A Bruised Cervix Is A Real Thing—Here’s How It Happens

If you’ve read the title of this article and crossed your legs, you’re not alone. The idea of your cervix getting bruised sounds incredibly painful, and it definitely can be. Luckily, you can prevent it from happening. Here are 12 important things you should know about cervical bruising, how to treat it, and how to avoid it altogether.

How does a cervix get bruised?

More often than not, a cervix tends to get bruised during sex. This is more likely to happen if the guy’s penis is too large and sex feels painful instead of pleasurable. It can also happen if you experience vigorous penetration with an object or fist. Since your cervix is the opening between your vaginal canal and uterus, it can get injured somewhat easily.

Certain sexual positions can lead to cervical bruising, with doggy style being the biggest culprit of this injury.

What are the symptoms of a bruised cervix?

  • The symptoms of a bruised cervix vary. However, the most common ones include:
  • Cramping during sex
  • The feeling that your partner or object is hitting a wall during sex
  • Tenderness in your abdomen area between 12 and 48 hours after sex that lasts up to a week
  • Spotting or bleeding — if you’re not on your period, this could very well be a sign of cervical bruising
  • Pain after sex that mimics intense period cramps with stabbing pains, nausea, vomiting, and sweating

Does it need treatment from a doctor?

In most cases, a bruised cervix doesn’t require medical treatment. Instead, you can treat the symptoms at home by taking over-the-counter painkillers and abstaining from sex until it heals. Like a regular bruise, cervical bruising eventually goes away on its own. There’s no specific timeline for this process. However, you’ll know you’re good to go when you no longer experience symptoms.

If you do get worrying symptoms such as extreme blood loss or pain that prevents you from functioning regularly, you should make an appointment with your doctor. They can perform a thorough exam and make sure everything’s okay.

How to avoid cervical bruising

  1. Make sure you’re properly stimulated before sex. There’s no doubt about it: You need to be super turned on before sex so that you avoid getting your cervix bruised. Of course, being aroused just makes your sexual experience so much more pleasurable all around, so it’s worth it. Bring on the foreplay and stick with it for at least 20 minutes to get properly lubricated.
  2. Switch up your positions. A large penis isn’t always the cause of cervical bruising. There are other things that can cause it to happen, such as being in an uncomfortable sexual position. Sometimes if the angle of sex is wrong, you might feel a pinch or poking sensation. Ouch! If you feel pain during sex, try changing your position or trying some more foreplay to get yourself better lubricated before you continue.
  3. Use smaller toys. While you can’t adjust the size of your partner’s manhood, you can control the toys you use. If you have sex using dildos or other objects, size down to ensure you’re not causing unnecessary trauma to your cervix and vagina.
  4. Sync sex with your cycle. Being properly aroused is always a good thing, but this is of greater importance at the beginning and end of your menstrual cycle, so keep a check on when your period’s due to take greater care of your cervix during sex. Since those times of the month are when your cervix is going to be at its hardest and lowest, you really want to avoid hurting it. It might also help to try different sexual positions like being on top, which gives you greater control during sex.
  5. Spot the early warning signs. You might feel like you’re lubricated enough before sex, only to feel a sharp poke during the act. That’s a sign that your cervix is getting bruised. Don’t continue with the same sex act. Thrusting into the cervix can be really painful and cause bruising or a tear in your cervical tissue. At the first pinch or stab of pain, stop!
  6. Keep it sober. Watch out for having sex when you’re drunk or high. Chemicals numb your pain receptors, so you might not be as tuned into any pain you experience during sex, which makes it easier for cervical bruising to happen. Skip the booze. Your cervix will thank you.

A few other things to keep in mind

  1. Your cervix moves. Yup, you read that right: your cervix actually moves around. If you’re not on birth control, your cervix changes depending on your menstrual cycle. For instance, when you’re ovulating, your cervix moves higher up into the vaginal canal. It’s also softer at this time of the month. Before and after your period, your cervix becomes harder and moves lower down the vaginal canal.
  2. Your vagina also changes. The vagina has the ability to expand by up to 200% when you’re aroused! When you’re turned on, your cervix also changes—it becomes softer and moves into a higher position, which makes it less likely to get hurt or bruised during sex.
  3. You might have a condition. There’s also a condition that can cause you to bruise your cervix during sex called cervical ectropion. It’s basically when glandular cells that are usually located inside the cervix are on the outside of it and it tends to make sex feel more painful. Cervical ectropion can be caused by being on the pill, pregnancy, and changes in estrogen hormone levels. Although it sounds scary, for most women it goes away on its own. Phew.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.