Names of Allah

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cycles of Cervical Changes

Age 25 – Entire Cycle

I am a 25 year old woman who has never given birth.  My intention with this project was to better understand my cycle and the changes in my cervix throughout the month.  As a doula and student midwife, I used this project to help me see how a cervix might look different throughout the cycle in the absence of vaginal infections and to understand speculum exams.
Each photo was taken at approx 10:00 pm every day starting the first day of my menstrual cycle.  I re-used a plastic speculum (order one here) and macro function of normal digital camera (and a very talented boyfriend with a headlamp).  For the duration of this project, we used condoms as our birth control method so as not to introduce semenal fluid into the photoshoot.  I did not use tampons or mooncups during my bleeding time either.

This cycle I photographed is of normal length for me, about 33 days.  The diagram above is for a 28 day cycle.  My cycle’s follicular phase (variable number of days preovulation) lasts until about day 20 or 21.  My fertile phase lasts from days 13 to 21 with ovulation on day 20.  My luteal (postovulation) phase is 13 days long (12-16 days is the norm and is not variable in a normal cycle).
Above is a graph of my basal body temperature for this cycle.  As you can see, after ovulation on about day 20, my temperature began to rise due to the heat-inducing hormone progesterone produced by the corpus luteum.  This temperature shift signifies that ovulation has already occurred.  Check out more information about the Fertility Awareness Method of birth control to learn more about cyclical temperature changes.
You may notice on the right side of some photos, some jagged looking skin, which is the remnants of my hymenal ring.  My os (opening to the cervix) is round because I have never given birth; the os becomes more of a slit after childbirth.  On the sides of the photos, you can see my vaginal rugae, which are the ridges that make the elastic muscular canal of the vagina able to open/expand dramatically during arousal and childbirth.
I also tracked the depth/movement of my cervix in my vagina.  These gradual shifts are not really distinguishable in the photos, but was a tangible change as the depth I needed to reach a finger inside to touch my cervix varied slightly each day.  I also noted the firmness of the cervix and openness of the os that was again a change I was feeling with my finger.
My uterus is tipped backward (retroflexed), so you may notice that the cervix is pointing upwards in some photos.  This is an anatomical variation that is present in about 20-30% of the population, and is most often a genetic trait.  It means that the body of the uterus lies more towards my back than over my bladder.
May this site be educational for you and may you feel inspired to discover more about your body…

Below, you will find photos taken every day during one menstrual cycle.  The photo is above the Day Number and details of that Day.  Happy viewing!

Day One

Day One

Blood – red , clotty and heavy flow
Cramps – mild
Breasts – de-swelling
Feeling – very sexual and tender

Day 2

Day Two

Blood – Dark red, medium/light flow
Breasts – normal
Basal body temperature  – 97.2 F (and remains between 97 F and 97.4 F until day 20)

Day Three

Day Three

Blood – Brown and watery dark red, low flow

Day Four

Day Four

Brown Spotting with some dark red flecks (note fresh blood at os)

Day Five

Day Five

Light brown discharge; very low flow
Tender, heart-achey

Day Six

Day Six

Very light brown discharge
Sticky cervical fluid when touched between fingers

day Seven

Day Seven

Cervix in low closed position
Cervical fluid sticky

Day Eight

Day Eight

Cervix, low and closed/firm
Cervical fluid white and sticky

Day Nine

Day Nine

Cervix low and closed
Dry sensation

day Ten

Day Ten

Cervix low and closed
Notice blood spot near os and brown clot near cervix (right).  Possibly from vigorous intercourse earlier that day (not mittelschmerz as I am not ovulating yet)** Since posting this last idea that the blood may have been from intercourse, I have since been diagnosed with an endometrial polyp that occasionally causes bleeding mid-cycle, usually unrelated to intercourse.  I am treating it with holistic measures and hope it clears up soon.

Day Eleven

Cervical fluid is creamy


Day Twelve

Cervical fluid white and wet, milky
Feeling particularly sexual


Day Thirteen

Copious watery cervical fluid
Cervix softening and moving upwards


Day Fourteen

White/clear watery cervical fluid, dripping


Day Fifteen

Cervical fluid changed to more eggwhite texture
Cervix is soft, open and high


Day Sixteen

Cervical fluid alternately wet and eggwhite consistency
Cervix soft and high


Day Seventeen

Cervical fluid is very gelatainous (here seen covering os) and streaked with whitish yellow
Sensitive, sensual breasts (not painfully tender)
Stringy Fluid when stretched between fingers (above)


Day Eighteen

Eggwhite fluid


Day Nineteen

More white-tinged eggwhite fluid
Very stretchy and strong Fluid (above)


Day Twenty

Mild back pain and cramp on left side (mittelschmerz)
Ovulation suspected!
Feeling very sexual
Cervical Fluid gelatinous and egg-white (right)


Day Twenty One

Drier/chunkier (like drying rubber cement) cervical fluid
Nipples very tender and painful


Day Twenty-Two

Tender nipples
Cervical position is mid and slightly open
Basal Body temperature beginning to rise, today 97.6  F


Day Twenty-Three

Very tender nipples
Dry feeling
Basal Body temperature 97.5 F


Day Twenty-Four

Very tender nipples
Dry feeling
Cervix feels hard and high again


Day Twenty-Five

Headache and tired


Day Twenty-Six

Breasts swelling
Tacky cervical fluid
Basal Body temperature now noticeably higher than preovulation by about 1 degree Farenheit.  It is now 98.1 F and ranges from 98.1 F to 98.6 F for the rest of this of cycle


Day Twenty-Seven

Tender nipples, swollen breasts
Tacky cervical fluid


Day Twenty-Eight

Dry feeling


Day Twenty-Nine

Dry feeling


Day Thirty

Dry feeling
Breasts feel heavy


Day Thirty-One

Feeling bloated
Dry fluid (note fresh blood at os, sign of impending menses)
Feeling emotionally tender


Day Thirty-Two

Very light brown spotting
Cervix low and open
Feeling tired


Day Thirty-Three

Pink spotting
Lower back ache
Menses begins tomorrow upon waking, 13 days after ovulation (luteal phase)

All images copyrighted.  Please do not reproduce these images without my permission.
Enjoy your Cervix and your amazing body!

Due to the overwhelming positive response I have gotten from people, I have decided to expand the vision of this project.  I am raising funds for my time and expenses, including:
  • Equipment for photographing other women’s cervices
  • Marketing and advertising of this site
  • Web-upgrades, hosting, and graphic design
  • Creating pamphlets or a book (for distribution at Health Centers, Medical Schools, colleges)
  • Furthering my education in women’s health
  • Outreach projects (teaching women/partners about their fertility/cycles, etc.)
  • Translating and hosting a similar site in Spanish or other languages
If you have found this website useful, please consider donating via Paypal – any amount is helpful ($5 to $100 or more).  Please email me if you would prefer to send a donation by check or money order and  I will send you a mailing address. Together we can create a world where women’s bodies are understood, respected and appreciated!

No comments:

Post a Comment