The Main Event: What Actually Happens to Your Vagina During Birth?

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

By Katherine Schreiber


If all goes according to schedule, you’ll start experiencing labor contractions—the dilation, shortening, and softening of your cervix—around week 40 of your pregnancy. Congratulations, you’ve entered the first phase of first stage of childbirth: Early labor. It can last from a few hours to a day more (yep). During this time your cervix is dilating to 6 centimeters, says Gupta.


[ READ AGAIN: WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO YOUR VAGINA BEFORE YOU GIVE BIRTH? ]

Early labor: More of a slip 'n' slide than Splash Mountain