Glands in the cervix produce cervical mucus inside the cervical canal. The texture and appearance of the cervical mucus changes throughout a woman’s cycle. The mucus can either support fertilization or make fertilization hard depending on the consistency. Fertile cervical mucus does not only allow sperm to get through easily, but it also protects it and extends its lifespan.
Cervical Mucus: How To Check It
In order to see the difference between your cervical mucus before, after and during ovulation, you need to be able to get to it. This is an easy process, but some women may feel uncomfortable doing it at first.
The easiest way to check cervical mucus is to insert a clean middle finger into the vagina up to, or past, the knuckle, and touch the top wall; then, pull out your finger. There will be some mucus on the finger, and determining the consistency can be done by rolling it between your finger and thumb, as well as pressing the finger and thumb together and slowly moving it apart.
If you feel too uncomfortable inserting a finger in your vagina, then you can look at the toilet paper after you wipe to see if there is cervical mucus on there. However, inserting your finger is the best way to check cervical mucus. You are more likely to find cervical mucus this way after a bowel movement.
Additionally, if you are trying to determine when ovulation will occur, inserting a finger will also help you notice changes in your cervix and allow you to determine whether or not your cervix is changing for ovulation. The cervix naturally becomes softer as ovulation approaches.
Cervical Mucus Before Ovulation
During the first part of your cycle, you may not have any cervical mucus at all. But if you do, it will be dry and thick and feel like lotion when you rub it between the fingers. The color should be white and it should not be transparent. This mucus in non-fertile because it restricts the movement of sperm with its thick like consistency.
As you start to move towards the ovulation part of your cycle, you will notice that there will be more mucus and it can be wet and stretchy. This is due to estrogen increasing in the body. The mucus can be a creamy, white, or yellow color; however, you will be able to see through it as it will be transparent to some degree.
In the time period directly before ovulation (a few days), there will be a lot of cervical mucus. This is when you will experience what some people call egg white cervical mucus. This is the most fertile of all cervical mucus types because it allows the sperm to easily get into the cervix. You will find this mucus stretches easily between two fingers without breaking and it will be slippery, stretchy, and transparent.
Cervical Mucus During Ovulation
The cervical mucus during ovulation is the most fertile mucus during your cycle. There will be an increase of mucus during ovulation, and it will still have the stretchy and slippery consistency of cervical mucus before ovulation – what is commonly referred to as egg white cervical mucus. It will be transparent. During this time your cervical mucus will be a perfect environment to sustain sperm and allow them to move through the cervix freely.
Cervical Mucus After Ovulation
After ovulation, there is a decrease in estrogen and increase in progesterone, and the cervical mucus may disappear for the rest of your cycle.
Most women do not have any visible mucus directly after their menstrual period. If you do experience mucus it will be transparent, but a little cloudy, yellow, stretchy, most, and neither thick nor thin.
Reasons For Low Cervical Mucus Production
If you are experiencing a small amount of cervical mucus (or none at all), then you could have a fertility problem. But that is not always the case. If you are concerned, seeing a fertility specialist will help you determine if there is fertility problem or not. Otherwise, the following causes could be the reason behind it.
– Low intake of water
– Lack of exercise, which results in poor circulation
– Underweight; produce too little estrogen to ovulate
– Overweight; produce too much estrogen and disrupt hormonal feedback to the egg follicles
– Age; over time cervical mucus can decrease
– Coming off the pill, which can affect cervical mucus for up to two cycles
– Cervical fibroid (rare)
– Cervical scar tissue damage from loop electrosurgical excision procedure
How Increase The Quantity And Quality Of Cervical Mucus
There are products on the market that help to promote endometrial secretions, which build the uterine lining for implantation. You can also naturally increase your cervical mucus by drinking lots of water and avoiding medications such as antihistamines. Medication can dry up mucus membranes, while water can moisturize them.
Water may, in fact, be all you need to increase cervical mucus throughout your entire cycle. The mucus is 90% water, which means that lack of hydration can easily decrease the amount of mucus production in the body. Drink pure, filtered water every day. Thirst is a sign that you have waited too long to drink water, so ensure that you monitor the amount of water you need and consistently drink enough.
Moreover, achieving a healthy weight can help your body balance out its hormones and work at its optimal level. As a bonus, achieving a healthy weight may require more exercise and increase circulation in the body.
Maintaining a healthy diet will also help to produce more cervical mucus before, during and after ovulation. Things you should include in your diet are:
– Fatty acids: Important to regulate hormones and increase blood flow to the uterus (especially important to increase the fertile mucus before and during ovulation.)
– Herbs that support mucus membrane function: Marshmallow root, licorice root, dandelion, red clover, and shatavari.
Lastly, use lubricants to help supply lubrication with the cervical mucus is not producing enough. If you are trying to get pregnant, use sperm friendly lubricants, as some lubricants have been shown to hurt sperm instead of support them.