Did My Cervix Go on a Walkabout?

Amy Keyishian
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Dr. Irwin Goldstein
Photo from Alvarado Hospital
David Bowie sang about how great ch-ch-ch-changes are, but he never pushed a baby out of his hoo-hoo. For some of us, that area shifts and morphs in unexpected ways, and finding our way back to great sex can be a challenge. This week, an anonymous CafeMom (and several other women who reported having the same problem) wants to know: Could my cervix have shifted during birth?

I have found that since I gave birth, my cervix sits much lower than it did before. This has made most sex positions extremely uncomfortable, as I can feel my husband hit my cervix. Did it really shift that much? And what can I do, other than sticking to the few, boring positions that work?

This is a complicated issue, so we turned to Dr. Irwin Goldstein, MD, who heads the San Diego Sexual Medicine Institute and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He's like the Dr. Drew of vaginas.

Dr. Goldstein says: "I've seen a lot of women with pain after childbirth, and the penis hitting the cervix in this way is extremely unusual unless there was disastrous damage and scarring during the birth. When you become aroused, the vagina elongates just as the penis does; also, the cervix isn't usually that sensitive. But if you're convinced the problem is really that your cervix has shifted this way, you can use a ring or series of rings on your husband's penis at the base so it doesn't reach as far.

However, I suspect the problem is that you feel pain during deep thrusting, which is much more common. The cause may not be at the cervix, but at the opening of the vagina. For instance, maybe you had an episiotomy that didn't heal well, and there's an extra sensitivity there. The penis is wider at its base, so you feel the most pain when that wide base meets your sensitive vaginal opening -- during deep thrusting.

You can ask your doctor to do a Q-tip test. For most women, having a tiny, quarter-inch Q-tip inserted into the very outside of the vagina feels like nothing. If you have an issue like vulvodynia, this will be very uncomfortable. You can treat it with estrogen creams and testosterone creams; your doctor should have some good suggestions."

Vulvodynia! Isn't she a superhero friend of Electrowoman? Anyway, if you want to try shortening your fella's johnson, you can use a penis sleeve like this one, trimming it down if it's too big. Bonus: The stretchy, squishy material feels pretty nice against your privates, especially if you add lube into the mix.

But if the problem persists and you think the problem may lie, as Dr. Goldstein suggests, at the "mouth" of the "cave," ask your doctor about that end of things. The awesome Doc also told me to tell you -- all of you CafeMoms -- that if you have a serious sexual sitch (even if it's not this one), you can get a free 15-minute consultation from his institute by calling (619) 265-8865.

Do you feel like your vagina changed a lot after childbirth? Did it bounce back, better than ever? Tell us in the comments!

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