The cervix is the mouth of the womb. The gateway to our precious feminine chamber; the only organ in a human body that can nourish the spark of life and grow it into an entire new being. The cervix sits neatly inside your beautiful vagina; the bridge between your internal and external reality. The fact you can actually touch your womb is profound! Think about it, you can’t touch your heart or lungs from the outside, but you can physically touch your womb – what an honor. There is little in life more intimate than touching a cervix.
This gateway has many roles in the body. It has the important job of keeping nasty pathogens out of our sensitive uterine environment; allowing the essential release of our monthly shedding; sending signals to the brain – either delicious ones (yes it’s involved in orgasm), or warnings of danger; letting sperm in; and of course helping a new being on their way into the world, when you and the baby are well and truly ready. I would say these are rather important jobs, wouldn’t you?
So why is it that we hardly give the cervix the time of day apart from scraping cells off it, shoving Mirena’s into it and attempting to pry it open when we want a child to be born before it’s ready? Does that sound barbaric? Well that’s because it pretty much is. The only way this story will change is when women begin to set and sustain clear body-boundaries. To change our relationship to this delicate organ it may help if we understand it more.
Up until 1999 science thought the only nerve endings in the uterus came from the spine. The hypogastric nerves connect to the uterus and cervix and the pelvic nerves also connect to the cervix. Yet when tested many women with spinal cord injuries could still experience sexual stimulation and orgasm. Upon investigation it was found that the vagus nerve, which runs anterior to the spine, has receptors within the uterus and cervix.
The vagus nerve runs the whole length of the spine but deeper within the torso. It connects to the almost every organ and has the function of activating the parasymathetic nervous system; the ability to be calm, relaxed, digest, heal and experience pleasure. And it is also in charge of an emergency state far beyond fight flight, it’s can alert the brain of extreme danger and catalyze a cascade of ‘shut-down’ processes to prepare for something severe. Since the vagus nerve ends in the cervix, it plays a key role in experiencing pleasure, dilating the cervix to birth a baby and in signaling danger.
Many women who have had a discordant experience vaginally, whether sexually or gynecologically, are prone to problems such as a numb cervix, numb vagina, painful sex, fear during sex, tense pelvic floor, womb prolapse, hormone issues, pelvic pain, bladder issues and even hip and lower back problems. This can even happen from inconsiderate sex; it takes on average 45 minutes for a woman to become properly aroused, which involves her cervix moving further up the vagina into a more comfortable position for intercourse. Yes the female body is beyond fascinating! On that note did you know the womb actually has contractions that cause it to jiggle up and down during orgasm?
Each woman is different. Today research on the genital sensory cortex shows that the brain lights up in different areas according to the erogenous zone stimulated. When looking deeper it’s been found that the cluster of nerve endings in each erogenous zone is unique. Which means one woman will receive more pleasure from the clitoris while another will receive more pleasure from the g-spot, or the nipples or the back of the vagina. There is no one sex fits all.
The microbiome is the city of bacteria that coats all the organs in our body. It mainly exists in our guts but is found in every main area in the body where there is moisture. Looking at the latest findings on autoimmune disease, hormone issues and much more we are now aware that our bodies bacterial ecology lies at the foundation of our health. When it is disrupted or hijacked by pathogenic (bad) bacteria, a cascade of compromise happens within the body.
The vagina has it’s own balance of bacteria, essential for maintaining our vaginal and womb health. Most vaginal bacterial infections that can be reversed or prevented naturally. The use of synthetic chemical spermicide, synthetic hormones, conventional tampons, plastic sex toys and pharmaceutical douches are al culprits in disrupting our delicate internal flora. These can easily lead to Cervicitis, inflammation of the cervix and the gateway to damage cervical cells. In the article “Avoid the Shocking Dangers of Tampons”, written for Longevity Magazine, I illuminated the fact that 40% of women have Staphlaccocus or Streptococcus present in their vaginas, making them prone to Toxic Shock Syndrome when conventional tampons were used (not with 100% organic cotton tampons). By nourishing our vaginal flora we can prevent a whole host of possible health issues.
Most of us have been told that the virus HPV (Human Papillova Virus) is the cause of cervical cancer. This isn’t entirely correct, but it is a catalyst in about 90% of cases. In a recent study published in mBio, February 2019, researchers discovered certain bacterial families were associated with precancerous presentations. It appears that Mycoplasmatales, Pseudomonadales, and Staphylococcus were present in high-grade cervical lesions. The data suggest that Mycoplasma bacteria, in particular, may help promote the growth of HPV-related lesions.
This is big news ladies. This research is basically saying that if we look after the balance of bacteria within our vaginal canal we can help prevent cervical cancer!
So how do we do that? Well firstly we avoid using any forms of chemicals as listed above. Keeping our gut healthy is also a big step, but if you do have any bacterial issues or have been found HPV positive you can use simple things like a pessary made from reishi mushroom or turmeric, as well as taking them internally. One of the easiest ways to gently kill off pathogens in the vagina is with the internal use of ozone. There are many integrative medicine doctors using ozone this way. Dr Aviva Romm highlights many helpful facts and tips around the subject in her article Vaginal Ecology. This subject is super uber important if you are planning on having a baby or are already pregnant. Taking care of our vaginal ecology can make the difference between a natural birth and a c-section, having a healthy baby and you and your baby being pumped full of antibiotics during and after labor. Group B Strep is just one possible infection that could affect the baby that is so commonly feared but so rarely prevented. You can change this story.
Stretching the cervix
Remembering that the cervix is the guardian of the womb, prying it open is going to send a danger message to your brain. I found it fascinating that many gynaecologist do not use anesthetic on this delicate organ when inserting an IUD. Why is this the case? Why would you have anesthetic when having a filling but not when forcing the cervix open to insert an object? It might have something to do with the fact that many women have lost sensation in their cervix due to previous invasive experiences. A poor excuse if you ask me. As for those women who have wide awake nerves in the cervix, prying it open can result in extreme pain and even loss of consciousness.
As for a D&C or termination, yes anesthetic is used, but it is invasive for the body and the psyche to say the least. I would highly suggest taking yourself through a gentle, nurturing healing process after such a procedure. Yoni steaming is a fantastic healing tool for this kind of event. Along with any form of ceremony you feel is needed to help find peace within yourself.
As for the common ‘stretch and sweep’ procedure used to encourage the body to start labor, well firstly what’s the rush? Again by forcing open the guardian of the womb while there is a baby inside, you are putting the body into high alert of external danger, this would surely have the opposite effect? Even the simple act of having your cervix checked during pregnancy and certainly during labor is questionable. Many, many women have reported their surges slowing down or halting completely after an internal exam. In fact there are even cases of the labor stopping completely or dilation closing. Yes the cervix can reduce it’s dilation if the body feels any external threat. Why would the body birth a baby into an unsafe environment?
One could even think of the cervix as the guardian to our internal emotional world. The place where women keep their deepest experiences of the world. In which case it might be beautiful to start changing the way we relate to it physically and emotionally.