Guide to Cervical Mucus

Cervical Mucus Timeline During Ovulation:

During ovulation, cervical mucus production increases. The amount of cervical mucus increases because it contains more water content. Also, estrogen levels increase which causes the cervix to become wetter. This is one reason why women feel less cramps during this time period when compared with other times of their cycle. You may have noticed that your periods are not quite as regular during this phase of your menstrual cycle.

As the days pass into the second week of your cycle, cervical mucus starts to decrease. At this point, it becomes very difficult to distinguish between normal vaginal discharge and abnormal discharge from the uterus or even blood. It is best to just call it “cervical” or “mucous”. Your doctor will want to examine you at this stage.

The third day of your cycle, cervical mucus begins to increase again. This is due to the release of progesterone. Progesterone helps regulate the uterine lining and its growth. The higher the level of progesterone, the thicker and stronger the uterine lining gets. If there is too much progesterone in your body, then it can cause problems such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

Cervical Mucus After Ovulation:

After you are done ovulating, cervical mucus starts to dry up again. The secretions from the cervix become drier and more sticky during this phase of your cycle. This is due to the increase in progesterone. Progesterone prepares the body for potential pregnancy. It stops the body from releasing other hormones in order to prevent menstruation.

If a woman does not become pregnant during this time period, then the outcome will be a little dryer period. If a woman does become pregnant, it is common to not get your period at all. This is because the hormones are creating thicker uterine walls for the potential pregnancy.

Cervical Mucus While Pregnant:

If you are pregnant, then you will notice your mucous stays at a constant level. This is because the hormones are stable and not fluctuating like they do on a regular cycle. This can make telling if you are pregnant a little difficult to detect. There are some changes in the body that can help you tell. If you are pregnant, your uterus will be at a level that you can actually feel it.

Your stomach will also start to grow and become larger.

Most women wonder when they receive positive pregnancy tests if they are actually pregnant or have signs of an upcoming period. There are two different types of pregnancy tests that you can use. The first type is the one that most women have heard of. You go into a store, buy a test, pee on it, and then wait for a positive or negative sign. Most of these tests measure the amount of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG in your urine.

If this level is above a certain point, then you are considered to be pregnant about eight to ten days after conception.

The other type of test is a little different. These tests measure the presence of the pregnancy hormone itself. This means that if you are between eight and ten days after conception, you can still get a positive sign on this test. This can help you determine if you are actually pregnant or just have an upcoming period.

Common Questions:

What does a normal amount of mucus look like?

A normal amount of mucus should be a bit stretchy. You should be able to stretch the mucus between your fingers and it should slowly break with mild tension. This mucus is thin enough that you can still see some of the underlying color of your underwear. A color comparison can help you determine when your discharge is lighter or heavier than usual.

What does too much or too little mucus mean?

A lot of mucus can be a good or bad thing. It all depends on the type of mucus you have and other factors. If your body is producing a large amount of thin mucus, it means that your estrogen levels are higher than average. As estrogen increases, the color of your mucus should also become clearer. This means that if you see tinted or white mucus, it could be a sign of an infection coming on.

How is the mucus different when I have an infection?

If your mucus becomes a little thicker and cloudier than usual, it could be a sign of an infection. Your discharge should always be somewhat consistent in texture and color. If you notice a 50% difference compared to your baseline readings, then you should probably make an appointment with your doctor. An increase of mucus could also mean an infection is coming on.

If your body starts making slightly more mucus than usual, then you could have a potential infection coming on. This is because the increase in mucus can trap bacteria and other material. If left alone for too long, this could potentially lead to a serious infection of some sort. This means that it is always important to make sure you are practicing good feminine hygiene.

Of course, these are just general guidelines. Everyone is different and your personal baseline reading might be different than others. The most important thing is to take notice if there is a sudden change. If you are having problems determining what the color and texture of your mucus should look like, it never hurts to ask your doctor.

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Sources & references used in this article:

Refractometric devices especially adapted for the in vivo detection of refractive indices of cervical mucus by MH Henderson, DF Katz – US Patent 6,149,591, 2000 – Google Patents

Cervical mucus changes in relationship to urinary luteinizing hormone by J Nulsen, C Wheeler, M Ausmanas, L Blasco – Fertility and sterility, 1987 – Elsevier

Probe for obtaining cervical mucus and process thereof by SR Schuster, L Kopito, H Kosasky – US Patent 4,157,709, 1979 – Google Patents

Cervical mucus and contraception: what we know and what we don’t by L Han, R Taub, JT Jensen – Contraception, 2017 – Elsevier

Cervical mucus arborization in the rhesus monkey by A David, L Mastroianni – Reproduction, 1968 –