The Vaginal Canal & Cervical Anatomy

June 15, 2020

Something most women never take a look at themselves, but possibly should! Can you tell what is what, by looking at this image? If not, keep reading, I will share!

Vaginal Canal and Cervix, viewable with use of a speculum

This is the vaginal canal being held open with a (clear) speculum. Let's look to the very back! You see a circular looking object, right? If you didn't know any better, you might think it looks like head of a male's penis.

The cervix, is pretty identical to the exposed head of a penis! 🍆

1. The ripples on the sides of the vaginal walls are called "vaginal rugae". Some call them "rugae folds". We have this in portions of our stomach, as well! "Ribbed for his pleasure"!

2. The longer/larger "ripples", could be remnants of the hymen, for many women! The hymen is a thin piece of tissue that surrounds/partially covers the vaginal opening in adolescence. During puberty, estrogen causes it to become elastic-like. Eventually it will separate. Remnants can be (more so) visible in the pre-menopausal woman!

3. The 4 back pockets around the cervix are called the vaginal fornix. These pockets fade away during menopause. I personally call them semen pockets!

4. External Cervical OS (cervix opening); you can see more of a - (slit) than a O (circular) opening. This means that this cervix has given birth to at least one baby. The cervix will look more like a circular opening prior to childbirth. After (vaginal) childbirth, the opening becomes flat, and more so looking like a squished slit.

In the image above, you will see the difference in cervical OS (opening of the cervix). The top one has never birthed a baby vaginally. The bottom one has dilated and stretched to birth a baby, and looks more like a slit than a circle. Photo from Quora

5. The cervix; this cervix shows that the individual may be in their fertile window! This one is looking to be low, soft. The slit-looking opening, looks to be squished/soft/very open, not firm and closed. All components of a fertile cervix, ready to collect sperm!

6. Cervical Mucus; you can see the watery consistency near the opening (fertile fluid, easy for sperm to navigate and reach the egg). There is also the cloudy mucus surrounding. This would tell me that this woman is either about to ovulate, or has recently.

In the image above, you can see the different types of cervical fluid. I do not agree in saying any kind of fluid is not fertile. ALL fluids are fertile, just not as much as the others! Photo from Like A Mustard Seed

7. Speculum; this is the instrument used to hold open the vaginal canal. You can see it on the opposite sides from where you see the vaginal rugae! Anyone can use this device to evaluate their own body. This is not a provider only, gig.

8. This cervix looks a bit different from the standard. If I had to guess, I'd say it is a case of cervical ectropion. This is a common condition caused by cells from the inside of the cervical canal, known as glandular cells (soft cells), become present on the outside surface of the cervix. This makes it look more so red and inflamed. There is no harm or risk with this, and is not connected to any cancers, It could make intercourse painful, or blood to be present, though.

Have you ever seen your own cervix? Would you be willing to if you knew what to look for?

If you do/have completed your own evaluations, do you find that you acquire empowerment in doing so? I know I have!

In the image below, you can see a labeled diagram of what is discussed!

Image from
The image below shows the changes that occur in the vaginal canal after menopause.
Image from K.Bucher