Cervical mucus presents different characteristics depending on the woman’s menstrual cycle phase. This happens because the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle also affect the cervix, which produces different mucus during each menstrual phase.
For this reason, analyzing cervical mucus can help us determine when ovulation occurs.
Home cervical mucus analysis
A woman can check her cycle phase by using her index finger to take a cervical mucus sample. By touching the mucous with her index finger and thumb, its elasticity can be checked.
Before ovulation, when the woman is not at her fertile period yet, there is some dryness because the vulva isn’t able to lubricate itself and taking a mucous sample will not be that easy.
Once menstruation is over, cervical mucus is scarce and has a sticky texture. Its goal is to avoid infections and hinder the entrance of spermatozoids.
Egg white cervical mucus
During the days that precede ovulation and up until it starts, cervical mucus keeps on growing in number and becomes more and more elastic.
Just before ovulation, cervical mucus properties change due to the influence of estrogens. This facilitates the entrance of spermatozoids and egg fertilization. The mucus becomes much more elastic and slippery, with a consistency similar to that of an egg-white. This stage is called egg-white due to its characteristics. During this stage, the woman is at her most fertile time. Thus, if a woman wants to get pregnant, engaging in sexual intercourse is highly recommended during these days.
Cervical mucus can have a whitish, yellowish or murky colour. If blood or tissue particles appear mixed with the mucus, ovulation might have already occurred. Those tissues are part of the follicle, which now is open and has already released the egg.
Cervical mucus changes
Contraceptives affect cervical mucus by altering hormonal levels and the cervical functioning. For this reason, if you are taking contraceptives, you won’t be able to calculate your ovulation this way and will have to use other methods.
This method is also not effective if the woman suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or has hormonal alterations. In general, this method is only effective in women who have a regular menstrual cycle.
Cervical mucus and infertility
A cervical mucus analysis is a good female fertility indicator provided that you learn how to differentiate each texture and elasticity changes.
Once we learn how to differentiate the mucus characteristics, we can determine which days are more fertile and increase sexual frequency during those days with the aim of achieving a pregnancy.
There are other tests which may be even more reliable to determine both ovulation and fertile days. The ovulation test is one of those. It is a small instrument, which measures LH levels. This test can be bought in a pharmacy and is not excessively expensive.