THE CERVIX is a part of the body that not everybody has.
We answer all your questions about the cervix, its function, and who it belongs to.
What is the cervix?
The cervix lies between the womb/uterus, and the top vaginal lining.
It sometimes gets the name “the neck of the womb”.
To look at, it’s a bit like a ring doughnut the size of two inches.
It has many functions, such as keeping your vagina clean.
It can also provide pleasure during sex. Although it is impossible to puncture the ring, you can bump it against.
The cervix protects a foetus in pregnancy by creating a protective mucus plug that prevents bacteria from entering the womb.
The baby can come out of the cervix when it is ready. This is what doctors look at to say whether the patient is “dilated” during labour.
It’s important to protect the cervix, as cervical cancer can be deadly.
Everyone with a cervical cancer risk is advised to have a NHS smear. It checks for abnormalities and provides a free test.
Does a man have a cervix too?
Women, transgender men (trans) and those who were born with a cervix are all eligible.
Trans men may have their cervix and ovaries removed by a total hysterectomy. Not all men choose to have this done.
Because it is part the female reproductive system, men do not naturally have a cervical.
Some women may need to have their cervix removed, or, in rare cases, they are born without one.
Why is cervix so popular?
You may have seen #cervixes or #OnlyWomenHaveCervixes trending on Twitter.
This comes after the Labour Party was involved in a dispute over trans rights for more than a year.
It all began when Labour MP Rosie Duffield indirectly said “only women have a cervix” by liking a Tweet in July 2020.
This Canterbury MP has been criticized for opposing transgender people being allowed to access places such as school toilets, domestic violence refuges, and prisons.
Amid the Labour Party’s annual conference in Brighton this week, Sir Keir Starmer said “it is not right” to say only women have cervixes.
There are concerns that such statements may be simplified or prevented trans men from having their smear tests.
On the other hand, speaking to The Times in October last year, MP Duffield said: “Men seem to have a space or a door with the word ‘man’ on, then women have ‘women and anyone else’. Why are we encroaching on women’s spaces but not men’s?”
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