Cervical Dilation: What It Kinda Looks Like

Adriana Velez | May 31, 2013 Pregnancy
Cervical Dilation: What It Kinda Looks Like


We all know that during labor, a woman's cervix is supposed to dilate to about 10 centimeters in diameter before she's ready to start pushing. But what does that really look like? I don't think I had a clear image of that in my mind when I was in labor. That's probably because I was in hellfire pain at the time. But even if I'd been in my right mind, it might have been helpful to visualize what exactly "stalled at four centimeters" looks like, or what "nine-and-a-half centimeters and dying to shove this baby out" is like. 

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Before a woman gets pregnant, there is all sorts of information that she's heard of, but maybe never really understood until she is walking around carrying a 9-l. bowling ball in her stomach. And to a certain extent, this is reasonable. But some women who are preparing for D-Day (delivery day, that is) might be wondering what exactly it means to be "x" amount of centimeters dilated. We've compiled a helpful little visual guide to the cervix in centimeters, comparing the sizes to everyday household items. From coffee beans to Wiffle balls, one is sure to remember these everyday items when it comes time to push.

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Read on and keep this in mind when baby is on the way!

  • 1 Centimeter


    Your cervix has opened to about the size of a coffee bean.

  • 2 Centimeters


    Now you are about the size of a Lego wheel (from the Mars Mission series).

  • 3 Centimeters


    At three centimeters you're about the size of a teaspoon.

  • 4 Centimeters


    I guess it depends on what kind, but at four centimeters, you'd be around the width of a vibrator. 

  • 5 Centimeters


    At five centimeters you're around the size of this costume jewelry hoop earring.

  • 6 Centimeters


    At six centimeters, your cervix is about the diameter of a blush compact.

  • 7 Centimeters


    At seven centimeters your cervix could fit a 12-ounce jar of mayonnaise.

  • 8 Centimeters


    Eight centimeters is about as wide as a small drinking glass.

  • 9 Centimeters


    Nine centimeters is as wide as a cocktail shaker's mouth.

  • 10 Centimeter


    Ten centimeters is about the diameter of a wiffle ball. Time to push!

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