When ovulating, your cervical mucus can give you important clues about when you are most fertile. Cervical mucus (often abbreviated CM) is your body’s natural way to make your vagina and uterus sperm-friendly, guiding and protecting the sperm on their way to your fallopian tubes and waiting egg.
Cervical secretions change throughout your cycle. When you are not close to ovulation, mucus is usually absent. You may first notice wetness in your vagina a few days after your period ends as your body prepares for ovulation. The best way to monitor your cervical mucus is by checking daily and keeping track of the results in a preconception journal. You will start to notice patterns that will help you predict ovulation and choose the best times to have sex to conceive. If you are worried your body doesn’t produce enough CM, there may be ways to naturally increase your cervical mucus.
To check your cervical mucus, insert a clean finger into your vagina and sweep the area getting as close to your cervix as possible. Your cervix changes position throughout your cycle, so sometimes it will be lower and easy to reach and other times it may be too high. Don’t worry if you can’t reach it, just go as deep as comfortable, taking care not to scratch yourself. You may be better able to reach your cervix if you are sitting on a toilet, in a squatting position, or with one leg propped on the toilet seat or edge of the bathtub. When you remove your finger, rub the secretions between your thumb and forefinger and notice the color, consistency, and stretch.
Cervical Mucus After Your Period
Immediately following your period, you may not notice any mucus at all, or it may be scant and sticky. It is usually colorless and difficult to find at this time. Your vagina will generally feel dry both internally and to the touch. You are not fertile during this period.
Cervical Mucus Approaching Ovulation
As you get closer to ovulation, your cervical mucus will become thicker, white or yellowish, and creamy. When you rub it between your finger and thumb, it has a similar texture and appearance to hand lotion. It will separate easily when you move your fingers apart. You are probably not very fertile during this period, however sperm can live inside of you for 3 to 5 days, so there is a small chance you could get pregnant from sex you have during this time period, even if ovulation is still days away.
Secretions should not have a foul odor or be accompanied by itching or pain. This discharge, similar in color and texture and often mistaken for cervical mucus, may indicate a vaginal infection which is very common and easily treatable by your doctor.
Cervical Mucus During Ovulation
As you approach your most fertile period, your cervical mucus will become abundant. Your vagina feels very moist and secretions may be present on your underwear or on the toilet paper when you wipe. Your cervical mucus will be much thinner, more watery, slippery, clear to slightly cloudy, and very stretchy. It will resemble raw (uncooked) egg whites and is often called â€œEgg White Cervical Mucusâ€ or abbreviated EWCM. It will stretch between your thumb and forefinger for several inches before breaking.
Now is you best chance for pregnancy! Have sex every day when you notice egg white cervical mucus to increase your chances of conceiving.
It is easy to confuse the â€œday afterâ€ secretion of semen from your vagina with egg white cervical mucus. The texture and consistency are very similar. It may take a little practice to tell the two apart, but if you notice what looks like EWCM at a time in your cycle when you don’t expect it, this may be the explanation.
Cervical Mucus After Ovulation
After you ovulate, your cervical secretions will once again become thicker, cloudy, and sticky. They may dry up completely before your period starts. Your vagina will return to feeling dry and you probably won’t notice much discharge when you wipe. You are not very likely to get pregnant after ovulation has occurred.