What is Cervical Mucus?

Ever wondered, 'what is cervical mucus'? Also known as cervical fluid or discharge, cervical mucus is a substance which forms in the cervix and is discharged through the vagina. Read on to find out about what causes cervical mucus, the stages of cervical mucus, fertility tracking and more.
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What causes cervical mucus?

The hormone that regulates cervical mucus is the main female sex hormone, Estrogen. Throughout the menstrual cycle, the amount and consistency of cervical mucus changes, as it’s closely linked to fertility. It’s common to find discharge in underwear, or when you wipe after using the toilet. Cervical mucus plays a key role in our reproductive health.

The stages of cervical mucus

The consistency of cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle depending on your fertility. After your period, cervical mucus might be completely absent. After a few days, cervical mucus may appear with a dry texture. After this, the fluid takes on a creamier consistency. This is sometimes called ‘egg white cervical mucus’.

In the fertile window before ovulation, the consistency of cervical mucus changes again.  It has a wet, slippery consistency and is quite stretchy. This type of cervical fluid promotes sperm survival and helps them swim closer to the egg for fertilization. After ovulation, you may experience dry, sticky or no cervical mucus before your period begins again.

Tracking fertility with cervical fluid

While cervical mucus can be used as a fertility indicator, it varies from woman to woman and can be difficult to interpret as it can also be misinterpreted as sexual secretion (the body’s natural lubricant). Natural Cycles takes two objective measurements into account, basal body temperature and luteinizing hormone.

Natural Cycles also requires the input of period data to track your unique cycle. In addition to menstrual tracking, users of the app can input info into the notes feature. This is a good place to document PMS symptoms, cervical mucus and more.

Learn your unique cycle

Natural Cycles is an intelligent app that can be used to prevent or plan a pregnancy. Take your temperature most mornings when you wake up and enter it into the app. The algorithm analyzes body temperature in order to find ovulation. This data helps the app learn which are your most fertile days. Understanding your fertility can give you other insights too, like when to expect PMS or when it’s best to carry out a self-breast exam.

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By Jennifer Gray

A writer with passion for women’s health, Jennifer Gray is Content Owner here at Natural Cycles. She’s making it her mission to close the knowledge gap on reproductive health.