Updated: Jun 18, 2021
Cervical mucus is talked about so much for fertility. But do you know what you're looking for? There's actually different types of cervical mucus (fertile vs not fertile)!
You don't ONLY see cervical mucus or discharge when you're fertile. It's actually there throughout most of your cycle!
Cervical mucus and your cycles
Day 1-5: During your period and a few days after, you probably won't notice much mucus. These are known 'dry days.'
Day 5-10: In these post-period days, since estrogen stimulates mucus production, as estrogen rises and you approach ovulation, you’ll notice creamy, white, sticky mucus. You're getting there!
Day 10-14: When estrogen is at its highest at ovulation, your mucus changes more to become slippery, stretchy, and clearer in color (think egg-whites). This is fertile mucus! Yay, you made it!
Day 14 - menstruation: Post ovulation, as you enter the luteal phase, since estrogen is dropping, your mucus goes back to being sticky, whiter, and drier (as it was in the beginning before ovulation). And the whole process starts all over again!
The purpose behind the mucus
During ovulation, your mucus has properties to help with moving sperm, to get to the egg quicker and easier- it’s kind of like a slip ‘n slide for sperm. After ovulation, with the spike in progesterone and drop in estrogen, the cervical mucus actually changes to be a little bit more acidic and goes back to being thicker. This is to prevent 'polyspermy', or multiple sperm fertilizing one egg.
This is because in theory, during ovulation ONE sperm already got in and fertilized an egg. So your body does this awesome thing to prevent another one from getting to the egg! I’ll say this forever and ever… our bodies are the COOLEST!
This is actually how some birth control pills work. The progestin only pills (usually given to nursing moms) work by increasing progesterone which thickens the cervical mucus, preventing fertilization. #themoreyouknow
How do you check for cervical mucus?
It’s not as complicated as you might think! You don’t need to buy any gadgets or fancy equipment. When you go to the bathroom, wipe the opening of your vagina and check the paper to see the quality of your mucus.
Is it clear? Is it stringy? Is it thick? If you get discharge in your underwear, you can also check that as well. Or, you can insert a clean finger into your vaginal canal 1-2 inches and feel it for yourself.
Don't be afraid to really examine the texture of your mucus between your fingers when you're new to this. It's your body, you should be familiar with it.
The more you keep track, the more you learn the patterns of your body and the more insight you’ll have into how your hormones are working!
Do you know what your cervical mucus is doing? You do not have to be trying to conceive to track your cervical mucus. It gives you (and your providers) good information on your cycles and your hormones, regardless of your conception status!
If you need help with conception or fertility, let's chat!