Cervical mucus changes during ovulation
Cervical mucus is the secretion that is discharged from your cervix throughout your menstrual cycle. The consistency and the colour of the cervical mucus are controlled by the fertility hormone levels in your body. Consequently, the appearance of the discharge changes throughout your menstrual cycle. Cervical mucus can tell you a great deal about your reproductive health, including whether you are nearing ovulation.
It is possible to keep track of the various phases of your menstrual cycle, including ovulation if you keep track of your cervical mucus throughout your cycle. The method to track the colour and consistency of the cervical mucus to predict your ovulation is called the cervical mucus method.
Although spotting the changes in your cervical mucus can be a bit difficult initially, as you practice, it will get much easier compared to other methods of predicting ovulation. This post will discuss cervical mucus in general and how to use the cervical mucus method to predict ovulation.
What does cervical mucus look like during ovulation?
The nature of the cervical mucus changes quite dramatically near ovulation. Ovulation is triggered by a sudden increase in the Luteinizing Hormone (LH), known as the LH surge. The increased level of LH also affects the colour and consistency of the cervical mucus. If you observe your cervical mucus near ovulation, you will observe the following-
- An increased volume of the discharge
- The mucus appears almost transparent
- The consistency of the mucus resembles that of an uncooked raw egg white
These changes in the cervical mucus are vital for protecting the sperm as it passes through the uterus to fertilize the egg that is released during ovulation.
Soon after the ovulation, the LH level falls, and there is a shift in the consistency of the cervical mucus. The discharge becomes less transparent and has almost a cloudy appearance.
How to check for the changes in your cervical discharge
It is quite easy to check the consistency and colour of your cervical mucus. The most popular methods to get this done include the following:
- Checking manually
It is the most straightforward method to check cervical mucus. All you need to do is stand in a position you normally do while inserting a tampon and inserting a finger into your vagina. When you withdraw your finger from the vagina, you will be able to check the texture and colour of the mucus stuck to your finger. Please make a note of how the mucus feels, its colour, and its consistency. It would be best if you did it throughout your cycle to opt for any changes that happen during the ovulation.
It might take a few tries to get it right, but you will get better as you keep practising. If you want to read about detailed instructions, please read our How to Check Your Cervix and Cervical Position blog to find out more on how to check your cervix at home and check your cervical mucus.
- Checking with a panty liner
This method requires you to wear a panty liner throughout your menstrual cycle after you stop menstruating. As the mucus is secreted throughout the day, some of it will be absorbed into the panty liner, and you can easily check the colour of the mucus. That said, this method can make it difficult to track the consistency of the mucus as it is absorbed into the material of the panty liner.
- Checking with a toilet paper
In this method, you take a small folded-up piece of toilet paper and wipe your vagina opening. Note down the colour and consistency of the mucus stuck on the toilet paper’s surface. You need to ensure that you are doing it daily, especially when you are just starting on the cervical method of ovulation prediction.
While using this method, one thing to keep in mind is never to check about the cervical mucus after you urinate. Always perform the check before you urinate.
The cervical mucus method of ovulation tracking
It takes time and patience to predict ovulation using this method. As you need to know how your mucus appears throughout your cycle so that you can notice the changes when they happen, you need to establish a baseline. You need to check the mucus every day and note how it appears and feels. Once you do this over a few menstrual cycles, it will become easy to spot the mucus consistency and colour changes as you approach ovulation.
According to some estimates, the success rate of the cervical mucus method is as high as 23% during the first year of women trying to track their ovulation using this method. According to the Mayo Clinic, women might require formal training to enhance their ability to spot changes and improve their chances of predicting ovulation accuracy.
It is also important to note that there can be several other factors that can change the nature of the discharge. Bacterial vaginosis and other infections of the vagina can alter the discharge considerably.
When is cervical mucus a cause of concern?
You must inform your doctor if you see any abnormal changes in the cervical mucus. Any changes that are out of the ordinary might indicate infection or other potential health problems. Here is when you should seek medical help-
- If the colour of the discharge is yellow, green, or frothy. It might indicate a bacterial or fungal infection of the vagina that needs immediate medical attention.
- If the mucus has a fishy or foul odour.
- If there are any visible signs of infection around the vagina, such as a rash or reddening
- If you have pain during sexual intercourse or a burning sensation in and around the vagina
- If you have a fever or abdominal cramps that won’t go after a couple of days
If you see a bloody discharge after your periods in the middle of the cycle, make an appointment with your OBGYN to get yourself checked. It is crucial to see your doctor with a day of experiencing any abnormal discharge.
Many women might find it difficult to stick to this method of predicting ovulation. The good news is that it is certainly not the only method to track and indicate when you ovulate.
One of the easiest methods is using ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) from Fertility2Family. These testing kits are an accurate, inexpensive, and convenient way of predicting ovulation and hence your fertility window with much higher accuracy than the mucus method. You can learn more about how to use these ovulation tests by following out Ovulation Test Strip Instructions
The Fertility2Family OPKs are laboratory tested for accuracy and consistency. They work by detecting LH in your urine. As you approach your ovulation, an LH surge occurs, and the excess is excreted into the urine that the OPKs can easily detect.