Posterior Cervix: What it Really Means for Women
There’s nothing like the feeling of confusion a gal might struggle with as she leaves the ob/gyn appointment wondering what the doctor meant about a “posterior cervix.” This really isn’t an uncommon scenario; women hearing a mumbled term at the doctor’s office and are left thinking, “Is this something I should be worried about?” When it comes to having a posterior cervix, your doctor probably didn’t feel the need to elaborate because it really isn’t seen as a big deal these days and it likely won’t affect a woman unless she’s planning to have a baby.
What is a Posterior Cervix?
Speaking from a biological standpoint, a woman’s cervix is meant to sit so that it points forward towards her stomach. This is called an ‘anterior cervix.’ As you might have pieced together from the medical jargon, a posterior cervix is the opposite of this as it points in the opposite direction. Sometimes doctors or midwives will interchange the term posterior cervix with ‘tilted cervix,’ as they pretty much mean the same thing. Most women who have this condition do not really feel any different, it’s simply a case in which their cervix doesn’t line up just right with the vagina and instead points towards their rump. Some women have this condition their whole lives while others develop it at random. It is also a common development among pregnant women and often tends to rectify itself after the baby is born.
There are different levels or severities of tilted cervix, some being very mild/slightly tilted to being extremely posterior. It would be very hard for a woman to detect a tilted cervix though self-examination. If you think that you may have this condition you really want confirmation then you should see an obstetrician/gynecologist for confirmation; although in reality, there really isn’t any benefit to finding out this information unless you are trying to conceive. It may also satisfy some unanswered questions if you regularly have pain during intercourse, which is a common symptom of women who deal with the tilted cervix issue.
How it Affects Conception
If you are trying to get pregnant then finding out if you have this condition may actually be a good idea. Besides, it can’t hurt to have a physical examination before you do get pregnant just to make sure that all is well in your baby-making machine! Although it is absolutely possible to conceive with a tilted cervix, the actual process of becoming pregnant can be a little more difficult. Some women find that they have to try to conceive for a longer time before they successfully become pregnant. This is because the sperm do not have a straight shot from the vagina into the cervix; instead they have to swim a further distance which can be quite an obstacle, especially in cases where the tilt of the cervix is severe.
While there hasn’t been a lot of research on what sexual positions increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant, there have been studies that suggest a few positions may put the tip of the penis into closer range of the cervix than others, which could, in theory, help the sperm get to where they need to be. The “missionary” position puts the tip of the penis closer to the front of the cervix, which is normally thought to be ideal for conceiving; however this may not be the ideal position for a woman with a posterior cervix. In fact, the position most likely to help in this situation would be rear entry (or “from behind”). This position puts the tip of the penis near the rear or back part of the cervix’s opening on a normally positioned uterus. Therefore, it may be a closer match for a woman whose cervix is tilted more towards that direction.
Another rumor sweeping around Internet forums for trying to conceive women is the idea that a glass of wine can aid conception in people who have a tilted cervix. The idea is that the alcohol helps the organs around a posterior cervix to loosen which allows it to drop back into a more natural position. The alcohol is also thought to increase moisture around this area which could work as lubrication for the cervix, allowing it to ease towards the front.
Many women have also heard that lying on their back for half an hour after intercourse will increase the chances of conception. This is definitely an idea worth trying out, especially for women whose cervix position makes the journey traveled by the sperm a bit longer.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
The pregnancy itself usually won’t differ too much with a posterior cervix unless the uterus itself is tilted as well. If that is the case, then the way that the woman carries the child could be different, such as more towards the front or back, which may result in more back pain and tail bone sensitivity during the early stages of pregnancy. In most cases the cervix will tilt towards the vagina to line up with the birth canal sometime in the weeks just before the baby is ready to come out. If the cervix does not move forward on its own then the doctor may choose to use a series of massages to maneuver the cervix forward. If during labor the cervix is unable to dilate properly, even with the help of medication and massaging, then it may be necessary to do a cesarean section.