The cervix is the lower, narrower end of the uterus that forms the canal between the vagina and uterus. While the cervix is located inside the body, it can become bruised, specifically with deep penetrative sex that is too vigorous.
Having a bruised cervix can be painful, often causing cramping and an aching sensation deep in the body. However, it generally is not something to be concerned about and heals on its own within a few days.
What Is a Bruised Cervix?
The cervix is the lower, narrower end of the uterus, and it can be hit during sexual intercourse. When it is hit repeatedly, the small blood vessel’s near the surface of the cervix can be broken by the impact, which causes blood to leak out of the vessels. This then damages the cervix and leaves it bruised
What Causes a Bruised Cervix?
Just like all other parts of the body, the cervix can become bruised, typically due to vigorous sexual activity from a penis, fist, sex toy, or object.
By repeatedly hitting the cervix during intercourse, bruising can occur.
Since bruising of the cervix occurs when something is thrust deep inside the vagina, it is more common in certain positions, such as doggy style, which makes deep penetration easier.
What Does a Bruised Cervix Feel Like?
The amount of pain experienced by a bruised cervix can vary by person and by the level of bruising. For example, if you hit your leg on something, sometimes it can leave a large and painful bruise, while other times it hurts very little. The same occurs with bruising of the cervix.
Some people with a bruised cervix experience abdominal pain and cramping worse than what they experience during their period. However, this is not true for everyone.
In general, a bruised cervix typically causes an aching sensation deep in the body. You may start feeling this pain during or after penetration.
Bruised Cervix Symptoms
In addition to experiencing pain during penetration while the bruise heals, a bruised cervix can also cause the following symptoms:
- back pain
Some people may also find that it is more painful to pee with a bruised cervix.
Who Is at Risk of a Bruised Cervix?
There are some people who are more likely to experience a bruised cervix.
The risk of a bruised cervix largely depends on the structure of your vagina and the position of your uterus, which varies for each person and by how aroused you are.
When you are not aroused, the distance between the vaginal opening and cervix is small, usually between 3 to 7 inches. However, when aroused, the upper part of the vagina stretches, lifting the cervix and uterus out of the way. This allows for easier penetration.
For those with a close vaginal opening and cervix, or those who are not aroused, it may be easier to bump the cervix and bruise it.
Bruising the cervix is also more common during ovulation because the cervix softens, opens slightly, and tilts downward. Because of this positioning, it is more likely for something to bump and bruise it.
How Long Does a Bruised Cervix Take to Heal?
A bruised cervix will often heal on its own within a few days, just like any other bruise that you have. The amount of time that it takes to heal can vary by person, but pain often subsides within a day or two, and all symptoms should be entirely resolved in a week.
To ensure that the healing process does not take longer, it is important to avoid sex or penetrative masturbation until the symptoms have disappeared.
Is Treatment Necessary for A Bruised Cervix?
Treatment is typically not necessary for a bruised cervix, as it will heal on its own.
However, you may want to visit a gynecologist if you experience a bruised cervix frequently, as an infection can increase the sensitivity of the cervix, which makes it more likely to bruise.
Bruised Cervix Treatment
The following actions can help to soothe pain and discomfort caused by a bruised cervix as it heals.
Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
Taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil), can help relieve some of your symptoms.
Sitting on a Pillow
If there is tenderness in your vagina, it may be helpful to avoid sitting on hard surfaces and instead sit on a pillow or cushion until the pain subsides.
Apply a Heating Pad
If you are experiencing cramping, it can be helpful to apply a heating pad to your back or abdomen to help relax the muscles and reduce cramping.
Wear Loose Clothing
Wearing tight clothing can put additional pressure on your abdomen, which can cause discomfort. To avoid this, lean towards loose clothing while your cervix heals.
When To See a Doctor?
If your symptoms have lasted longer than a week, or if pain after penetration is a regular occurrence, it is beneficial to visit a healthcare provider or gynecologist.
Your doctor can perform a pelvic exam to determine the source of this discomfort, such as an infection or other condition.
Additionally, be sure to seek immediate medical attention if you:
- Soak through a tampon or pad within an hour
- Are in severe pain
- Have clots in your period blood that are the size of a quarter (or bigger)
Get Help from An Online Doctor
If you think you have a bruised cervix, meeting with an online doctor allows you to discuss your symptoms and if further action is required. With DrHouse, you can meet with a doctor in just 15 minutes, all from the comfort of your house.
For those who frequently bruise their cervix, your online doctor can discuss if a pelvic exam is needed to determine why your cervix is more susceptible to bruising.
A bruised cervix is never a pleasant experience, sometimes causing pain and cramping that is comparable to (or worse) than period cramps. It typically occurs from deep, vigorous penetrative sex, when a penis, fist, sex toy, or other object repeatedly hits against the cervix.
The risk of cervical bruising depends on the distance between a woman’s vaginal opening and cervix, which varies by person, arousal level, and point in the menstrual cycle.
Bruised cervixes will typically heal on their own within a few days, and it is crucial to avoid penetrative sex while it heals. However, if a bruised cervix repeatedly happens, it is recommended to visit a doctor as this may be a sign of an infection or other condition.
- Baggish MS. Anatomy of the cervix. In: Baggish MS, Karram MM, eds. Atlas of Pelvic Anatomy and Gynecologic Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 42.
- Gilks B. Uterus: cervix. In: Goldblum JR, Lamps LW, McKenney JK, Myers JL, eds. Rosai and Ackerman’s Surgical Pathology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 32.
- National Cancer Institute website. NCI dictionaries. Cervix. www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/cervix . Accessed June 14, 2021.
- Nott, James, et al. “The Structure and Function of the Cervix during Pregnancy.” ResearchGate, Mar. 2016, www.researchgate.net/publication/296686564_The_Structure_and_Function_of_the_Cervix_during_Pregnancy
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