What Your Cervical Mucus Can Tell You About Ovulation
You And Your Cervical Fluid
If you are trying to get pregnant one of the most important things to know is when you ovulate. This is when your ovaries release an egg and you are at your most fertile a few days before and on the actual day of ovulation.
How exactly can you find out when you are due to ovulate though? This is where your cervical mucus can help you.
How Can My Cervical Mucus Help Me Find Out When I Ovulate?
Have you ever noticed the vaginal discharge that is sometimes sticky, at other times slippery, and during certain times of your cycle not present at all?
Don't worry, you are not experiencing recurring vaginal infections! What you noticed there is your cervical mucus and it's a very useful and absolutely normal fluid. It is actually very similar to men's seminal fluid; the only difference is that men are fertile all the time, while a woman is usually only fertile for a few days every cycle.
If you think about this it's also very easy to understand why your cervical mucus is only "fertile" during those few days every cycle.
Every cycle, around the time of ovulation, your cervical mucus (that is normally a very hostile environment in which sperm can't survive for very long) opens its door - so to speak - to invite your partner's sperm to easily pass through to reach and pass your cervix.
It actually makes a lot of sense. The only time it's important for sperm to survive and be able to properly move through your mucus is when you are fertile - around the time you ovulate.
Luckily, we can use this information to actually predict ovulation!
Cervical Mucus Changes Throughout Your Cycle
Each cycle, your cervical mucus usually changes in a certain pattern.
At the beginning of your cycle, just after you have stopped bleeding, you might notice a very dry vaginal sensation for a few days, where you usually don't notice a lot of mucus at the entrance of your vagina.
After a few days of dryness, you usually start to notice cervical mucus that is often described as sticky or tacky. It might feel a bit like rubber cement, and is usually white or yellow in color.
Next, a lot of women experience creamy cervical mucus, that is very much like hand-lotion. It's usually moist or wet and still white or yellow in color. One of the most important differences to the cervical mucus that follows next is that creamy cervical mucus is not stretchy at all.
The most fertile cervical mucus is the one you usually get next; slippery or egg-white cervical mucus. As the name already implies, it's very similar to egg white in texture and color. This egg-white cervical mucus is very stretchy, extremely slippery, and usually clear or slightly streaked in color. One of the most important points that distinguish this mucus from all other types of mucus is its extremely slippery texture.
Do not confuse egg-white cervical mucus with arousal fluid though. You can tell the difference between the two by simply following the rule that you will usually notice slippery cervical mucus for a few days, while it's very unlikely that you are aroused for that long.
After ovulation, your cervical fluid abruptly changes back to the dry sensation you feel at the beginning of the cycle. This can often happen within a few hours or a day after ovulation, due to the sudden drop in estrogen combined with the increased amount of progesterone after you have ovulated.
Another possible way to track changes in your cervical mucus (without having to constantly take samples yourself) that is especially helpful if you are unsure about when you are fertile, is to use so-called fertility monitors. Some monitors have a vaginal sensor that can do all the work for you. Read some fertility monitor reviews to find out more.
How long have you been trying to get pregnant?
Trying To Get Pregnant Websites
- The American Fertility Association
- Ovulation Calendar and Ovulation Chart - Fertility Charting
Accurate and comprehensive ovulation calendar and fertility charting. Dramatically increase your chances of conception.
- BBC - Health: Fertility
Find out about fertility and preconception, including advice on how to have a healthy pregnancy and what to do if you're struggling to conceive.