The Basics of Cervical Mucus

The Basics of Cervical MucusWhen you’re discussing trying to conceive, it’s only natural to discuss ovulation. And for those of us actively trying to get pregnant, knowing when we ovulate is important! Yesterday I talked about Basal Body Temperature (BBT) as one method of knowing when you’re ovulating. Today I’m going to talk about The Basics of Cervical Mucus.

This method is a little more “hands on” to knowing your cycle and when you’re ovulating. We know that ovulation occurs somewhere near the middle of your cycle, but to pinpoint the exact day is important when you’re trying for a baby!

Before we talk about how to read your Cervical Mucus (CM) let’s get the intimidating part out of the way!

How do you check your CM?

Step 1: Before you urinate, use a folded square of toilet paper (or you can use your finger, up to you!) and wipe from front to back. Notice the way it feels – is it dry or slippery?

Step 2: Observe the square. Urine will soak into the paper, but the cervical mucus will rest on the surface. If there is mucus, touch it with your fingertip, then rub your finger and thumb together. Note how it feels and looks. (Is it stretchy or slippery? Clear or cloudy?)

Step 3: Wipe your finger off with the toilet paper and wash your hands. (See? Not too hard!)

How do I understand what my Cervical Mucus is telling me?

Here’s a quick guide to reading your CM!

Little or no mucus? You’re no ovulating. As you get closer to ovulation, the mucus production will ramp up.

Sticky Mucus? Ovulation is nearing when your mucus is sticky. It will break easily when stretched, and will likely be cloudy or creamy in appearance. (You’re not ovulating yet, but your fertility is increasing.)

Stretchy Mucus? If there’s lots of mucus and it’s stretchy (an inch or more without breaking) and clear? You’ve hit the jackpot! (At least in terms of fertility!) This is a sign that you’ll be ovulating very soon, so get your “baby dance” on!! This is often referred to as “Egg White Cervical Mucus” or EWCM and resembles raw egg whites. The stretchy EWCM is thin and easy for sperm to penetrate the cervix.

If you’re still a little curious or confused as to the different textures and looks of Cervical Mucus? BabyCenter has a great article on what cervical mucus looks like during your cycle – including photos! (Sorry, I’m not brave enough with my blogging yet to go there!)

Have you had luck tracking your cycle by checking your CM? I’d love to hear your success or your questions so please leave a comment!

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