For young couples with no underlying causes of infertility, charting fertile cervical mucus can help to identify the best time to have baby making sex. Fertile cervical mucus is required to help sperm meet egg and is necessary for conception to take place naturally.
As a woman nears her ovulation time, changes occur in her cervical mucus. For some women these changes will be obvious and for others, subtle.
At around five days prior to ovulation, fertile cervical mucus begins to be produced by the body, becoming stretchy, wet, and clear in color. Many women liken their fertile cervical mucus to raw egg whites. Sperm can live within fertile cervical mucus for several days prior to ovulation taking place so charting your cervical mucus pattern might prove beneficial
- You can check your cervical mucus by placing two clean fingers in your vagina and feeling for your cervix. Once you’ve identified your cervix, place one finger on either side. Press very gently and collect the fluid there, then withdraw your fingers and observe what you found.
- If you were dry and had no cervical mucus present, or had very little mucus which felt sticky to the touch, you may have just finished your menstrual cycle or possibly just completed and finished ovulating. You are probably not fertile at this time.
- If your cervical mucus felt sticky, crumbly or gluey and does not stretch easily, you have not as yet begun to produce fertile cervical mucus and are not yet ready to ovulate. Cervical mucus of this type will often be creamy or cloudy looking in color. You are not fertile at this point in your cycle either.
- Watery cervical mucus is clear and fluid like. If it is stretchy, it is fertile cervical mucus. For many women, this stage of mucus production will represent their most fertile time.
- Other women will go on to produce fertile cervical mucus that looks like egg white, stretchy, clear and copious.
- After ovulation occurs, cervical mucus goes back to being dry and sticky.
- It is not advised that you check your cervical mucus either right before or after sex as seminal and arousal fluid may be present at that time.
There are a number of factors that can influence the quality of your cervical mucus and adversely affect your ability to conceive naturally. These include several types of medications such as antibiotics, tranquilizers, diuretics, antihistamines and even Clomid, which is a fertility drug. Talk to your doctor about all medications you are taking including those that are gotten over the counter. Your age, obesity and poor diet can also have a negative effect, as can some products such as douches and lubricants.
Of course, if you are over 34 years of age, have irregular periods or suspect other underlying infertility issues in either yourself or your partner, you should see an infertility specialist such as a reproductive endocrinologist after 3-4 months of trying to conceive naturally at home.