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Wouldn’t it be nice if your body had an immediate pregnancy indicator? Like a Fitbit alert or a voice in your head shouting, “Look, Ma, there’s a baby on board!” But even pregnancy tests aren’t accurate until 1 to 2 weeks after a missed period.
If you know what to look for, it’s possible to pick up on your body’s early pregnancy cues. Your cervix — the doughnut-shaped gate between your vagina and uterus — might spill the tea first.
Your cervix usually feels kinda like a firm ball at the top of your vag. When you’re pregnant, it changes. Keeping tabs on your cervix’s position and texture could help you figure out whether or not you’re pregnant.
High or low?
The first pregnancy clue is a change in position. During ovulation, when your ovaries release an egg, your cervix moves higher. If there’s no meet-cute between your egg and your partner’s swimmers, your cervix shifts down into period position.
So if your cervix is riding high instead of moving down to open for Shark Week, there’s a chance you could be pregnant.
Hard or soft?
Pretend for a second that your cervix is a grapefruit. If it feels hard and unripe, there’s not much going on in the baby-making department. If it feels soft, like a ripe, juicy fruit, there’s a good chance you might be preggo.
During pregnancy, your cervix can get so soft that it feels exactly like the walls of your vagina.
Why so sticky?
Sometimes all that cervical softening causes weird discharge. If you’re pregnant, you might notice extra sticky white mucus in your panties.
Up to 25 percent of women also experience implantation bleeding, which will look like brownish early period blood, during early pregnancy.
How to check
The only way to check your cervix is to wash your hands, get comfy, and stick one or two fingers into your vagina. Your middle finger usually works best since it’s longest, but you do you, boo. The most important thing is to make sure your hands and fingernails are clean and dry.
To get an accurate reading on your cervix’s position and texture, you’ve gotta know your baseline. What does your cervix normally feel like?
So before you rely on your cervix to tell you if there’s a bun in the oven, you should be comfortable feeling around up there on the reg.
Keep track of how your cervix feels when you’re ovulating (it’ll be high) or when your flow is about to start (it’ll be low). Some women are pros at sussing out the differences, but that takes time. Practice makes perfect.
But is this really a reliable pregnancy test?
Maybe, maybe not. Most women don’t feel their cervix often enough to know when it’s doing something abnormal. If you’re not intimately familiar with your lady bits, this probably isn’t a reliable method of pregnancy testing.
Even if you’re super familiar with your cervix, remember that factors other than pregnancy can make it shape-shift. Sometimes it moves up or down depending on your testing position (are you a foot-on-the-toilet kind of girl or do you prefer to squat?). It can also move during sex.
Checking your cervix for pregnancy isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s also not a bad first step. If you think you might be pregnant, you can confirm your suspicions with an at-home pregnancy test.
Your cervix isn’t the only body part that’s got your back. Missing your period is a pretty strong indicator that you’re pregnant. So is that little plus sign on a pregnancy test pee stick.
Here are a few more signs you might be pregnant:
- sore boobs
- puking or feeling sick to your stomach
- feeling super sleepy
- peeing way more than normal
- craving weird food combos
- a metallic taste in your mouth
If all signs point to pregnancy, it’s best to take an at-home test for confirmation.
Though some pregnancy tests are advertised as accurate before you’ve even missed your period, it’s best to wait until you’re late. That’s because it’s totally possible to get a false negative early on.
Sometimes your hormones take a few days to adjust. Most tests will pick up on pregnancy about a week after a no-show flow.
Once you’ve confirmed that you’re pregnant, go ahead and contact your healthcare provider. It’s important to get that first pregnancy appointment on the books.
Your cervix starts to change position and texture pretty quickly after conception. If you think you’re pregnant, checking your cervix is a good place to start.
If you have a sneaking suspicion that you’re preggo, remember to take good care of yourself. Take a prenatal vitamin, eat well, drink lots of water, and make sure you’re catching some Zzz’s. These are great ways to stay healthy for yourself and your potential bun in the oven.
Once you’ve confirmed that you’re pregnant, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider.