To check your own cervix for dilation, insert a finger into the vagina, placing the tip of the finger in the cervical opening. Each finger that fits in the opening corresponds to about one centimeter of dilation. Call a doctor if the cervix is dilated to four or more centimeters, recommends Mahalo.
A gynecologist begins routinely checking for cervix dilation in the ninth month of pregnancy, according to Mahalo. This allows the physician to more accurately predict the baby's due date. If you are pregnant, you may check your own cervix between appointments to chart progress. Before checking the cervix for dilation, ensure that your fingers are clean and that your fingernails are trimmed down.
The cervix is located at the back of the vagina. Insert a finger as deep as possible into the vagina to locate the cervix. If you feel an opening in the cervix, it has begun to dilate, notes Mahalo.
The cervix generally begins to dilate shortly before the onset of labor, creating an opening for the baby to pass through. The speed and timing of cervical dilation varies between women, explains What To Expect. Late in a pregnancy, a small amount of blood in the vaginal mucus is often a sign that cervical dilation has begun.