Last updated: 2019-09-16 | 4992 Views |
Tracking your cervical mucus
Not sure what cervical mucus (CM) typically looks like at various points in the menstrual cycle? These photos will give you an idea of what to look for as you track your cycle and identify your most fertile days.
You can check your cervical mucus by looking at the toilet paper after you wipe or inserting a clean finger into your vagina and reaching toward your cervix. You're likely to find more cervical mucus if you check after a bowel movement.
Note: Not everyone will experience these same variations. If you don't, don't worry. The main thing to look for is some kind of change in cervical mucus mid-cycle. And if your cervical mucus pattern doesn't end up helping you predict when you ovulate, consider other methods for predicting ovulation.
Sticky cervical mucus
You may have a few days of cloudy, sticky discharge a few days after your period stops. Sticky or tacky CM is the least fertile type. It's thick and chunky and feels kind of like paste or like glue from a glue stick, making it hard for sperm to swim through.
Creamy cervical mucus
Next you may notice creamy CM, which is considered non-fertile because it greatly restricts the movement of sperm. Creamy CM can be a pearly white or creamy yellow. It's thick and feels like lotion when rubbed between the fingers.
Watery cervical mucus
As your fertile window approaches, you may notice your CM becomes watery. This type of CM allows sperm to move unhindered into the cervix, but doesn't make the sperm's job quite as easy as egg white fertile-quality mucus, which is next. When you have watery CM, you may feel as though you've leaked urine in your underwear. Watery CM is clear in color and drips or runs off your fingers.
Egg white cervical mucus
Once you notice that your CM has the consistency of raw egg whites, you know you're in your fertile period. If you hold it between two fingers, it can stretch an inch or two without breaking in the middle. This type of CM allows the sperm to swim easily into the cervix.
Find out how to predict ovulation by charting your cervical mucus and basal body temperature. Also, learn the pros and cons of charting versus using an ovulation predictor kit.
Where to go next:
How to get pregnant fast
How long it takes to get pregnant
Top signs of pregnancy