Learning how to detect changes in cervical mucus throughout your menstrual cycle can help you to find out when you are most fertile. Our fertility experts explain the method in a few easy steps.
The cells of the cervix secrete cervical mucus, which changes in appearance and consistency over the course of your menstrual cycle under the control of your hormones. Some days, cervical mucus might be transparent and stretchy whereas other days it might be white and sticky and some days you might not notice anything at all.
When you are approaching your day of ovulation, your cervical mucus adjusts the environment of your vagina to make it more welcoming to sperm. This is when you are most likely to notice an increased volume in mucus and a change in consistency. These secretions aid the migration of sperm and help to nourish them on their journey to the egg, which is very important for when you are trying to get pregnant.
After ovulation, the primary role of your cervical mucus is to protect the uterus and egg from infections and to form a plug at the opening of the cervix. This type of cervical mucus is less welcoming for sperm and helps to form a barrier for when you are not fertile.
You may notice cervical mucus on the toilet paper when you wipe, or directly on your underwear, particularly during the fertile days of your cycle when you secrete a greater volume of cervical mucus.
If you cannot tell from checking externally, you may wish to observe your mucus internally by carefully inserting a clean middle finger into your vagina and pressing gently on your cervix. You should find enough mucus on your finger to make an observation.
There are 3 main types of cervical mucus, however some women may notice more. When you check your cervical mucus you should observe the:
Type 1: Just after your period has finished, you will probably detect only a very small amount of cervical mucus or none at all. Your vagina may feel quite dry and any mucus present will not be very stretchy.
Type 2: Slightly further into your menstrual cycle, you should notice a slight increase in the quantity of cervical mucus. It will probably feel a bit sticky in texture and will probably be white or cream in colour. If you stretch it between your index finger and thumb you will find that it breaks very easily.
Type 3: As you approach ovulation, your cervical mucus will become slippery, thin, and stretchy like raw egg white. You should be able to stretch it between your fingers for several inches before breaking.
After ovulation you will find that your cervical mucus will revert to type 2
The DuoFertility monitor allows you to record cervical mucus observations so that our fertility specialists can work out if this is a good fertility clue for you. Studies have shown that the use of this information can increase the accuracy of detecting ovulation too.
Combining BBT and cervical mucus measurements is an extremely accurate method of detecting your fertile days, however, even if you don’t record your cervical mucus, the DuoFertility experts will still be able to accurately identify your fertile days. If you don’t want to monitor your cervical mucus during the DuoFertility programme, you can still record other ovulation signs such as cervix position and libido or mood.