Women often buy ovulation predictor kits with the intent of trying to find the right time to have intercourse and get pregnant. Cervical mucus is a free way to check if you’re ovulating if it happens a few days before ovulation. Understanding cervical mucus allows a woman some time to prepare for intercourse with the intent of getting pregnant.
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Understanding Cervical Mucus
The uterus isn’t flat and smooth the way many women think. Instead, the uterus has tiny crevices that will fill up with mucus. During a woman’s natural hormonal changes throughout the month, mucus consistency will change and become more prevalent and noticeable.
The main goal of the mucus is to help the sperm through the cervix.
Mucus also increases the lifespan of the sperm, and actually traps “bad” sperm that is irregular so that it doesn’t get to the woman’s egg.
Cervical Mucus before Your Period
The body’s hormones ramp up before a woman’s period. During this time, the mucus will change in preparation for sperm. This happens in various stages, which can be used to help pinpoint the right time to try and conceive.
Mucus will leave the vagina and be seen in a woman’s underwear.
Women can also wash their hands thoroughly and insert their finger into the vagina. Slowly removing the finger will allow for mucus that can be observed to coat the finger. Testing before intercourse is recommended because mucus is white, clear or cloudy and very similar in appearance to semen.
The following are cervical mucus stages:
- Pre-ovulatory: No visible mucus will be found in this stage.
- Fertile: Moist or sticky. During the fertile stage, mucus will be white or cream-colored. Thick, the mucus will break apart when stretched.
- High Fertility: Very slippery and wet. High fertility has an increased amount of mucus that is thin, transparent or egg white in color.
- Post-ovulatory: Dry or sticky. This is when the mucus is at its thickest and is white or cream-colored. A large drop in the amount of mucus is an indicator of the post-ovulatory stage.
The fertile and high fertility stages are the optimal time to conceive, and are the easiest stages to determine. If done properly, these stages can be used with as much accuracy as basal temperature or an ovulation test. It’s recommended that you examine your cycles throughout the month to correctly classify each stage of the mucus cycle.
Early pregnancy can also be judged by a woman’s cervical mucus. Since hormonal changes are occurring rapidly and the cervix is actually moving, it’s a good time to check the mucus levels to see if pregnancy has occurred.
Pregnancy will cause the following:
- The mucus to become very slippery.
- The egg white mucus will increase in consistency.
These are the two signs that women will notice first in an early pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the mucus will actually turn into a plug for protection reasons. Eventually, most of the mucus will dissipate, leading to complete dryness.
A few signs of early pregnancy in regards to mucus are:
- Increased mucus levels that will often cause underwear wetness.
- Pink or brown discharge accompanied by the mucus.
- Mucus turning fully white after being pregnant for 6 weeks.
At first, mucus levels will rise before they lessen until a woman is almost completely dry. In the initial stages of pregnancy, a woman’s hormonal levels are abnormally high and there will be increased blood flow to the vagina. It is this blood flow that causes the mucus levels to increase. After a few weeks to months, the hormones in the body and the increased blood flow will not cause an increase in mucus, instead, it will cause a decrease in mucus production.
This is why a woman will notice heavier mucus production to the point of having wet underwear in some circumstances.
There is no reason for concern over the amount of mucus being produced, and brown or light pink mucus is perfectly normal. This is slight bleeding in the body that causes this, but it is not a concern. It is merely the result of the pregnancy and the body undergoing massive internal changes.
Mucus levels will change from one woman to the next, so it is very important to know and understand your body’s own mucus normality. Throughout the month, examining and
noting the cervical mucus by consistency and color will allow you to better determine how normal your mucus levels are. This will ultimately allow you to predict the right phase of mucus production where sexual intercourse is most likely to result in conception.
Mucus is a great method to predict early pregnancy as well as fertility. If mucus levels become abnormally heavy, it may mean that pregnancy has occurred. It may be too early for a pregnancy test to verify pregnancy, but after the missed period date is the best time for taking a pregnancy test.