In this article
- What is a cervical mucus?
- The cervical mucus method
- Improving the cervical mucus
There are many manufacturers who sell kits on the market which predict ovulation. However, many women do not know that there’s a natural ovulation predictor inside them. That is none other than their cervical mucus.
What is a cervical mucus?
The cervical mucus is a fluid that is stimulated by the estrogen hormone and secreted by the cervix. The cervix serves as the neck of the uterus, it is a passage full of crevices which is connected to the vagina.
Functions of the cervical mucus
Aside from being a natural ovulation predictor, the cervical mucus has a lot of functions in a woman’s reproductive system. Moreover, its functions are based to her fertility.
If a cervical mucus is infertile, below are the following functions:
- It serves as the gatekeeper of the reproductive system
- Acts as a barrier to the sperm as to not fertilize the egg. This mucus protects the cervix by means of white blood cells (WBC) to ward off foreign particles.
- Acts as a plug which closes the cervical canal’s opening
On the other hand when a cervical mucus is fertile, its composition and consistency as well as its function alters. Below are the following:
- It serves as a sperm accelerator which actually helps it move towards the egg provided with nutrients
- It helps the sperm cell to survive as it travels through the female reproductive tract.
- It nourishes and protects the sperm cell once the egg is released
- It extends the life of a sperm cell which allows them to live for up to five days inside the female reproductive passage
- It acts as a quality control device which catches the sperm that swims with irregular motion
Monitoring the cervical mucus
It is necessary for women to know and be aware of the changes of cervical secretions during a menstrual cycle. Knowing the changes is important when a woman uses the cervical mucus method.Pregnancy week by week
Image source : Flickr by author Meagan shared under CC BY 2.0
Changes of the cervical mucus
Before a woman ovulates, the secretion of the cervix changes. This cervical change is caused by the sudden increase of the estrogen. As a result, it stimulates the cervix to secrete more mucus which is considered as a “fertile quality”.
A woman is expected to experience the following changes:
- The amount and quality of the cervical mucus production fluctuates
- For the next 3-5 days a woman secretes sticky, milky, and insufficient amount of cervical mucus
- After 3-4 days of having a menstrual period, there will be no cervical secretions to appear
- When having a menstrual period before and/or during ovulation, expect a large amount of transparent and wet secretions. This usually lasts for up to 3-4 days
- For 11-14 days before the pending period starts, there will be no cervical secretions to appear
These cervical change creates a way for the sperm to pass through cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and finally to the egg. Plus, these changes can help a woman determine when is the most fertile days in her cycle.
Take note that these specific lengths and changes may vary from woman to woman. If her cervical secretion is not the same with the general pattern, consult a health care provider immediately.
The cervical mucus method
This is the only natural and inexpensive way to identify if a woman is fertile or not. There is definitely no need to buy an ovulation predictor kit, which is commonly known as the homemade pregnancy test kit.
What is a cervical mucus method?
Cervical mucus method is abbreviated as CM. It is also known as the ovulation method and/or the Billings ovulation method. This involves careful tracking of mucus patterns during a menstrual cycle.
This method is best used for natural family planning which raises the fertility awareness among women.
How to use the cervical mucus method
Below are the following step-by-step procedures on the proper usage of the cervical mucus method:
Use fingertips to check cervical mucus
Primarily, the best way to start checking the CM is using one’s own fingertips. Clean and sanitize the hands first. Then use the fingertips and carefully reach inside the vagina. Sometimes, getting all the way up to the cervix is needed to find any mucus. Afterwards, roll the cervical mucus between the fingers and visually examine it.
Check the cervical secretion before and after urination
Here is how to properly check the secretion before and after urinating:
- When a woman just produced a large amount of CM, use a clean toilet tissue paper and wipe from the front to the back.
- Record the color of the cervical mucus. Whether its yellow, white, clear, or cloudy
- Record the consistency. Whether its thick, sticky, or stretchy. Roll the sample mucus between the thumb and the fingers
- Take note of the sensation as well. Whether a vulva feels dry, moist, or wet.
- Lastly, record the feeling of secretion. Whether its dry, wet, or slippery.
Record the cervical secretions for several cycles
The day after the menstrual period, record the cervical secretions using a daily chart.
To avoid being confused whether it is a cervical secretion or not (semen or vaginal lubricant), a woman must avoid the following activities:
- Avoid having sex
- Use any form of contraceptive during the first cycle
- Avoid douching and sexual activities since it can dilute a secretion with a semen or an arousal fluid
Carefully plan sex during the fertile days
Always remember that women are most fertile when she secretes a large amount of cervical mucus. At this point of time, ovulation usually occurs during or the day after the last day of cervical secretion– also known as the peak day.
Moreover, if the texture and appearance is clear, stretchy, wet and slippery. These signs show the perfect time to have sex and get pregnant.
Observing and recording cervical secretions can be challenging. Many women need a lot of instructional session to recognize the proper patterns in a menstrual period. For more questions and concerns, consult a health care provider.
Functions of the cervical mucus method
The cervical mucus method has a lot of functions. As a matter of fact,it can go both ways. Whether a woman wants to be pregnant or not this method can help her.
For TTC Couples
Cervical mucus method plays a fundamental role for Trying to Conceive (TTC) couples. The purpose of this method is to help women determine when is her fertile days per month and most likely to get pregnant.
For pleasure purposes only
On the contrary, this is also the best method to know when an unprotected sex should be avoided. Best days for couples to have sex for pleasure purposes is when
This also helps a woman who is in the desire of sex only and doesn’t want to conceive just yet.
However, if a couple wishes to have sex during a woman’s fertile days, they should always use any kind of contraception as a barrier.
For religious reasons
Some religion prohibits women from using contraceptives and any kind of artificial methods. That is why these women opt for the cervical mucus method since it is purely natural and is allowed to do in their religion.
A combination of natural methods
Oftentimes, the cervical mucus method is partnered with symptothermal method, another natural method which is often termed as basal body temperature tracker.
When the cervical mucus method is partnered with the basal body temperature method, women are able to easily identify when will be their fertile and non-fertile days.
Risks of the cervical mucus method
Did you know that about 23% of women who practice this kind of method as a contraceptive are most likely to get pregnant during the first year of implication?
On the other hand, did you know that 3% of women who use this method properly as a form of birth control have lower instances of becoming pregnant? These women do not get pregnant in a span of 1 year.
Using the cervical mucus method to detect infertility does not impose risks. Moreover, using this type of method as a form of contraception does not impose any direct risks.
However, what this method does not guarantee is the safety and protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
When to avoid using the cervical mucus method
A woman should avoid using the cervical mucus method as birth control if she has the following signs and symptoms:
- Recently conceived a baby
- Recently had her first ever menstrual period
- Currently taking birth control pills and any kind of hormonal contraceptives
- Currently breastfeeding her baby
- About to reach the menopause stage
- When she is currently suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome
- When she suffers from a condition of having an irregular ovulation
- When she is suffering from various reproductive tract infections
Improving the cervical mucus
Having enough fertile cervical mucus is important especially for baby-making plans. Below are the following ways a woman needs to do to improve her cervical mucus.
Improving the consistency
- First and foremost, always stay hydrated. Always drink enough glasses of water every day. The water supports the vital operations of the body before sending any down the reproductive system.
- Take herbal remedies such as Evening Primrose Oil and Guaifenesin
- Take dietary supplements which aims to increase the production of cervical mucus. Plus, it tones the uterine lining to enhance a woman’s fertility.
Improving the amount
To increase the amount of cervical mucus, there is this bizarre method for that. All a woman needs is to insert raw egg whites inside her vagina.
It may be unsanitary but its a safe way to supply natural fluids. Plus, it serves as a fertility-friendly lubricant as well.
Improving the quality
The cervical mucus quality affects the sperm’s life while waiting for an egg to be released. To improve its quality, a woman must avoid the following:
- Avoid eating acidic food and beverages such as pineapple and grapefruit
- Avoid eating sweet and sugary foods
- Avoid eating processed and/or artificial foods
- Avoid having a diet, always eat plenty of nutritious food