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Cervical Mucus- How it Relates to Your Fertilty Cycle

Apr 30, 2012 - 0 comments
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pregnacy

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Trying To Conceive



   Cervical mucus changes are monitored for determining when ovulation occurs through the cervical mucus monitoring test. As your cycle progresses, your cervical mucus increases in volume and changes texture. The changes in the mucus that is secreted from the cervix reflect where you are in your cycle. The consistency of your cervical mucus changes during the cycle due to hormonal fluctuations. You are considered most fertile when the mucus becomes clear, slippery, and stretchy. Many women compare mucus at this stage to raw egg whites.

Before collecting a sample, be sure to wash your hands first in order to prevent the transmission of germs.

The most common ways of collecting a cervical mucus sample are:
» Inserting your finger into your vagina and collecting some mucus.
» Using toilet paper and wiping the entrance of your vagina and analyzing the mucus collected that way.
» The most accurate way to collect your cervical mucus is to insert your finger into your vagina and circle your finger around your cervix or as close as you can to the cervix. This will allow you to actually collect the cervical mucus instead of just it’s wetness.

Monitoring the changes in cervical mucus is the only method that will not require looking back to the past few cycles for analysis, and also provide reliable results that you can trust when trying to conceive. You can do this yourself by getting a sample of your cervical secretions and stretch it between 2 of your fingers (the thumb and index finger) to test for the consistency. Examining the changes in your cervical mucus can help you pinpoint your time of ovulation and increase your chances of pregnancy.

Before Ovulation (low chance of pregnancy):
The first few days following menstruation, there will be little or no discharge present. You will feel dryness around your vulva. During this time, chances of getting pregnant are low.

Approaching Ovulation (chance of pregnancy):
The first discharge that does appear should be moist or sticky and should be white or cream in color. In the finger test, the mucus should break easily. You will only be able to pull your fingers about 1 cm apart before it breaks. During this transition time, first the mucus will become cloudy and slightly stretchy during the finger test (this means that it will still break before the fingers are stretched all the way). As time progresses, the mucus will become greater in volume.



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Right around ovulation (high chance of pregnancy):
At this stage, mucus resembles egg whites. It is the thinnest, clearest and most abundant at this point in the cycle. Finger testing will allow the mucus to stretch quite a ways (several centimeters) before it breaks (if it breaks at all). ) The amount of this thin mucus will steadily increase until you experience your ‘mucus peak’. This is the last day of this period where the chance of conception is high. It is closely tied to ovulation. During this phase, the sperm’s survival rate is higher. It can survive in cervical mucus for up to 72 hours, a significantly longer time than during the rest of the cycle.

After Ovulation (low chance of pregnancy):
After ovulation, there is a marked change in mucus appearance. It returns to the sticky stage (does not stretch during finger test) and there is again a feeling of dryness around the vulva.

One caution for this test is that sperm can be confused with the mucus secretions and you could make wrong assumptions. Also, vaginal infections, medication, and birth control can alter conditions and should be taken into consideration when examining any vaginal secretions.

If you are interested in charting your cervical mucus to try and pinpoint your time of ovulation, you can download our free cervical mucus charts.

Cervical Mucus Chart
•Pdf Format
•Excel Spreadsheet Format

There are several cases where you may not be able to collect an adequate sample of cervical mucus. Medications, being over 35, & not ovulating can have a dramatic effect on your body’s ability to produce the fertile cervical mucus.

If you are not able to determine your time of ovulation, you may have to use another ovulation prediction method, such as basal body temperature ( BBT ) charting or using ovulation tests.



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