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De-mystifying Cervical Mucus and its Cyclical Patterns

Have you ever been confused about what that white stuff is in your underwear or your interpretations of cervical mucus for the purposes of tracking your cycle for contraception, conception or as a health tool?


Allow me to introduce you to the wonder that is the cervix and cervical mucus and help you discern between the different types of vaginal fluid you may see!


The white stuff you may notice in your underwear or on the toilet paper is vaginal discharge that is either vaginal cell sloughing (a self-cleaning mechanism of the vagina) or the production of cervical mucus from the cervix.


The cervix is a beautifully under-appreciated part of the uterus that is responsible for cervical mucus production and the regulation of fertility!


The cervical crypts pictured are stimulated by the production of estrogen to produce different types (5 types at that!) of cervical mucus at different times of the cycle. Each type of cervical mucus will vary in texture, moisture and appearance to either block, filter or nourish sperm in anticipation of ovulation.



Menstruation 

During menstruation hormone production is minimal, resulting in no cervical mucus production. After menstruation finishes, the cervix is occluded with a G mucus plug preventing sperm from entering (circle 1). Some people will experience a constant unchanging discharge after menstruation, which is the result of the G-mucus plug flaking off.

*For those with very short cycles, they may start to produce cervical mucus during menstruation.


Follicular Phase

As estrogen rises, it causes the cervical crypts in the cervix to start producing cervical mucus. Low estrogen production may cause cervical mucus look like white cream, sticky white globs, or hand lotion (circle 2, 3 or 4).


Ovulatory Phase

As estrogen reaches its peak closest to ovulation, cervical mucus becomes highly water-based, transparent and stretchy. You may see several days of clear, stretchy mucus leading up to ovulation (circle 5).


Luteal Phase

After ovulation, progesterone is produced, which causes a drying up of highly water-based cervical mucus. The cervical crypts also start to re-form the G-mucus plug, which may cause the presence of 1-3 days of sticky white mucus (circle 2, 3 or 4). The majority of a healthy luteal phase is marked by dry/ minimal vaginal discharge (circle 1).


There are many healthy variations of the above mentioned, too! In general, we want to see 3-6 days of cervical mucus production with 1-2 days of transparent mucus. 


Healthy cervical mucus production = healthy hormone production = a sign of health!


If you'd like to understand and use your cervical mucus signs for 99.6% effective contraception, conception or as a health monitoring tool, check out Cycle Power - to learn how to use the Sympto-thermal method to interpret your unique cervical mucus patterns for contraception, conception and your reproductive health! 



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