|By Veronica Tilden|
Denise has figured out that there is way more to an Ovulation Calendar than just putting her dates into the online version and getting back an estimate for her most fertile days. She is having fun writing down all of the little details related to each menstrual cycle and learning about her body as she and Robert begin trying to have a baby. She is currently paying close attention to her cervical mucus and using it to find her most fertile days. She is ready to get pregnant!
Yes, changes in your cervical mucus are one of the most important signs of ovulation, and can usually be readily observed. Remember, your ovulation calendar is the place to keep track of everything in one place. Your menstrual cycle, cervical mucus, cervix changes, ferning of your saliva, when you make love, when you ovulate, unusual events in your life, etc.
The only exception would be your daily temperatures. It is easier to keep these on a graph, such as a fertility chart. Just note on your calendar the day your temperature rises and stays up, signifying that ovulation has passed.
What is cervical mucus and what does it do?
* Cervical mucus is a fluid produced by glands inside the cervix
* In this fluid in the cervix the sperm can stay alive for up to five days
* It filters out abnormal sperm
* It provides an alkaline quality to protect the sperm from the vagina’s normal acidity
* It provides a medium for the sperm to travel in to make it through the uterus and to the fallopian tube to reach the egg after ovulation
How does my cervical mucus change throughout my cycle?
* It is usually not present right after your period, or dry
* It then progresses from tacky to creamy
* During your most fertile days it is slippery, often called fertile mucus
* It will even be stretchy at the height of your fertility
* After ovulation it becomes dry again
Your cervical mucus is the moistness you may feel on the lips of your labia and see on your underwear. Chart your observation of your fertile mucus every day on your ovulation calender and/or on your fertility chart (the graph on which you record your basal body temperatures every day). You can use the terms mentioned above – dry, tacky, creamy, slippery, stretchy – or make up your own. Just be consistent.
Observe your mucus before urinating. (Trying to do it afterward can obscure your reading.) Wipe the tip of your finger just inside your vagina. Feel it first before looking. If there is nothing there you could call this dry. Tacky or sticky is like slightly diluted paste from your childhood. Creamy is like hand lotion. Slippery is like egg-whites. If your mucus is slippery, note if it is stretchy and how much. Also notice if it is clear, white or streaked. Does it have an unpleasant odor? How abundant is it?
If you have more than one observation for a particular day, write down the wettest description. Your cervical mucus may have been dry in the morning, but later was creamy. Again, use any descriptions that make sense to you. This is for you to keep track of for yourself and your own understanding of the changes in your signs of ovulation.
What Factors Can Affect My Cervical Mucus?
* Sexual arousal
* Medications – cough syrup, antihistamines, fertility drugs, birth control pills
* Swimming in a chlorinated pool
* If you have a vaginal infection
* Hormone imbalance
* Obscured by menstrual bleeding
The more details about your own signs of ovulation and fertility you learn to recognize, the better you can predict your most fertile days. This will help with your ultimate goal – to get pregnant! It will also give you very important information about the health of your fertility. If you do not have cyclic and observable changes in your cervical mucus, then you need to determine why.
Save your ovulation calendars, as they will be an invaluable storage of knowledge to you and those you may enlist as allies to help you on your fertility journey.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO
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