertile cervical fluid during ovulation to help the sperm travel easily, as well as to block the entrance to the uterus when you are not fertile.

After menstruation, you will experience little or no discharge. Your first cervical discharge will appear moist or sticky, will be either white or cream colored, and will continue for a few more days. However, this is when your cervical mucus will be the thinnest, and clearest, and will be in copious amounts.

This thin cervical mucus will gradually increase until you hit your ‘cervical mucus peak’. When you are at your most fertile, your cervical mucus looks like ‘egg whites’ and is indicative that you are about to ovulate. This discharge will be slippery and colorless and indicates your best chance at conception.

The Cervix After Ovulation

Once ovulation is complete, the cervix will return to its infertile state – normally within 24 to 48 hours. Since each woman’s body is different, you have to remember that the normal cycle does not apply to everyone and if changes in the cervix are going to be used to aid in conception, it is important to calculate the ovulation phase as accurately as possible.

  • munekita

    Can I get pregnant even if I had my tubes tide 7yrs ago…I been feeling weird I took a pregnancy test but it came negative vein from my left breast hurts ..I been having pain by my belly button and sum pressure down their ..can I be pregnant????

    • It is rare but it can happen. You should go to your doctor to get a checkup to make sure you aren’t pregnant and find out what else could be causing these symptoms.

      • Pinksytle

        Hi Vicky…I have a normal 30 day cycle with a regular period. Mid cycle I had spotting for few hours and then it stopped also had mild cramps. Now its one week prior my periods I have been feeling sick,,adnominal pains,,sore throat only at night actually I just feel like my periods due in 3 days! Recently I am experiencing a creamy white discharge in my vaginal walls…what could this mean???

        • The mid cycle spotting could have been ovulatory bleeding. If you had sex around that time, you might have gotten pregnant and the symptoms that you are currently having could be caused by that.

  • mary

    Can a person with elongated cervix and no other anatomical problem of uterus or tubes can conceive normally

    • I would think so, but you really need to ask your doctor about that.

  • blessed

    Me and my boyfriend are TTC and for the past 2weeks starting on the 15th of December i have been feeling different tender breast nausea really tired..put that could be from the insomnia i been having for a week..lower left abdominal pain i have been craving sweets and salty foods…but some articles that some craving can come from a poor diet..i been having vivid dreams…of doubles like twin boys..or twin older boys…just weird dreams..i took a pregnancy test on the 21&22..both BFN..i was sure i Ovulated on the 15th i had that egg white discharge. and i also had egg white discharge on the 23th i checked my cervix it was high and closed..i checked again for the past 2days ny.cervix is center soft and closed when i pull my finger out there’s a white discharge TMI sorry…my period doesn’t start till January 4th…but i been having cramp for 2weeks not hurting cramp Could i be pregnant

    • Well, if your period doesn’t start until the 4th, you most definitely tested too early. You should wait until about 4 days or less before your period before you take the pregnancy test to get more accurate results. How do you know that you ovulated on the 15th? The egg white mucus is more likely when you ovulated. You usually ovulate 14 days before your next period starts (around the 23rd).

      • blessed

        I figured I ovalated on the 15th is because I had that sticky clear mucus.And I also had that sticky clear mucus on the 23rd.And on the 24th I had that white discharge on my finger when I was checking my cervix.Thank you so much for texting me back..I guess now I just have to wait and see lol..ugh..Don’t have the patience but I guess I’m going to have to and if I am pregnant or if I’m not I’ll be sure to update and let you know 🙂

      • blessed

        Me and my boyfriend also BD on the 15,16,18,20,23,24..Thought I’d throw that in there lol…But my fingers are crossed and I’m hoping and praying that I am but if I’m not then I’ll keep trying 🙂

        • Well, it looks like you timed it perfectly if you ovulated on either the 15th or the 23rd! Good luck!

          • blessed

            I went to the bathroom today around 5pm and i had this brown discharge in my panties i have never had this the brown stuff usually come after my period..but my period isn’t until January 4th..can you please help me on this…it would be very help full

          • That could be implantation bleeding you are seeing there. I’d say take a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant.

    • Madison Cheyenne

      Have you found out if you are pregnant?

  • blessed

    Hi vickieB. …I was checking my cervix and when i put my finger in..there was blood very light pinkish so i waited mybe 3-4minutes i checked again and there was no blood at all just creamy discharge on my finger my cervix is high soft and closed…I’m a little worried because my period doesn’t start till January 4th…can you please tell me what this mybe

    • I can’t say what the issue is. It could be implantation bleeding. Take a pregnancy test.

  • Madison Cheyenne

    Hi I am 15 days away from my period and I checked my cervix and it is pretty low but wet and open. What could this mean ?

    • That would indicate that you are around the time when you will ovulate. How long is your cycle typically. If it is 28 days long, you would probably ovulate at 14 days before your period arrives.

      • Kevin Miller

        I’m the same with her! Mines low but wet and open! My cycle days are between 25-28 days! Could that mean ovulation is around the corner?

  • Katherine

    My cervix is swollen, is this normal during ovulation? Thank You.

    • A swollen cervix isn’t typically a sign of ovulation. It will change in hardness and position, but swelling isn’t usually part of the changes. You might want to get checked out by your doctor to make sure there isn’t something else going on.

  • Gwen

    Hey Vickie B. I’m two days away from my period and I checked my cervix. It is low, medium soft ness, and it’s open. My fluid is thick creamy and egg whites. I’m also have right and a little left pelvic pain. Do you think I may me pregnant?

    • Well your period is due today, did it come? If not, did you take a test?

      • Gwen

        I took a test and it was a BFN. My period came four days late. I started on the 26th. But it’s a light flow so I don’t know. Now since the 18th I been cramping. So I don’t know maybe it just came late due to stress or my worst fear early menopause.

        • If you are concerned about early menopause, your doctor can do blood tests that will let you know for sure. Stress will definitely cause problems for your cycle. Don’t worry too much about it. If you are prone to stressing, visit your doctor and get some concrete answers.

          • Gwen

            Just out of curiosity can implantation bleeding come after your period was due and can it have a few blood clots in it?? Just wondering!

          • Not typically but it really depends on if you have regular cycles.

  • Erica Cooper

    Hello ms. Vicky I have been having lower stomach pains for a few days now and I would like to know if there is anyway I might be pregnant.I’ve also find myself very tired and I am steady using the bathroom more often then usually can you please help me out please

    • Well, if you were having unprotected sex around ovulation then yes there is a chance you could be pregnant.
      Having said that, there are other things that can cause the symptoms you are experiencing. If you get your period and are still feeling the way you are, you might want to get a check up to see if there is something else causing the symptoms.

      • Erica Cooper

        Thanks very much I have been having sex every time around my ovulation time so there is a great chance that I am

        • Keep in mind that even if you timed it perfectly, there are many things that come into play regarding getting pregnant. If you don’t time it right, the chances are pretty slim of you getting pregnant. But timing it correctly is not a guarantee that you will get pregnant.

          • Erica Cooper

            Ok well thankyou very much Well if I don’t see my period then I guess I’ll get me a test them

  • Natalie

    Vickie B need your advice to ease my thoughts a bit.. I’ve been off bc pills for about 2 weeks from now and been DTD about everyday. I have irregular periods so can’t really track anything. But I been having white creamy/sticky cm.. I have an 8 month old so I have bad memory of everything. But could this be an indication of pregnancy? I haven’t tested cause probably too soon and I when I found out I was pregnant before i was 9 weeks but all the hpt I took came out negative so I do t know if I can rely on that.. and docs appt too far away.. so could this be a sign of another pregnancy or could it be cause I stopped bc (progesterone) pills?? Thank you! **natalie**

    • Unfortunately, because you have irregular cycles, it is hard to say. Stopping hormone pills, what you are experiencing could be due to that too.

  • Billy Jamilah

    Hi Vickie B. I need your thoughts/advice on this before I bring my husband into it. I ovulated on the 19th of April and we had u/p sex that afternoon. I know I was ovulating because my cervix was high and it was open, I can’t remember my cm but there was a lot of it which is what made me check my cervix. I decided to check my cervix every day after. The next day, it was still high and open but by the day after it had closed. I noticed each day after 3dpo, I had to insert my finger until my knuckles. Yesterday, I had cramping in my left side, I stretched and felt like I pulled something. I’m really crampy but it’s only 5dpo so is it just in my head? And I’m supposed to get my period tomorrow so should I take a hpt tomorrow too? That would only be 6dpo and I thought waiting until 10-14dpo was ideal, even until your missed period but mine is so close. Am I calculating things wrong or is my cycle really this weird? Can someones cycle be this weird? Btw I have a 3 year old but getting pregnant with him was fast and it seems like getting pregnant the second time is completely impossible, no matter how we plan. I don’t have fertility problems and neither does he.

    • Based on what you are saying, you have a very short luteal phase (the time between when you ovulate and your period starts). Based on what you are saying, you ovulated on the 19th and your period was due on the 25? If that’s the case, your luteal phase is only 6 days long? How long is your cycle typically (counting from the day your period starts going to the day before the next period starts)?

      • My luteal phase being only 6 days long would be a bad thing? Would that affect my chances getting pregnant a second time? My cycle is typically 26 days. It’s fairly normal now. I was on a birth control implant (nexplanon) last year and had it removed this year in January and my periods have finally gotten normal, to me at least. I’m still tracking my cervix and I noticed it has gotten even higher and lopsided, still closed and I’m cramping. When I entered that data into my fertility and period tracker, it said I am ovulating and I should take an opk. I have opks but it doesn’t make sense, my cervix should be open..

        • Yes, having a short luteal phase could make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. It could be that your body is still trying to regain it’s hormonal balance after stopping birth contol. Was you cycle 26 days when you got pregnant with your first child? Unfortunately the fertility apps are usually for women with average cycles. You might need to either use ovulation tests or chart your basal body temperature to figure out what your body is doing.

  • Lindsey

    Hi. I have a question! I checked my cervix and it was very high almost impossible to reach. A few days later it was low and still soft. This is when I noticed the ewcm. Is this normal? My husband and I are actively ttc. And I was wondering if that means I may be pregnant. Thanks!

  • WorriedOne

    Hi Vickie

    I really need your help. For some reason I don’t know why I have gotten so scared of the possibilities of getting pregnant. I think i am ovulating and after sex I realize he had to pull the condom off in order to ejaculate he claims nothing was left inside of me but I am still worrying and reading all these guides to help easy my mind. Now and then I feel like some pain in my stomach and its rather hard trying to get my finger up my cervix because of how close it has gotten. Is it possible that I might get pregnant?

    • As long as the condom was on the whole time you were having sex, and he ejaculated away from your vagina, you should be okay. As you are afraid of getting pregnant, you might want to figure out when you exactly are ovulating (ovulation tests or charting your basal temperature can be pretty accurate), and not have sex during your fertile time.

  • It’s hard to say. Your period should have started around now. Did it or did you get a positive test??

    • Ari Harris

      I got it today! I did actually take a test too.

      Thank you for responding!

    • Araceli San Miguel

      i vicky i have a ? Im irregular on mentrual i would have it every 4 months and since november i had my.period every month around the same day so last months on in may my period was like spotting thru my five days and this month on june i havent started is it possible to be or get prego .,,,

  • Trying 2015

    Hey Vicky
    I have question for you. I had miscarriage in February 2015 after 10 weeks pregnant. My period between 28 and 30 days however I’m not sure when I ovulate!
    My period thus month was on the 9th Jun lasted only 4-5 days . I had white mucus (egg white ) on day 10,11 and 12 with cramps then I was dry day 13 then more and more discharge and mucus on day 14,15 and 16 with cramps day 17,18 and 19 morning I was moist to dry but the evening of day 19 I day clear white discharge (egg white ) felt like glue . I’m checking my cervix almost everyday it’s open high, soft (like lip) and moist.
    I had sex with my husband on day 12 but he did ejaculate but he was active for good 20 mins.
    My question is when did I ovulate and why the discharge on day 19?

  • Heather R Terres Doute

    I don’t know if this is still an ongoing article or not but I have a question. We didn’t test for these things when I had my daughters 16 and 13 years ago and before the plethora of internet info. My period is due in two days yet my cervix is very high, almost unreachable, soft but not spongy, still has lost of lotiony white and clear CM and is closed. My cervix always distends before my period enough that a tampon hits it and it has not. I had sex during my best ovulation days and a BFP at 10 dpo, two negative then one so faint it was almost negative. I have been having cramping, pulling and even sciatic pain since 7 dpo and now experiencing constipation, extreme fatigue, and within the last day lightheaded and facial flushing. I’m making an appointment as soon as I have missed a period – with the exception of pregnancy I never miss and always spot for a few days before and have extremely sore breasts, all of which is now missing. Should I be concerned about the negative tests or prepare for starting all over at almost 40 – which I wouldn’t mind?

    • Trying 2015

      Hey Heather
      how did you go ?

  • Lizette

    I need your help! My partner and I have decided we want to conceive a child and were supposed to have our insemination done one December 09th. I started reading online and a lot of people recommended to take Vitex to help increase fertility I begun taking them about 4 days before my expected period which was Nov. 26th but I am now 4 days late on my period. I have blood when I clean myself after using the bathroom but do not have a regular blood flow and I also have all the symptoms as if I had my period. My partner felt my cervix yesterday and swears I am ovulating as my Cervix was high and soft and very open. I continue saying it is impossible as I am supposed to have my period not be ovulating…. can any one help me!? Will I still be ovulating on the 10th even if my period doesn’t come down!?

  • Penely

    Good day ladies,
    I am 29 yrs, I had my right ovary removed in 2012 due to a mass on my ovary and got pregnant in 2013 around june and had a miscarriage in july and ever since tht my partner I and have been TTC,but nothing positive. Now i am on clomid 50g and tried again now we just hoping for the best

  • Jess9563

    I am so confused. I had a super short period (lasted a day). Now I’m supposed to ovulate in a few days and my cervix is short, soft, mushy and open. I’ve read that in order to conceive my cervix needs to be high? I had a bfn today. Just curious what this could all mean.

    • Kevin Miller

      Kristen Miller- Mines the same way too! Im suppose to ovulate on 20th and was wondering if it being low, open, and wet before is normal before your actual ovulating day! Hoping everything is on the right track so we can have another lil blessing from God!

Last modified: January 23, 2015