Is there anything you want to read about less than cervical mucus? Probably not, but it’s more important than you might think.
Most women are aware of cervical mucus throughout their lives, at least at a basic level. It’s there, it ruins our favourite underwear and is apparently the reality of being a ‘woman’. Then, our fertile years come along and suddenly, it’s so much more than slimy gunk that leaks from the lady cave.
Suddenly, it’s a useful indicator of fertility and infertility in the monthly cycle.
Didn’t know that? Well now you do, and we’re about to tell you just what you need to look for in your own cervical mucus to figure out when you’re ovulating, and when you’re not.
Just so you know, cervical mucus isn’t a foolproof indicator. Just like a woman’s period, there are some external factors that impact your cervical mucus. These include stress, breastfeeding (which can result in dryness), medication or drugs, pre-menopause, illness, dieting, weight change, fasting and travel.
Now that we know that, let’s get on to the observational section of the lesson.
Observing Cervical Mucus
Before we talk about what to look for in the world of cervical mucus, you’re probably wondering just how you look for it. After all, mucus is on the inside, so how can we take a look at it? There are three ways that you can look at the gooey goodness of cervical mucus, so choose the one that suits you best!
1. Toilet Paper: Check out the mucus after you wipe.
2. Externally: Using your fingers, feel around for mucus at the opening of your vagina.
3. Internally: Check out the mucus straight from the source by inserting two fingers into your vagina (index and third finger works best) and gently sweep the cervix.
After you have the mucus in front of you, take some between your thumb and index finger, press the fingers together and then stretch the mucus. Have a look at what the mucus does, because this will tell you quite a bit about your fertility.
Types Of Cervical Mucus
Every woman is, as we all know, different. This means that for every woman, the mucus pattern is going to be different, with varying cycle lengths and stages among many other things. So here’s something of a ‘common’ or textbook look at mucus production, from the end of your period onwards.
1. Infertile Cervical Mucus
Infertile mucus is, as its name suggests, the kind that fills no cradles. This cervical mucus happens in the first few days after your period and is described as being dry (as in not present) or very sticky. Infertile cervical mucus feels dry to the touch, is often yellow, white or generally opaque and is thick. To give you an idea, women tend to describe this kind of mucus as dense, sticky, tacky or flaky.
2. Possibly Infertile/Slightly Fertile Cervical Mucus
Ok, the name of this kind of mucus is a little misleading. Which is it, infertile or fertile? Well, it’s a little bit of both. Cervical mucus at this stage is responding to increasing levels of oestrogen in the body and is usually sticky and damp. There’s only a small chance of conception because sperms find this mucus difficult to get through. It still feels a bit dry to the touch and will not stretch, though it is damper and there is often more of it than infertile mucus. Now, women tend to describe this kind of cervical mucus as creamy, thick, cloudy, sticky, pasty and tacky.
3. Fertile Cervical Mucus
Fertile cervical mucus rocks up to tell you that ovulation is on the way, but it also plays well with sperm, easing their journey to the egg. Fertile cervical mucus is watery and a little more slippery, and it tends to be more abundant than the mucus you experience earlier in the cycle. This kind of mucus is also clear or cloudy white, and may smell (and apparently taste) sweeter than infertile mucus. Women describe fertile cervical mucus as wet, clear, thin and fluid, so if you see it and you don’t want to get pregnant, avoid having unprotected sex when it’s around.
4. Very Fertile Cervical Mucus
Let’s be clear here ladies: if you’re looking to conceive, this is what you should be looking for! Highly fertile cervical mucus is also known as EWCM, which stands for Egg White Cervical Mucus. Why? Well, apart from wanting to turn you off (or on) to your morning scramble, EWCM actually does look like egg whites. It’s clear, stretchable and stringy, keeping its shape even when stretched. While not all women experience EWCM, most do and it really is the mucus that sperm love to swim in.
When you stop to think about it, there really are so many benefits to be had from the relatively simple act of keeping track of your cervical mucus.