The Trying to Conceive and Just Starting Out Primer

This is a "primer" created by Krista (Rudylover) and posted by Jennifer (Tigger062077). We made this as a source of information for the "newbies" who are afraid to ask a "silly question"...and for the "oldies" who have been doing this so long they've forgotten the basics.

If you want to reach us, you can reach Jennifer at tess_2k2@hotmail.com and Krista at rudylover_1999@yahoo.com.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What is Cervical Mucus?

Cervical Mucus (CM) is also called cervical fluid. It is the fluid secreted from the opening in your cervix. It typically changes consistency at different stages of your cycle and so can be a helpful tool in the TTC journey.

As a woman approaches ovulation, her CM usually becomes thinner, wetter, more slippery and even stretchy. This type of fertile quality CM makes conditions more favorable for sperm to swim up through the cervix to head towards their goal.

The amount and quality of CM produced really varies from woman to woman, and further it can vary from cycle to cycle. The wetter, more slippery and stretchier your CM is, the longer sperm will be able to thrive in it and the better chance they have of reaching their destination. Some medications (such as clomid, or antihistamines, for example) can cause you to produce less CM or to make your CM less wet, and therefore not as hospitable to sperm. Drinking enough water each day can help, and is good for you regardless. Some experts also suggest that drinking green tea will help you make more CM and that regular Robitussin might help thin out thicker CM. You can read more about these options at many internet sites dealing with fertility. Some common phrases used to describe CM quality are listed below, in order of increasing fertile properties:

Dry – not really noticeable, dampness evaporates quickly from fingertip

Sticky – thick and sticky feeling, may roll into a ball when rubbed between your fingertips

Creamy – feels like lotion, often whitish in color, cool to the touch

Watery – very thin, very wet, does not evaporate quickly from fingertip

Egg White (EWCM) – similar in consistency to raw egg whites, very slippery, stretches several inches when pressed between fingertips and pulled apart, may be clear or streaked with white.

TCOYF recommends checking your CM three times a day and noting the most fertile CM you observe that day on your chart.

Not all women make all stages of CM every cycle. This is normal. If you consistently find that your CM quality is not very favorable, you may wish to use something like pre-seed which is a “sperm-friendly” lubricant. Preseed may help mimic fertile quality CM, and make BD more comfortable, as regular lubricants should be avoided during your fertile period, when TTC as studies show they can hinder sperm from swimming.

Another point to note is that just because you do not have fertile quality CM, it does not necessarily mean that you are not ovulating. Also just because you do have EWCM, it does not necessarily mean that you are ovulating at that time. EWCM can show up at other points in your cycle, unrelated to ovulation. You should evaluate your other fertility signs and/or tests as well when trying to determine when you are ovulating.