Cervical Mucus: Why it Matters and How to Chart ItKatlyn Joy |17, August 2011
When trying to get pregnant, you become familiar with all sorts of bodily processes or personal anatomy that may have been mysteries previously. Most likely cervical mucus would be on that list.
Why Cervical Mucus Matters
The cervical mucus is controlled by the hormones that set your menstrual cycle and it can be observed near the cervix and in the vagina. Its purpose is to help sperm in the quest to find the egg and fertilize it. Thus during your most fertile days, your cervical mucus will be of the most swimmable quality, thin, watery and more abundant.
How to Check Your Cervical Mucus
While it may not seem like the most dainty of activities, charting your cervical mucus will be a key indicator of when ovulation occurs so it's important to know how to look for changes and how to monitor the mucus.
- Wipe near the vaginal opening and observe the mucus on the toilet tissue.
- Observe any mucus or discharge in your underwear.
- Use your finger and insert a clean finger into the opening of your vagina and observe what you find.
You should check throughout the day, probably several times a day. It'll probably be easiest to check, as you'll most likely remember to, when you go to the bathroom.
At day's end, chart on a calendar your findings. You'll want to use descriptive words to convey the amount, color and consistency or texture of the cervical mucus. You won't do this during your period, however.
Typical Mucus Patterns
Every woman has her own unique cycles, which is why careful charting is important. However, there are some general patterns to cervical mucus.
- After your period: Dry most often for a few days.
- The week prior to ovulation: Thick, creamy becoming more abundant.
- Just prior to ovulation: Cloudy, much wetter, and able to stretch between fingers.
- At/near ovulation: Egg white consistency, thin, clear.
- After ovulation: Becomes drier gradually and thicker until it dries up around time of your period.
Descriptive Words for Charting Your Cervical Mucus
Things that Affect Your Cervical Mucus
- Cervical procedures or surgeries
- Hormonal contraceptives even temporary or emergency types
- Vaginal infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases or infections
- Sexual intercourse
- Antihistamines which dry up all secretions including cervical mucus.
- Fertility drugs
- Cough medicines
To make a calendar to chart your cervical mucus, start with a blank calendar. Write in the day of your cycle, remembering the first day of your period is day one. In the block for that day, write in descriptive words for your mucus as well as any special factors that may affect your mucus such as illness, medication taken, if you have sexual intercourse or other such factors.
What if You Think You Don't Have Sufficient Cervical Mucus
Some doctors recommend simple measures to increase your cervical mucus. One such idea is to take cough medication. Avoid allergy medications if possible. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid douching or commercial lubricants. Taking vitamin C may help as well.
Other ideas are helpful whenever trying to conceive. Take good care of yourself. Get a good night's sleep every night. Eat a healthy balanced diet and stay active. If you are underweight work with a nutritionist to safely put on weight. If you are overweight, adopt a healthy lifestyle that helps you drop excess pounds.
Should you attempt to conceive for six months without achieving pregnancy, or should you find your cervical mucus patterns not looking at all normal, talk to a doctor. For instance, if you never observe slippery, egg white cervical mucus, you may be having hormonal issues that affect ovulation and fertility.
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