“Is that safe?” is one of the top three questions I get about cervix play.
The others are “doesn’t that hurt?” which I answered in another blog post, and “can you cum that way?” which seemed like it would be best answered with video proof: my clip “cervix orgasm comparison” is available on ManyVids and on Clips4Sale!
It’s not entirely safe, no: there’s definitely risk, both of injury and of infection! What follows is mostly my speculation, and I’m not a medical professional, so take this with a grain of salt and please do your own research.
I think the injury risk likely comes in two basic flavors: acute injury like perforation, and unusual wear and tear on the cervix.
Perforation is mentioned as a risk in many medical procedures that go past the cervix, such as placing an IUD, but I think it’s probably quite unlikely in the context of play as long as a person is going slowly, being relatively gentle, and stopping if there’s unusual pain.
Further, perforation of the uterus appears not to be as severe an injury as I would have guessed!
“Although uterine perforation is a potentially serious complication of intrauterine contraceptive use, it is uncommon and it can often be asymptomatic. Some cases are not identified until months or years after insertion. In one series, the longest interval that had elapsed between insertion and diagnosis was 43 years. It is therefore important to put uterine perforation into context. It very rarely leads to harmful sequelae, and it does not detract from the overall excellent safety record of IUDs.”Intrauterine devices and risk of uterine perforation: current perspectives
Wear and tear seems most likely to me if someone is doing a lot of cervical penetration without giving the cervix time to go back to its usual closed state. There’s a condition that’s sometimes called “cervical incompetence” (I find this term fucking hilarious!) that basically means that the dang thing won’t stay shut, which becomes a problem if a person is trying to keep a fetus in their uterus until it’s fully cooked. For this reason, I think it’s probably an unwise plan to do much cervical penetration if a person intends to use their uterus for procreation in the future.
As a side note, I speculate that not having a menstrual cycle, and thus not having the usual cycle of cervical changes where it becomes a bit more open or closed over the course of the month, would mean that dilating one’s cervix with sounds would have more lasting effects, making it easier to gradually go larger. I’ve heard from one person whose menstrual cycle has stopped because he’s on testosterone that my guess was right about this, but that’s still guesswork and anecdata. (Even though I’m on T myself, I do still menstruate at present, although it’s quite irregular.)
The infection risk is the one I worry more about, because uterine infections can be quite serious and lead to sepsis if untreated. Risk of infection is also often discussed in the context of urethral sounding, but I’m less concerned about that by comparison, because of how easily diagnosed and treated urinary tract infections are. Don’t get me wrong, a UTI is not my idea of a good time, but I’m confident that I’d notice and get it dealt with before harm was done. With uterine infections, I don’t have the experience to know for sure that I’d realize the problem quickly.
Symptoms of uterine infections commonly include pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, fever, paleness, chills, a general feeling of illness or discomfort, and often headache and loss of appetite. The heart rate is often rapid. … But sometimes the only symptom is a low-grade fever.Merck Manual
I believe that staying in the cervix rather than going all the way into the body of the uterus is somewhat lower-risk. However, pushing past the internal os is such a hot and attention-grabbing sensation, and the whole idea of it is so sexy to me, that I don’t always keep my penetration shallow.
For a while I restricted my deep play to during menstruation, on the theory that it would be more difficult for bacteria to get a foothold while the contents of my uterus were being ejected, but that was just my guess about risk mitigation. Since then, I’ve read that having a menstrual cycle at all seems to have a protective effect against infection, helping to ensure that it can’t linger if it does get started.
If not severely injured, normal endometrium is resistant against acute infection, and since it is regularly shed every 4 weeks, there is little time for a chronic infection to develop.Atlas of Endometrial Histopathology
More good news is that there’s medical research available about the rate of infection with different uterine procedures, and even comparing different antiseptic skin preps. I’ve tried both povidone iodine and chlorhexidine gluconate, and found that the chlorhexidine sometimes causes a bit of vaginal irritation afterwards. (Allergy to chlorhexidine gluconate is possible, but because I’ve never noticed a problem with mouthwashes and other products, I don’t think it’s likely that I have an allergy.) Iodine, of course, causes some dark yellow staining, so it isn’t always what I want when I’m filming.
The main precaution I take is to make sure anything going into my uterus is scrupulously clean, and I haven’t had any problems so far. I plan to write another post soon about my cleaning practices for my peehole & cervix toys, if you’re interested in that!
Sources for more information
In addition to the sources I’ve mentioned and linked to in this post, you can find a lot of information by looking for research on the risks of medical procedures similar to the play you’re interested in. I believe that IUD insertion is a reasonably close process to the cervical play I enjoy, so that’s what I’ve primarily looked for.
This post began as a comment I made over on reddit, which I’ve added considerably more detail to for my blog. If you’re interested in cervix play and you want like-minded people to talk with about it, come join us at r/cervix!