Your cervix during labour
Your cervix and its changes during labour - softening, dilation, effacement
The cervix is deep inside your vagina and is opening to your womb (uterus). The cervix should be firm, long and closed tightly until you are near the end of your pregnancy or going into labour.
As you come near to your due date, your cervix may begin to soften, shorten and could even begin to open slightly. Sometimes your clinician may use other words – such as dilation or effacement, these simply mean shortening and opening of your cervix, as it is getting ready for your baby to be delivered.
It is important to remember that this process does not happen to all women before labour naturally, therefore sometimes help called “cervical ripening", followed by induction of labour is needed.
Stages of labour & the cervix
Ask your doctor or midwife about Dilapan-S®
Having an induction of labour? Download a patient information leaflet here to discuss with your clinician.