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Mucus Observation

Mucus is one of the signals your body sends out to let you know ovulation is approaching. You can learn to tell the difference between the different types of mucus your body produces each month and interpret these signals. Mucus production begins a few days before ovulation. At any sign of mucus, especially stretchy, clear or watery mucus be sure to use protection. Ideally, you should be using protection long before any fertile mucus appears, since it is present in the vagina before being visible on the outside. If you've had unprotected sex and fertile mucus appears, go for emergency contraception immediately! The earliest way to detect the status of your mucus is by observing your cervix with a speculum or by reaching inside with two fingers and scooping some of the mucus off the face of the cervix and examining it.

Estrogen is the hormone which regulates the condition and consistency of vaginal mucus. At the beginning and the end of the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are low, there will be very little mucus. What little there is tends to be sticky, clumpy and whitish in color.
Fertile mucus helps guide the sperm inside the cervix into the uterus As the fertile time approaches estrogen levels increase as the body prepares for ovulation. The quantity of mucus increases in relation to the estrogen levels, becoming thinner, somewhat milky. The level of estrogen continues to rise, causing the mucus to get clearer and more watery. When the estrogen level peaks, right before ovulation, the mucus gets slick, slippery and you may be able to stretch an unbroken strand between your fingers. Fertile mucus helps the sperm find its way into the cervix, away from the dangers of the acidic vagina. The drawing to the left is what the sperm and mucus would look like magnified many times.
Look for mucus on the toilet paper. Check before urination and after. Touch it, how does it feel? Does it look clear? Is there any stretch? Notice how the toliet paper feels against you as you wipe, does it feel scratchy, does it seem to slip right over you, making you wipe a couple times to feel dry? With practice and experience you will notice differences. Pay attention every time you wipe, and look at the toilet paper after you wipe.

Non-fertile mucus will not let the sperm pass After ovulation the hormone progesterone causes the mucus to change to an infertile type within a day or two. The mucus again diminishes in quantity, becoming thick, sticky and opaque white or yellow from cellular matter and protein content. Often collecting in the opening of the cervix, forming an impenetrable barrier, preventing sperm or anything else from entering the uterus.


  • Check your mucus at times when you are not ready to make love, during sexual arousal your body will supply extra lubricating juices.
  • You will probably be wet the day after making love and determining the condition of your mucus may be difficult. Also using foam, spermacides or a lubricant inside the vagina will change the texture and consistency of the mucus. As you become more experienced, you can learn to tell the difference between fertile mucus, your body's juices, and semen.
  • The use of antihistamines dries up the cervical mucus, which could be confusing for a woman who is using the mucus method as her warning for approaching ovulation.
  • Any mucus may mean ovulation is approaching, so take precautions, use protection! Women have been known to ovulate twice during one cycle, this usually happens within 24 hours of the first egg. And get pregnant while having their period, however, this may be due to a short cycle that month. Fertile mucus may be present during the time of menstruation and be masked by the menstrual blood, so that she does in fact become pregnant from having unprotected sex during her period. The sperm are there waiting when ovulation occurs days later. It is unlikely that an egg will actually be released during menstruation because the hormones are not present to allow this to happen.

    Further reading:
    Taking Charge of Your Fertility
    Your Fertility Signals - Using them to Achieve or Avoid Pregnancy, Naturally
    A Co-operative Method of Natural Birth Control
    A New View of A Woman's Body: A fully Illustrated Guide

    Other Websites:
    My Beautiful Cervix

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