Fertile Cervical Mucus
Did you know your cervical mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle? And more than that - it's actually a predictor of fertility?
Your cervical mucus changes in relation to the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout your cycle. Your cervical mucus should become creamy leading up to ovulation (this is your semi-fertile window) and should then turn clear and stretchy (we call it "egg white") at ovulation and during your most fertile window. This egg white cervical mucus has a pH and texture that are actually protective for sperm (unlike your luteal phase cervical mucus) + it's a sign that you're in the ovulatory window. If you're actively trying to get pregnant - this is your time!
How to Track Your Cervical Mucus
Begin tracking cervical fluid the first day after your menstrual period ends + the best time to assess your cervical mucus is first thing in the morning (while sitting on the toilet).
Observe your underwear for any discharge; colour, amount, does it dissolve into the fabric?
Before urination wipe front to back and note how easily the tissue glided (ex. dry, smooth, lubricative)
Pick up the discharge and feel it between your thumb and middle finger
does it feel Dry? Sticky? Creamy? Slippery? Lubricative?
Separate your thumb and middle finger; does the fluid stretch? If so, how much before it breaks?
Note: your most fertile cervical mucus will be very stretchy
Note the colour (white, yellow) and quality (creamy, clear) of the discharge
The most fertile mucus will look clear or slightly milky (again think egg white), it will feel wet and slippery between your fingers and s t r e t c h! You'll also notice that it soaks through your underwear leaving wet patches. This mucus appears in the days leading up to ovulation (as your estrogen is rising) and at ovulation (when your estrogen is highest!).
It should be noted (both for those trying and not trying to conceive) that fertilization can occur outside of this most fertile time period AND that many factors can alter the quality of your vaginal secretions. This includes:
Arousal (sexual lubricant is different than cervical mucus
Semen (ex. unprotected sex the night before will confound your next morning discharge)
While detecting changes in cervical mucus isn't an exact science (and definitely shouldn't be your sole indicator for fertility or contraception) they do help us develop a deeper understanding of our cycle. And, maybe most importantly, remind us of the power of our body's natural fluctuations throughout the month.