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Can I Have Fertile Cervical Mucus and Not Ovulate?

If you’re trying to conceive, you know that a sustained temperature rise and fertile cervical mucus are vital and timely signs of ovulation.

However, what does it mean if your temperature is not showing consistent patterns but you have fertile cervical mucus? Are you ovulating? Is now a good time to try and conceive?

There are so many opinions out there it can be not easy to know who to trust. With countless years of experience helping couples from around Australia improve their chances of conception, Fertility2Family is here to help.

How long after egg white cervical mucus do you ovulate?
How long after egg white cervical mucus do you ovulate?

What Is Cervical Mucus?

Cervical mucus is a fluid made and released from a cervix or uterus opening. Hormones are responsible for changes in cervical mucus in texture, colour, and volume. Cervical mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle. You can rely on this information and other signals to identify your most fertile days and increase your chances of conception.

Before you ovulate, your cervical mucus will turn slippery and clear, a consistency that makes it easy for available sperm to swim up and meet an egg during ovulation. If you intend to get pregnant, this discharge can signal that it’s time to have sex.

Some women chart their cervical mucus to identify where they are in their menstrual cycle. Other than telling you when you are most fertile, cervical mucus can reveal the days you are not fertile, with lower chances of conception. This procedure is known as the cervical mucus method, a form of natural family planning.

What’s the Function of Cervical Mucus?

Cervical fluid or mucus has two primary jobs depending on your menstrual cycle timing. The first task is to assist sperm in moving through the cervix and fertilise a mature egg once it is released in ovulation. The other task is preventing sperm or other substances from entering the cervix.

What are the Common Forms of Cervical Mucus?

Although cervical mucus will vary from one person to another, it will resemble all or more of the following throughout your menstrual cycle:

  • A sticky paste, yellow or white
  • Dry or no cervical fluid
  • Creamy like yoghurt
  • Watery, wet, and clear
  • Slippery, stretchy, just like raw egg whites

The texture or the type of cervical mucus depends on the menstrual cycle stage you are in. Generally, cervical mucus begins as dry or pasty before it attains a creamier texture. As the ovulation date draws nearer, the discharge becomes wet, stretchy, and slippery. Super fertile cervical mucus resembles a raw egg white in texture, so you’ll know you’re at your most fertile time. Once you ovulate, your cervical mucus will return to being dry and thick.

What does Cervical mucus discharge look like during fertile days?
What does Cervical mucus discharge look like during fertile days?

Temperature, Mucus, and Ovulation

Normally a fertile cervical mucus that’s raw egg-white-like will be discharged right before ovulation. If you record your basal body temperature on a chart and ovulation occurs, you should see a temperature rise within days of noticing the fertile cervical mucus. If you did not get any temperature rise, there might be reasons behind it. Let’s examine some possible explanations.

You might not be ovulating

If you notice fertile cervical mucus but have not experienced a temperature rise, it could mean you are not ovulating. The quality of fertile cervical mucus signifies that ovulation is near, so you can plan your sexual intercourse activities accordingly. But, it’s not a guarantee that ovulation will take place. It is possible to have fertile mucus but not ovulate, especially if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.

Your temperature chart may be off

As you chart your basal body temperature, it’s essential to be meticulous. For instance, the temperature should always be taken before getting up or moving around each morning. If you fail to get accurate readings, you likely miss the temperature rise corresponding with the fertile cervical mucus.

Make sure you take your temperature at the same time throughout the week. Do not sleep or wake up late, which may affect the results. Factors like working a night shift, sleeping problems, or moving around before taking the test will likely throw off basal body temperatures.

There is no temperature rise

Although many women will experience a slight rise in body temperature after ovulating, a significant percentage do not. This does not reflect your fertility but can make tracking ovulation and implantation difficult.

Luteal Phase
Image courtesy of The Bright Girl Guide by Demi Spaccavento.

How Do I Know I Am Ovulating?

If you’re unsure whether you are ovulating, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. The doctor will perform fertility tests to confirm or check the signs of regular ovulation. They may order blood work or an ultrasound to confirm everything is working as expected.

During the ultrasound, your healthcare provider will look for ovulation evidence on the ovaries. You may also need to take an ultrasound before ovulation to examine the developing follicles and another after ovulation in search of evidence of a corpus luteum cyst, which is what a follicle changes into after releasing the egg.

Blood work may also be needed to check the levels of progesterone. This hormone increases rapidly after you ovulate, then declines right before your periods start if you do not get pregnant.

What Will Happen if You Are Not Ovulating?

Your doctor should be able to conduct more fertility tests or recommend that you see a reproductive endocrinologist for further check-ups.

The Bottom Line on Fertile Cervical Mucus

In most cases, women experience changes in their basal body temperature rise and cervical mucus when ovulation day draws nearer. Taking time to evaluate these factors carefully can assist you in identifying your most fertile window, increasing your chances of conception. However, it’s important to remember that a temperature rise does not occur even when they ovulate for some women and that carelessly charting your basal body temperature can make it difficult to notice a temperature rise when you are ovulating.

If you do not notice body temperature rise, have fertile mucus and are still struggling to fall pregnant, you may need to consult your doctor. They will perform blood tests to check progesterone levels and an ultrasound to determine your fertility status.

Understanding your menstrual cycle is the first step to improving your chances of falling pregnant. Fertility2Family sells affordable fertility products, including pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, basal body thermometers, fertility kits and more, to help you increase your understanding of your body and identify small changes that could indicate it’s time to conceive.

Browse the range of products available on our website today, and feel free to contact our team if you have any questions.

Sources:

Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

Begum, J(2021) Family planning: What to know about the cervical mucus method, WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/what-is-cervical-mucus-method (Accessed: 20 October 2023).

Bright Girl Health (2019) The Bright Girl Guide (ebook) by Demi Spaccavento, Bright Girl Health Australia. Available at: https://brightgirlhealth.com/product/the-bright-girl-guide-ebook/ (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Cleveland Clinic (2021) Cervical mucus: Chart, stages, tracking & fertility, Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21957-cervical-mucus (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services (2003a) Ovulation and fertility, Better Health Channel Australia. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ovulation (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2021) Fertility Awareness (natural family planning), healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/fertility-awareness-natural-family-planning (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Mayo Clinic (2023) Basal body temperature for natural family planning, Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/basal-body-temperature/about/pac-20393026 (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Mayo Clinic (2023) Fertilization and implantation, Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/multimedia/fertilization-and-implantation/img-20008656 (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

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Evan Kurzyp
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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