This interactive animation shows the process of cervical dilation during labor.
Click and drag the slider bar to view cervical dilation.
If you have previously delivered a child, your cervix looks slot-shaped at 0 centimeters, not round.
During early labor your cervix dilates from 0 to 4 centimeters. Mild contractions, about 60 to 90 seconds in length, occur every 2 to 5 minutes.
You' ve entered the active phase of labor, which means your cervix is dilating from 4 to 10 centimeters, contractions have grown stronger. They' re occurring once every 1 and half to 3 minutes or so, and are lasting about 45 seconds long. If desired, you may get an epidural at this point.
Near the active phase of labor you arrive at the transition phase; your cervix dilates from 8 to 10 centimeters.
At 10 centimeters, your cervix is fully dilated and you are ready to start pushing with every contraction.
Reviewed last on: 9/16/2009
Dan Sacks MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology in Private Practice, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.