Cervical mucus is normally expelled from the body throughout your menstrual cycle. The timing of your menstrual cycle determines the type of cervical mucus that is discharged. Before ovulation, during ovulation and after ovulation all have different types of mucus. In addition, women often have different types of cervical mucus when they have recently experienced implantation. To find out whether you are pregnant, you can check for implantation discharge.
What Is Cervical Mucus?
Cervical mucus is normally released by the body everyday. If you are a woman past pubescence, then you most likely have had cervical mucus released. Normally, cervical mucus changes based on the part of your cycle that you are in. These stages include:
Creamy Cervical Mucus: The discharge is thick and overly creamy. Due to its thickness, it can actually stop sperm from moving into the cervix.
Egg White Cervical Mucus: For this type of cervical mucus, women will notices that the discharge looks like the clearish-white color of egg whites. If you hold it between your fingers, it can be stretched for an inch or two without breaking. When you have egg white cervical mucus, you are at your most fertile level.
Sticky Cervical Mucus: You are at your least fertile when you have this type of cervical mucus. The texture will feel sticky, chunky or past-like.
Watery Cervical Mucus: Watery cervical mucus happens right before it turns to the egg white color. This means that you are about to have your most fertile time of the month. Since sperm can live for up to five days in the female body, this is a good time to start having sex if you are trying to get pregnant.
Every woman’s body chemistry is different, so do not panic if you do not have all of these types of cervical mucus every month. Cervical mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle and helps to lubricate the birth canal prior to giving birth. If your estrogen levels vary, it can cause very little or no mucus to be produced at all. Do not worry about it—although you can always talk to your doctor if you are still concerned.
You should only worry about your cervical mucus if it stops being clear or white in color. Reddish or brown cervical mucus can be an indication that period blood was retained by your body and released too late. When this happens, you should visit your doctor to make sure that there is not a health problem causing this delayed release.
Cervical Mucus and Implantation Discharge
Cervical mucus can change after implantation. During implantation, the sperm fertilizes the egg. Within 6 to 12 days, the egg implants itself on the uterine wall and remains there as it grows over the next nine months. At this time period, women may experience some bleeding, but it will be very light.
Implantation bleeding is actually one of the first signs of pregnancy, but only one-third of women will actually experience it. You may notice spotting or light bleeding during a time when you normally would not have your period. Implantation bleeding will only last a few hours—at most, it will last two days. It will be extremely light and may be a lighter pink or brown color.
For the two-thirds of women who do not experience implantation bleeding, their vaginal mucus discharge will change. The amount of mucus will increase to levels that normally occur when you are ovulating. At this time, your mucus will be about 98 percent water and more viscid. The body is trying to provide mucus to protect the egg, and it does not need sperm to flow into the body. Since your body is already pregnant, implantation mucus is designed to protect the egg and keep harmful bacteria from entering the uterus. Every woman is different though, so your personal experience may vary.
Discharge Following Conception
Conception occurs after sexual discharge. Normally, it takes place within 24 hours of ovulation. The first discharge that appears after conception will contain sperm and mucus, which means that it is not a good indication of conception.
Once the sperm has fully left the body, your cervical mucus will change. It will become semi-transparent in color and increase significantly. While most women will experience these changes, it does not always happen for every woman. The most important thing to watch for is the consistency and color. If the consistency or color is abnormal, there may be a problem.
What Does Cervical Discharge Look Like During Pregnant?
A white discharge following ovulation is generally a good indicator that you are pregnant. Your body is starting to create the hormones that are needed to grow a healthy baby and have a good pregnancy. While these changes are primarily intended to help the baby grow, they will also change your hormones.
In the body, the placenta is the main location for creating pregnancy hormones. Your progesterone and estrogen levels begin increasing right after you become pregnant. While you may not be aware of your pregnancy, your body knows and is preparing to take care of a baby. As your estrogen levels rise, it will cause a milky white discharge during the first couple of weeks of the pregnancy. White, thick discharge is normally seen at the end of your cycle as well, so be careful not to confuse these two types of discharge.
If you are using your CM discharge to track ovulation, you have to be careful not to confuse end-of-cycle discharge with discharge following conception. If the discharge is itchy, thick and white, it could be a sign of a yeast infection. There should not be any itchiness following conception, so talk to your doctor if you have this symptom.
Discharge During Your Ovulation
During ovulation, you will have cervical mucus that is clearer than at any other time of the month. It becomes watery to make it easier for sperm to travel up the cervix and to the egg. The added elasticity also allow the sperm to flow through the cervix without getting stuck.
Ovulation typically occurs about 14 days after your menstrual period started last. Discharge will be at its highest level, and it may look like small ropes or strands.
Discharge Following Your Ovulation
Do not assume that you are pregnant just because you have discharge after ovulation. The cervix does not dry up right away, and your estrogen levels will determine how much cervical mucus is produced by your body. If implantation has occurred, discharge will remain.
If you have conceived, your body will ramp up estrogen and progesterone production. You can see if this is occurring by monitoring the appearance and texture of your cervical mucus. If you regularly track your cervical mucus, you will quickly start to learn what is normal at different times of the month. After you have had intercourse, check the cervical mucus and then wait a few days before checking again to see if the thick white discharge is still present.
Your cervical mucus can tell you a lot about whether you are pregnant and your menstrual cycle. While tracking cervical mucus can help, it is not completely accurate in predicting a pregnancy or ovulation. If you think that you may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test on the day after your menstrual cycle should have started.