If you are trying to get pregnant, it is good to know when you are at your most fertile state. One way to find out is to look for changes in your cervical mucus – the natural, healthy vaginal discharge that most women experience.
As your hormones change over the course of your menstrual cycle, the amount, color and texture of your cervical mucus varies too.
Everybody is different, and you may not see these exact variations in your own cervical mucus. The main thing to look for is some kind of change mid-cycle. In the meantime, you’ll improve your chance of conceiving by having sex every two days to three days throughout your cycle.
How to check your cervical mucus
You can check your cervical mucus by wiping with clean toilet paper, or by inserting a clean finger into your vagina and reaching upwards toward your cervix.
Watery cervical mucus: Possibly fertile after your period, you’ll probably have a few dry days, where you don’t notice much cervical mucus. A few days after this, you may notice some wetness, which could be yellow, white or cloudy. This type of mucus can be a sign that your body is starting to get ready for ovulation. Because sperm can live inside you for up to a week, waiting for an egg to be released, it’s worth having sex every two to three days during this phase.
Slippery, stringy egg white cervical mucus on woman’s fingers.
Egg white cervical mucus: Fertile when you’re at your most fertile, you may notice an increase in cervical mucus, and find that it becomes wetter and more slippery. It looks and feels like raw egg whites and it can stretch about 5cm without breaking in the middle.
This “egg white” cervical mucus is the most fertile, as it allows sperm to swim easily into the cervix. It’s also a sign that you’re about to ovulate. For the best chance of conceiving, have sex every two to three days during this fertile time. Sperm can live for up to seven days inside you, waiting for an egg to be released.
Creamy, lotion-like cervical mucus on woman’s fingers
Creamy cervical mucus: Non-fertile at other times in your cycle, you may notice cervical mucus that’s not particularly wet or slippery. This creamy cervical mucus is considered non-fertile because it makes it more difficult for sperm to reach your egg. Creamy cervical mucus can be a pearly white or creamy yellow. It’s thick and feels like lotion when rubbed between your fingers.
Thick and chunky cervical mucus on woman’s fingers
Sticky cervical mucus: Non-fertile you may also notice cervical mucus that’s sticky or tacky towards the beginning or end of your cycle. This is the least fertile cervical mucus, as it’s hard for sperm to swim through it. It’s thick and lumpy, and feels like gluey paste.
Understanding your menstrual cycle: You could try noting the changes in your cervical mucus for a few months in a row. You may see a pattern that will help you work out when you’re at your most fertile.