How can I Check cervix dilation myself?
Updated: Apr 17
if you want to check yourself, it can be done with relative accuracy. Essentially, all you need to do is insert two fingers into your vagina, and feel for the walls of the cervix, and estimate how far apart your two fingers are. Here is a small little guide for you to estimate the distances you should be feeling for.
It is most likely that your doctor will be doing the proper checking for signs of effacement at your appointments as you get closer and closer to your final due date. This process involves them inserting their fingers into your vagina to feel the cervix and check for signs of effacement and dilation. To be honest… It’s not very comfortable or fun at all.
Because of how uncomfortable this process is, many women prefer to not check for dilation or effacement themselves. They would rather just let the doctor do it for them. This is totally ok! However, if you want to check yourself, it can be done with relative accuracy. Essentially, all you need to do is insert two fingers into your vagina, and feel for the walls of the cervix, and estimate how far apart your two fingers are.
Here is a small little guide for you to estimate the distances you should be feeling for:
- 1cm = the size of a ladybug.
- 2cm = the size of a penny.
- 3cm = the size of a large grape.
- 4cm = the size of a Ritz cracker.
- 5cm = the size of a lime.
- 6cm = the size of a large egg.
- 7cm = the size of a soda can around.
- 8cm = the size of a baseball.
- 9cm = the size of a donut.
- 10cm = the size of a grapefruit.
By inserting your fingers inside your vagina, and expanding them to either side of the cervical opening, you will be able to feel how dilated it has become. If you are not experienced in this process, it can be difficult to estimate yourself as you might not be able to reach it properly unless you are in labor.
Ultimately, the actual dilation of your cervix is not as important for you to check as the signs of labor themselves. If you are concerned that you are not getting a clear enough idea of your dilation on your own, that is perfectly OK. It is more important that you watch for contractions and water breaking, for example.
So, now that you know how to look out for and identify dilation and effacement, it is important to remember a few things. The first, is that checking for effacement and dilation is not always the #1 priority. Your doctor will be checking these things the closer you get to labor. The second is, if you are planning on trying any ‘induction’ techniques to speed the process along, please consult your doctor before doing so. The days leading up to labor are always an exciting time, it’s important that you remain as patient and safe as possible for a happy and healthy birth!