It will be around five days (approximately) before your period that you’ll notice the biggest of changes in your cervical mucus, and this is when you will produce the most. At this time, it is usually quite plentiful, but also odourless, colourless, and often quite elastic. If you have some on your fingers and you pull your fingers apart – it will stretch for a while. This is known as your “fertile mucus”, and this is because of the marked increase of estrogen. Once this cervical mucus materializes, it is usually not long before your period follows.
There is a reason why you produce more mucus at this time of your cycle than at any other time, and that’s to help your body get pregnant. You might not want to actually get pregnant, but your body is designed to do just that, and the thicker and more inviting (and slippery) that mucus is, the easier it will be for the sperm to swim through it, making its way to the final destination – your unfertilised egg.
As well as producing more mucus, the acidity of your mucus will go up. This helps to prepare the sperm – it won’t be ready or prepared to deal with the high temperatures of your cervix.
It is during this time, when you are producing more of this high-acidity mucus, that you are considered to be most fertile.
When you’re not looking at cervical mucus before period, but at other times throughout your cycle, you will note a number of changes.
Following on from your period, there’s a good chance you have little or no cervical mucus at all. These are often referred to as “dry days”. Your body is getting back to normal after the increase of mucus and hormones that happened before your period.
Although it is unlikely that you will get pregnant during these “dry days”, there is still a chance that you could get pregnant. If you don’t want this to happen, you should use a form of contraception. Remember to have safe sex!
Following on from your “dry days”, you will have a period where your cervical mucus will be quite sticky. This is usually a good sign that ovulation is on its way, although it hasn’t arrived yet.
You will then reach a stage where you will find your cervical mucus becoming quite cloudy in appearance, and you may also find traces of that fluid in your underwear. Your body will start to produce more of it, and it will also become very fertile. You are approaching the stage of your menstrual cycle where you be your most fertile, but you’re not quite there yet.
It is about 14 days after your last period that you will ovulate, and this is when your body is considered to be most fertile. Your cervical mucus will lose that cloudy look, becoming more clear in appearance, and the elasticity will increase once more. Most people refer to this mucus as looking a bit like egg white, and usually reports that it lasts for around three days.
As well as being able to closely monitor your body, taking note of your cervical mucus will make it easier to not only get pregnant, but also to avoid getting pregnant too. You will know when you are at your most fertile points of the month when you keep an eye on things, and you will also know what is coming too. You can prepare for any cramps you would usually experience, and those mood swings too!
Although most women report a menstrual cycle of around 28 days, it certainly varies a lot. Some women only have 21 days in their cycle, others have 45 or more. Some women don’t have regular enough periods to keep track of things like that. It’s good to understand how YOUR periods and YOUR body works. Only YOU can know what’s normal then.
What your cervical mucus will look like will very much depend on what stage of your menstrual cycle you are at. These are the most common consistencies and appearances:
Sticky Cervical Mucus – When your mucus is sticky, you’re not very fertile. This is because the thick and sticky texture of your mucus makes it almost impossible for the sperm to swim through. What’s the point? The egg is nowhere close to being released, therefore the female body has no need for sperm yet.
Creamy Cervical Mucus – If your mucus is both thick and creamy, you’re not all that fertile. Once again, the creamy and thick consistency makes it difficult for the sperm to swim through. Appearing both white and almost yellow in colour, this type of mucus feels much like lotion does on the skin.
Watery Cervical Mucus – You’re not fertile yet, but you’re not far off. The watery mucus is easier for the sperm to swim through than the thick stuff, but even still, the mucus isn’t prime just yet. Usually clear, and easily dripped, if you feel a flood of this watery mucus, it can feel a little like you have wet your underwear a little.
Egg White Cervical Mucus – When your cervical mucus looks like egg white, you are very fertile. If you want to get pregnant, go for it. If you don’t, you might want to step away now. The high acidity makes life easier for the sperm, and the consistency is just right to help them swim along.