What is it? It is comprised of mucus molecules, water, various enzymes and proteins, sodium chloride and potassium. Without Fertile Cervical Mucus sperm would not survive long enough to even get the opportunity to fertilize the egg.
It is produced by the cervix as your oestrogen levels start to increase in the first half of your menstrual cycle, (follicular phase) on average about 5 days before you ovulate. These days before ovulation are known as your fertile window. During this time it is possible for the sperm to survive in the fallopian tubes until ovulation happens and the egg is released from the ovary and travels along the tubes to meet up with the surviving sperms. If you have sex during this window(before ovulation) it is possible to get pregnant
Why is Fertile Mucus so important
- It changes the pH in the vagina from its usual acidic state to a more alkaline during the fertile window. The normal acidic state inside the vagina would only allow the sperm to survive there for just a couple of hours.
- It keeps the sperm alive for up to 5 days ,providing nutrients
- transports the sperm into the uterus and into the fallopian tubes
- filters out poor quality sperm
- It prepares the sperm to be able to fertilize the egg via a process called capacitation
After ovulation the mucus changes in response to the hormone progesterone produced after ovulation( from the left over shell known as the Corpus Luteum ). It dries up forming a mucus plug that blocks the cervix and vagina becomes acidic again.
How to identify fertile cervical mucus
During your fertile window 2 types of cervical mucus are produced, peak mucus and non-peak.
Peak mucus is clear, stretchy,and or lubricative/slippery, very similar to raw egg white and stretches between your fingers. You will notice when you wipe yourself after using the toilet it feels slippery and you experience a feeling of wetness during the day.
Non-peak mucus is white, not stretchy between the fingers, it feels similar to white hand lotion or maybe sticky. This usually appears after the dry days after your period and then transitions into peak mucus.
Though both mucus are considered to be fertile, the peak mucus is produced closer to ovulation and is higher in the sperm friendly qualities.
Things that can affect the amount of mucus you produce
- Recently stopped taking the birth control pill
- As you get older
- Antihistamines, Clomid & Progesterone
- Water in take
- Paraben free lubricants can be helpful
So if you take note of the signs your body is showing you ,it is possible to know your most fertile time, whether you are trying to conceive or trying to avoid pregnancy.
If you feel that you would like some coaching on how to discover your fertile window or fertile signs, please book a free 10 minute consultation here to see if you would like to work with me
If you would like to read more about the cervical mucus a great book to start with is ‘The fifth vital sign’ by Lisa Henderson-Jacks