What Your Cervical Mucus Says About Your Cycle
Let’s talk cervical mucus. It’s not exactly the hot goss with your mates, but it’s important to know about it, especially if you’re trying for a baby. And if you don’t like the word mucus, sorry in advance. We’re going to say it about 30 times in this post! Brace yourself!
Maybe you’ve noticed some white or transparent discharge in your underwear? You probably didn’t get up close and personal with it. Maybe you even felt a little grossed out or ashamed? You shouldn’t be because this is more than just an uncomfortable wet spot. It’s actually a magical invention from Mother Nature!
Yes, this discharge can actually tell you some pretty important things about your body… if you’re paying attention.
What is Cervical Mucus?
That wet stuff in your underwear has countless names: cervical mucus, uterine mucus or simply just discharge. It’s all the same: mucus made by your cervix.
This mucus has two roles: it protects your uterus from invaders, but it also tells you a lot about your cycle and your health.
But hold up! Don’t you sometimes want invaders? (Read: sperm!) Yes! If you’re trying for a baby, sperm is, well, kind of essential!
So that’s when cervical mucus gives you a helping hand. You can think of cervical mucus like a train that sperm cells can ride on! All aboard! Next stop: your egg
But as you know, you can’t get pregnant all month long, so your mucus changes throughout your cycle. It can be thick or thin, transparent or creamy, watery or elastic.
A Month of Mucus
Here’s what your cervical mucus looks like throughout your cycle and what it tells you about your body.
Before and During Your Period
During this part of your cycle you won’t have much discharge because your levels of estrogen and progesterone are lower. And even if you did have discharge during this phase, you wouldn’t see it anyway because you will be bleeding as part of your monthly cycle.
After your Period
Your cervical mucus is now mostly thin and watery. You might not even notice it, though you might feel a little dry down there. Soon after your period, your cervical mucus becomes thicker and stickier. When it’s dry, you’ll probably notice a grainy layer on your underwear. Sometimes it’s also yellow (glamorous, we know). Don’t worry, this is all quite normal!
In the Lead up to Ovulation
When you are about to ovulate, you will notice an obvious difference in your cervical mucus. It will become wetter, creamier and a little white, kind of like watery milk or hand lotion.
And if you’re in the mood, you might notice that your underwear gets a little wetter than usual. That’s because your body is producing more estrogen and this causes more secretion.
This is when your estrogen level is at it’s highest. So during this time, your discharge will be slippery, clear and elastic.
After you wee, pay attention when you wipe. You might be able to see long threads of mucus between you and the toilet paper. It will look a bit like raw egg whites.
And if you really want to investigate, you can check the color and texture of the mucus on your fingers. If you pull your fingers apart, the mucus won’t break. This means you’re ovulating and if you’re trying for a baby, it’s time to put the proverbial sock on the door! Enjoy!
If this is a bit much for you, you can always just do an ovulation test!
More Fun Facts About Mucus:
Your cervical mucus ensures sperm cells can easily survive inside you on their way to an egg.
Cervical mucus acts as a natural lubricant – sex feels better!
Your discharge during ovulation can be 10-20 times more than normal!
Check Your Fertility with The Billings Method.
No, we’re not talking about sending your vagina an invoice.
The Billings Method is a way of checking your cervical mucus to find out if you are ovulating. It can be used to prevent or encourage pregnancy, but like any form of natural family planning, is not 100% effective.
Four Things to Remember When Using the Billings Method:
Sex drive in… well, overdrive? Then your discharge will probably be different so it makes no sense to check cervical mucus when you’re feeling fired up.
Just had sex? Not the time to check either.
If you have an STD, are stressed or potentially pregnant, your cervical mucus will be different so be aware.
The Billings Method does not guarantee results and is prone to human error. If a baby is not in the cards for you, don’t guess. Use your preferred form of contraception and party on!
So… where’s the mucus?
What if you don’t seem to have any cervical mucus? Well, it could be because you’re about to get your period. This is very normal!
But, if you find that you are regularly quite dry down there, there could be a few reasons why:
The Pill: Hormonal contraceptive messes up your hormones and adds artificial ones. This changes your cervical mucus.
Medicine: Some drugs will affect your discharge. Some common drugs that have an impact on cervical mucus include ibuprofen, aspirin, cold or sleep medicine, antidepressants or medicine to treat epilepsy.
Dehydration: Do you drink enough water each day? If not, this will definitely make you dry.
Sitting: If you sit for long periods of time every day, the blood flow to your uterus will be lower and will also cause changes to your uterine lining.
Using tampons: We like tampons, but in addition to absorbing blood, they also absorb moisture. So if you are already dry downstairs, try a pad or a cup during your period instead.
Low estrogen: If you’re estrogen levels are lower, you might not have as much mucus. This comes with age (Sorry, over 35-ladies!) or can be related to hormonal abnormalities like PCOS.
Your Mucus and Your Health
Your cycle is a great indicator of your overall health. And, your cervical mucus can also tell you even more about your general wellbeing.
But remember: things like smoking, extreme sports or intense diets can all impact your cervical mucus by throwing your body out of balance.
Do you have questions about your cycle? Ask us! Our team of experts are here for you.
We can recommend supplements to support your cycle, specially designed for women.
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