How Can Cervical Mucus Help You Detect Early Pregnancy?

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predictovulation

Cervical mucus and early pregnancy go hand in hand. During this time, the body is undergoing massive changes, and so is the level of cervical mucus that is being produced. Initially, there will be an increase in mucus production due to the increase in blood flow to the vagina, and hormonal changes in the body.

Unless a woman knows how to properly check cervical mucus after conception, they will not know how to properly characterize the mucus that is found. However, there are so many ways to predict ovulation, from complicated charts to basal body temperature and special predictor kits. But we often overlook one of the easiest ways to predict ovulation: cervical mucus.

Why Cervical Mucus is Effective at Predicting Your Most Fertile Days

Unlike basal body temperature readings, cervical mucus can predict ovulation up to a few days in advance. Basal body temperature changes only occur after ovulation, which won’t be of much help if you’re trying to get pregnant this month.

Changes in cervical mucus can be seen several days prior to ovulating, which allows you to time intercourse properly.

Other predictor methods sometimes give you a very small window of opportunity for sex, while others won’t even let you know you when you’re fertile until that window has already closed.

What Causes Mucus Changes?

The cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina, isn’t a smooth pipe. Mucus is produced and released in the crevices of the cervix. Throughout the course of month, hormonal changes will affect the amounts and the consistency of the cervical mucus produced. When you’re closer to ovulation, you’ll naturally produce more mucus to assist the sperm in its journey to the uterus.

For the majority of your cycle, cervical mucus acts as a barrier to any incoming sperm, preventing it from making its way into the uterus. But when you’re fertile, the mucus color and its consistency are the biggest changes you’ll experience. Rather than acting as a barrier, it acts as a way to help the sperm move through the cervix quickly. The mucus also extends the life of the sperm, which allows it to live for up to five days in your body.

Observing the changes in your cervical mucus can help you determine when you’re ovulating, so you can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

How to Check Your Cervical Mucus

A sketch of a woman checking cervix.
Source

The cervix produces mucus that accumulates and coats the crevices of the cervix. When a woman is fertile, the amount of mucus, its color and even its general sensation is increased with the intent of making it easier for sperm to reach a woman’s egg for fertilization. The mucus is so important in the reproductive cycle that it will purposely trap sperm that is irregular to reduce the risk of birth defects.

Mucus is naturally released throughout the month (and women are well aware of when this release happens), so you can check the consistency and color as it is released. Kegel exercises can also help you release more mucus for easy checking. But you can also take a more hands-on approach by conducting a finger test.

The Finger Test

It’s possible to test your mucus using your finger.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Gently insert a finger into your vagina.
  3. When removing your finger, observe the consistency and color of the mucus. To do this, stretch the mucus in between your fingers.

Ideally, you want to perform this test before intercourse. It can be difficult to tell the difference between mucus and sperm. It’s also important to keep in mind that infections, birth control and certain medications can alter your mucus. The effects of these will vary from woman to woman, with some women experiencing excessive mucus and others experiencing drastically reduced mucus.

Now, mucus will be on your finger and can be examined.

What to Look For

You’ve checked your mucus and observed its consistency and color. Now what? How can you tell if you’re ovulating or close to ovulation? Here are four cervical mucus stages:

  • Dry with little/no mucus: Pre-ovulatory. You’re not fertile yet.
  • Moist/sticky and creamy/white: During ovulation, your mucus will be moist and white or creamy. It should be stretchy and slightly thick.
  • Slippery and transparent: Highly fertile. At your most fertile stage, mucus will be wet and slippery, and released in increasing amounts. The mucus should look like egg whites.
  • Dry and sticky: Post-ovulatory. After ovulation, you should see a sharp decrease in mucus, and it should be cream colored and thick.

For best results, check your mucus daily until you see signs of fertility.

Although it may be uncomfortable or odd to check your mucus, it is a highly effective way to determine fertility. You’re using your own body’s signs and signals to determine the best days for conception. Being attuned to your body can help you better predict ovulation, and this method is far less complicated than charting and using predictor kits.

Many women that are uncomfortable using their fingers will wipe their vagina with a tissue to attract the mucus. This isn’t the best option because it only allows you to examine the color. It doesn’t allow you to truly determine the consistency of the mucus, which is needed to determine early pregnancy.

Kegel exercises are known to force mucus out of the cervix and can be tried if you have difficulty examining the mucus.

What Cervical Mucus During Pregnancy Looks Like

Pregnant woman on white background.
Source

Consistency and color are what differentiates cervical mucus in pregnant and non-pregnant women. Cervical mucus after conception is:

Women have a difficult time telling the difference between the different mucus phases if they’ve never felt their mucus when they’re fertile and highly fertile. It is recommended that you examine your own mucus to understand your body’s mucus consistency and color.

Colors of the mucus can change and be brown or light pink in some circumstances. This can be from implantation bleeding as the blood must move out of the vagina as discharge and mixes with the mucus. These are two very good signs that a pregnancy has occurred.

The amount of mucus during early pregnancy is very noticeable. Women will often have their underwear be wet with mucus due to the levels increasing greatly.

Mucus is needed during early pregnancy and will ultimately form a protective plug in the cervix. After the first few weeks to months, the amount of mucus will greatly decline until the point where most women will be dry. Dryness does not mean that pregnancy has occurred because it is also the first phase of the mucus cycle.

If you’ve recently had your period and are noticing dry mucus levels, you’re not pregnant.

Sometimes, women won’t see a noticeable difference in their cervical mucus. When this occurs, it can be impossible to use the mucus as a way to determine pregnancy. Unfortunately, only a pregnancy test or the help of a doctor can provide you with 99% or higher certainty that pregnancy has occurred.

Mucus will not be accompanied by pain or any other symptoms of pregnancy this early on. Instead, it will only change in consistency.

Some women do not produce a lot of mucus, which means that they’re dry during most of their mucus phases. This doesn’t indicate an internal issue and can actually help with pregnancy prediction. Women that have dry mucus most of the month will find that they have a much more prevalent mucus production when they become pregnant.

Early Pregnancy Indicators

Cervical mucus and early pregnancy are often accompanied by other pregnancy indicators, such as:

Source
  • Missed periods
  • Fatigue
  • Change in mood
  • Change in appetite
  • Breast tenderness
  • Increased urination
  • Morning sickness

These are common symptoms of pregnancy, but each symptom can be caused by something else. It’s always best to consult with a medical professional or take a home pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant. If you choose to take a home pregnancy test, it’s best to wait until the day after your missed period to take the test. This is the time when the test will be most accurate.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I have irregular menstrual cycles and had some health issues that caused me to lose a lot of weight. Bc of the weight loss, I also wasn’t getting my period. I finally got it back a couple months ago but of course it’s irregular as always. I knew I was getting closer to ovulation for the normal symptoms I was having…but this month I became very sensitive and extremely aroused! My fiance and I have sex at least every other day. I noticed I just can’t get enough now. I thought I was getting my period bc I had cramps and bloating but ended up with very light spotting for 2.5 days. So light that it wasn’t even on my underwear. It was more cervical mucus than spotting. I was nauseous on and off during the spotting and still am. It’s been 2 days since I had any spotting but still a lot of cervical mucus, tired, nauseous on and off, and VERY aroused. Oh, and it seems like I can smell my pee when I go. Pregnancy test said negative yesterday. Is it still too soon or am I just crazy and hoping I am?

    • Hi Shannon,

      When I was pregnant on my first, I had a spotting for 2 days. It was very light too but because me and my partner are doing the pull out method, I didn’t even thought of pregnancy until after another month which I was expecting a normal period but days are passing by with no period. A week before my (supposedly) expected period ( which I was already pregnant ) my boobies started to feel heavy and tender and it just feels nice not to wear bra at all, started to feel back bain, terrible headache, cramps, fatigue, roller coaster emotion and nausea. It came almost all at the same time and decided to take a test after few days which came out positive and did another test the next day which is also positive so tah-dah PREGNANT it is!
      Anyway, I experienced releasing lots of CM too. If you really want to know if you’re pregnant or not, the best way is to consult a doctor for a blood test or if not, try to do a home pregnancy test again after few days because every woman are different.
      Good luck! Please update 🙂

  2. plz I need your help, I saw my menstruation on 19 of Nov n I had sex with my hubby on 6th Dec, the following morning I started having pains on my nipples even till now, each time I touch my nipple it pains a lot
    plz help me ….wat could that be

  3. I have sex with my fiance on 4th February. My last period was on 18th January. We do pull and out method so that I think I can’t get pregnant. But until today, it supposed to be my period week. But I think I’m going to miss it. And I’m starting feels like cramps on my legs, dizzy, and my lower stomach feel like hard than before. When I used my finger and put in my cervical, I feels like full with wall like thick wall around it.. Is this normal before getting period or I will get pregnant soon?

  4. i had sex wit ma boifrend on tuesday nd i dot kwn wat is wron cux am exprience blood is it mt period or sumtimes else

  5. Me and my husband are waiting for baby from 2 years. May 26 th I had my period, and I ovulated June 11 th so my expected period day is 30th day but now am on 35 th day. but no symptoms for pregnancy and I decided to take test on my day 33 but it came negative .How can I know am pregnant or not?. Sorry I don’t know fluent English so if any mistakes in my question pls forgive me ?

  6. Hey please help.. I had sex with boyfriend on 23rd June and was supposed to have my periods on the 7th but I missed, could I be pregnant?

  7. Hi frnds
    Had last period on 16june anf till now no period..got two negetive tests on sunday and i am very very tensed about it now i want to get pregnent very badly but after trying from last 4 months i am not getting pregnent i do have pcos and have irregular cycle bt from last 3 months my cycle was pretty regular and i am just hoping to get positive result at the end…plz pray for me

  8. My wife and I are TTC baby number one. She is now 3 days late (She has never been late before) and experienced 3 tiny pink spots on tissue the day before AF Due date. The following 3 days she has had brown discharge when she wipe on tissue? Sorry for the TMI. Any ideas?

  9. Hi I’m currently 4 days away from expected period and Ttc , I have a 25 day cycle and ovulation took place on the 12th day since then I have had lower stomach cramping and a aching feeling, in the past few days my lower back has been aching too. Yesterday my right boob was hurting from the armpit down the side and today they both hurt. I checked my cervix position and im still new to this but it feels medium to high up and after pulling my finger out it was covered in white blotchy thick CM sorry but it also felt quite wet and moist up there 🤦🏼‍♀️ , couldn’t tell if cervix was open or closed.. so hoping this is our month to get a BFP what do you think

  10. I need your help. I have pcos so my periods come and go or don’t come at all. I tend to ovaulate most every month even if my period is spotty. This month I have been feeling moody, my breasts are sensitive, when me and my fiancé have sex my vagina feels different. Things feel really wet not like before and I feel loose. When I checked my cm today it was clear and stretchy. I don’t know if I’m pregnant or not because I’ve yet to have a period this month but that’s not uncommon for me.

  11. Feb 6-10 was my last normal cycle. Mar 4-5 was a two days of spotting, then nothing. Bfn 🤔. Apr 2-3 heavy bleeding on the 2nd spotting on the 3rd. Also another bfn. Symptoms have been cramping, fever, sore headaches boobs off and on and vomitting 3x in these past few months. I’ve never had a irregular cycle until now. Trying to concieve for years.

  12. My last menses was 17th May… Made love with my husband from 22nd to 4th June (skip every one day). …i m nt sure I m Preggy or nt since I m 5 days late wit slippery Ewcm…cervix position nt fixed..keep changing… Hope for a BFP since I m waiting past 2 years.. Good luck for future mommies….😘😘😘

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