The cells lining your cervical canal secrete mucus. The consistency of this mucus changes over your cycle. When you are fertile, the mucus changes to a consistency and structure that permits the sperm’s travel on its way to your egg. When you are most fertile it will be clear, abundant, and stretchy. To give you an idea of the consistency, this type of fertile mucus is sometimes abbreviated as EWCM – egg-white cervical mucus. When you are not fertile, the mucus is sticky, cloudy, and doesn’t stretch.
Cervical mucus testing is a way to get in touch with what is happening in your body throughout your monthly cycle. Watching the changes in the amount and consistency of your cervical mucus can also help you improve your chances of getting pregnant. After a month or two of daily observation, you will be able to tell the days where sex is more likely to result in conception. Here’s how it works: check your secretions before and after urinating by wiping with toilet paper. Alternatively you can insert a clean finger into your vagina to obtain a sample of mucus. Observe (and record) the consistency of the mucus, and use this chart to identify your fertile window. Your mucus can be cloudy, white, yellowish, or clear. It can have either a sticky or stretchy consistency. Use your thumb and forefinger to see if the mucus stretches.
|Cycle timing||Consistency of mucus||Fertility|
|Period ends||No noticeable mucus||Not fertile|
|Next 3-4 days||No noticeable mucus||Not fertile|
|Next 3-5 days||Minimal, cloudy, sticky secretions||Not fertile|
|Next 3-4 days||Abundant, clear, wet, stretchy “egg-white” mucus||Before and during ovulation – fertile window|
|Next 11-14 days||No noticeable mucus||Not fertile|
You are most fertile on the days when you have abundant, stretchy mucus.