Step 1Cervical mucus (CM) is the mucus/fluid that is secreted from the cervix. It is produced by the hormone estrogen in the follicular phase of your monthly cycle, or the time between cycle day 1 and ovulation. CM collects on the cervix and in the vagina and is necessary for conception. It helps keep sperm alive for up to five days and protects the sperm from the acidity in the vagina. It also assists the sperm in swimming up to the fallopian tube so fertilization can take place.
Step 2Now that you know what cervical mucus is and where it can be found, it’s time to start checking for it! You must check for cervical mucus from cycle day 1 through ovulation to best detect when you are most fertile. Of course, during the first few days of your cycle you will be bleeding, so that is easy to note on your calendar. But after bleeding has stopped, there are several ways to check for CM. The easiest way to check is to simply wipe your vaginal opening with tissue and observe what is on the tissue. Another way is to observe any discharge on your underwear. This is pretty simple, but you may miss any CM that has not yet discharged. The final way to check your CM (which requires you to be very comfortable with your body) is to insert your clean fingers into your vagina and check the color and texture of the mucus on them.
Step 3Once you have checked your cervical mucus, there are several questions you must ask your self. First, was there cervical mucus present? If not, then record that fact on your calendar by simply writing “dry” or “D” (or any word you choose) on the correct date and cycle day. If CM is present, you need to determine its color and texture. Is it watery, slippery, tacky, cloudy, clear, etc? You can use the words or abbreviations you find work best for you and note them on your calendar.
Step 4Post menses, many women have dry days which are considered non-fertile days. Instead of dry days, you may have days of gummy or sticky CM. These are also considered non-fertile days. Your fertile period begins when you see creamy or lotion-like CM. You may want to consider having intercourse starting on these days. Your most fertile days will be when you have what many call Egg White Cervical Mucus (EWCM) because it resembles raw egg whites (clear or semi-clear and very stretchy). Any day that you have EWCM present is considered a VERY fertile day and is your best time to conceive. You may have one day of EWCM or several days, every woman is different. Once EWCM disappears and you notice sticky, cloudy CM or no CM then ovulation and your fertile period is over. You can now stop checking your CM until your next cycle….unless you were successful this time around! Good Luck!