Let’s be honest, it’s really something we’d rather not discuss, let alone examine, but no one said the journey to conception was going to be an easy one and if you want to maximise your chances of a positive pregnancy test, it’s important to get to know your body, how it works, when you’re ovulating and so when it’s most likely that you’ll conceive. Ladies, let us introduce you to the wonderful world of….cervical mucus!
Just as your breasts (and mood!) can change throughout your menstrual cycle, so too do the secretions from your cervix. As the doorway to your womb and reproductive system, the cervix plays a pivotal role in conception, pregnancy and birth, yet every month it is subject to hormonal changes which affect the amount and consistency of the cervical mucus it, making it more or less hospitable to any sperm that may ‘pop in’!! By checking your cervical mucus you can see where you are in your menstrual cycle and pinpoint the days when you’ll be most fertile.
Cervical mucus through the menstrual cycle
When you go to the loo you can check the toilet roll after you wipe to see what’s happening, or with clean hands use a finger to gently check inside your vagina.
- Menstruation: menstrual blood – no CM
- Pre-ovulatory: dry with very little CM, or cloudy, sticky CM – making conception unlikely
- Fertile: White or cream coloured, becoming clearer, thicker and slightly stretchy – like raw egg white.
- Highly Fertile: CM increases in volume, clear mucus strings appear that you can stretch between your fingers. Consistency becomes wetter and more slippery (to the extent that your underwear may feel wet). Fertility is now at a peak for the month.
- Post ovulatory: CM becomes drier and stickier and more cloudy in colour and the volume decreases as the fertile window closes.
It stands to reason that if you’re not producing enough, or the right kind of cervical mucus when you’re ovulating, it’s going to make conception more difficult. Diet, stress, hormonal imbalances and certain medications can all have an impact on the quantity and quality, so it’s important to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water, eating healthily and that if you have concerns, make sure to discuss with your GP.