This leaflet is to help you understand what changes occur in the cervix during early pregnancy and when you should seek medical advice.

What is the cervix and what is its role?

The cervix is the entrance to your womb and sits between your vagina and uterus. The cervix is the lowest, narrow portion of the uterus. It feels like a round donut or ball high inside your vagina. The cervix measures 3 to 4 centimeters in length. 

The cervix’s lining layer is home to glands that secrete hormone-dependent mucus. The mucus thins during ovulation, making it possible for sperm to reach the egg. The mucus thickens during pregnancy to shield the uterus from dangerous microorganisms. 

What are the changes that occur in the cervix in early pregnancy? 

Early in pregnancy, the cervix’s location, and texture, as well as the consistency and color of the cervical discharge, alter. The cervix feels firm when you are not pregnant.  Your cervix will become high and soft in the early stages of pregnancy. 

When to see a doctor?

Women who think that they might be pregnant should make an appointment with a doctor. They should also talk to a doctor if they miss their period for several months and are not pregnant or if they experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.

During early pregnancy, it is best to talk to a doctor if cervical discharge is:

  • foul smelling
  • green
  • bloody due to a cause other than menstruation

Additionally, a person should let their doctor know if they are experiencing vaginal itching or pain. These symptoms can indicate other infections that may affect the cervix.

Last updated June 2023