Cervical mucus or cervical fluid is one of the accurate physical signs used to monitor the female ovulation cycle.
I have collected in this article the basics which I have been using over the years to respond to the practical issues women often ask about the secretions of the cervix.
The cervix of the uterus contains minute glands within it which secrete or produce fluids that drain down onto the vaginal walls. The term mucus is a special kind of secretion that contains a complex protein giving it a slippery texture.
In other parts of the body like the digestive tract and vagina, mucus helps in to lubrication to reduce friction. The secretions of the cervix are not always containing much mucus as we see below that they vary with the cycle changes. Sometimes, it has been simply called cervical fluid.
Cervical secretion is not exactly the same as vaginal secretions. The vaginal walls also have some cells that produce a small quantity of secretions. Therefore not every secretion found in the vagina should be taken as coming from the cervix in all situations.
This mucus helps protect the uterus, cervix and vagina especially from infections but much more has important fertility functions. At ovulation, the peak fertile day, the cervix helps to nurture the sperms, if any, and also direct their ascension into the uterus. After ovulation, it p
Where does the practical usefulness of cervical fluid lie? There are two potential aspects of a woman's life that could require acquaintance with the mucus from the cervix- fertility and infertility.
Have you monitored your cervical mucus before? Some women just get freaked out by it. You can share your feelings or how to made it through at the bottom of the page or by clicking this link to go there
Observing the cervical fluid is a very useful sign that can be used in fertility charting, where women monitor their most fertile period to either conceive or prevent a pregnancy. It is indeed more useful than most women imagine.
The amount and characteristics of the cervix mucus change with the different phases of the ovulation cycle. The relationship between the cervical mucus and the phase of the menstrual cycle is so close that by observing the mucus keenly, a woman can easily master her cycle phases and especially predict ovulation and menstruation.
Observing the cervical fluid has the advantage in that it can be used to predict ovulation in advance in contrast to the basal body temperature monitoring which only tells a woman in retrospect that ovulation has occurred. However, I either of them could be monitored alone or better still together in fertility charting.
Our free ovulation chart in pdf format has the option of monitoring the two signs concurrently if desired.
The cervical mucus must provide a hospitable environment for sperms to survive and fertilize the egg. If the mucus is hostile, infertility may result. In infertility evaluation, it is called the cervical factor. The evaluation of a possible hostile mucus is done by the Post-Coital Test, where the cervical mucus is exa
It is known that hormones control the body changes of the ovulation cycle including the changes in cervical mucus. While estrogen controls the changes of the follicular phase, progesterone is responsible for the changes in the cervical fluid during the luteal phase.
These 3 basic properties pertaining to the cervical secretions a woman should be acquainted with.
Women should learn to monitor these three basic features and possible others if they want to monitor the cervical mucus.
For purposes of clarity and better understanding, I will state here that there are 4 different stages of cervical fluid that occur within each ovulation cycle. Remember that each woman will require some months to familiarize herself with her system. Each woman is different and so she should learn what is normal for her.
Some women may just cringe when told to monitor their cervical mucus. It is a simple and very useful way of acquainting yourself with your body. However, it is not a must for every woman. If you are not comfortable with it, you can monitor the basal body temperature or use ovulation kits now sold in stores to detect ovulation.
There is no replacement though for the mastery of your body. No book or school will do this. They may guide but you are different from any other woman and so you should know yourself.
The secret of monitoring the mucus of the cervix therefore lies in determining your personal pattern. After about 3 to 6 months of fertility charting, a woman can tell the events of her cycle like ovulation far ahead of time.
Monitoring simply entails identifying the different qualities of the cervical mucus throughout the cycle. Every day, you will have to determine your sensation of your vulva, the amount, color and texture of the cervical mucus as described above. Once identified, these changes are then recorded on a fertility chart. You can download and print our free ovulation chart for personal use.
There are three methods you can employ to obtain cervical mucus for examination:
Recording the changes during each cycle and subsequently reviewing the pattern of several cycles is the cornerstone of identifying your personal pattern of cervical mucus changes.
The following should be borne in mind as you proceed to monitor the cervical mucus:
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