Brief On Cervical Mucus And Fertility
In simple terms, cervical mucus is a fluid secreted by the cervix, the production of which is stimulated by the hormone estrogen. Throughout your menstrual cycle, the amount and quality of cervical mucus that is produced fluctuates, and by observing these changes you can begin to predict the most fertile days in your cycle.
As you approach ovulation, your estrogen levels begin to surge, which causes your cervix to secrete more cervical mucus that is of a so-called “fertile quality”. This fertile-quality cervical mucus, also known as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM), is clear and stretchy, similar to the consistency of egg whites, and is the perfect protective medium for sperm in terms of texture and pH.
Having enough egg white cervical mucus during your fertile window actually improves your chances of conceiving. And, by noticing when your body is producing egg white cervical mucus, you will be able to identify your most fertile days. The most accurate way to identify changes in your cervical mucus is to collect and observe a sample of mucus on a daily basis. To do this, wash and dry your hands well, then insert your middle or index finger into your vagina, getting as close to your cervix as possible. You may also notice cervical mucus when you use toilet paper to wipe.
You can use either method (checking at your cervix or when you wipe); just make sure you are consistent in using the same method each day. Remove your finger and observe the consistency of the mucus sample by rolling the mucus between your thumb and finger, pressing your fingers together, and then slowly moving them apart.
The following information describes the typical progression of the cervical mucus quantity and quality you can expect to see as you move through your menstrual cycle:
- After your menstrual period: The production of cervical mucus is at its lowest immediately following your period, and some women report “dryness” during this time. But, over the next several days, more mucus will become present, and it will likely be yellow, cloudy, or white in color, and somewhat sticky the touch.
- As Your Ovulation Date Approaches: As you enter your fertile window, your cervical mucus will increase in quantity and moistness. Its color may be cream-like in appearance.
- At the Time of Ovulation: In the days immediately preceding ovulation, the production of cervical mucus will be at its highest and the consistency and color of the mucus will be similar to egg whites. Once you detect the presence of this fertile-quality cervical mucus, you will know you are in your most fertile days.
- After Ovulation: After ovulation, the quantity of cervical mucus begins to decline and become thicker in consistency.
Dr. Chudi Godsons
References & Photo Credit
- Conceive Success
- Mayo Clinic