cervical mucous

For some unknown reason, as girls growing up, we are taught about periods, sex education and mainly how to avoid pregnancy. That’s all well and good until it becomes the time when you want to get pregnant and find you have a large gap in your knowledge about your menstrual cycle, fertile window and timing sex. In fact, most women turn round and say ‘Why didn’t I know this!!’

How do I know when I’m fertile?

We mostly believe we can get pregnant most of the time. Actually, once an egg is released it can only live for 12-24 hours and it’s only because of cervical mucous that the sperm can live for 5-6 days, therefore extending the fertile window.

For most of the month, your vagina is a hostile, sperm-killing environment – the pH level is so acidic it kills sperm almost instantly. Also, your cervix is closed, changes position and your body form a mucous plug at the opening of your cervix. Your body is in lock-down mode.

Ovulation Signs to Look For

One signal that you are fertile and it’s BD time (horizontal baby dance time!) is your cervical mucous which appears, on average, 2-3 days before you ovulate (read other ways of seeing when you’re ovulating here). For a few days a month you should feel a wet, slippery mucous that looks white or creamy in your knickers. Some people say it looks like raw egg whites. This is your body’s way of telling you ‘you’re fertile’ and it’s a crucial part of conception so don’t wash it away. At this time, your cervix is also softer, more open and higher, all in preparation to make a baby!

How does cervical mucous help me get pregnant?

This amazing mucous is at an alkaline pH changing the whole pH of your vagina. It actually nourishes your sperm and carries it into the fallopian tubes where conception happens. The sperm can take 1-2 days to reach the fallopian tubes and you actually want the sperm there BEFORE you ovulate so they’re hanging out and waiting for your egg.

Therefore you’re fertile window and best chance of conception actually starts BEFORE you ovulate. As soon as you see mucous, it’s go time.

Tracking Your Cycle

If you’re tracking your cycles, you will be gradually more aware of your changing hormones and perhaps be charting your basal body temperature (BBT) too. In my view, the number one thing you need to be looking at is actually your cervical mucous. It’s your body’s natural signal to you that it’s a good time to get pregnant and is sometimes overlooked in favour or more medical or mechanical methods (e.g. ovulation predictor kits).

If you’re not seeing mucous during your cycle, there are several reasons this could be happening. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have a fertility issue, but it would be worth checking in with your doctor to identify if anything is going on. 

Karenna Wood

Karenna Wood

Fertility Coach, Founder of Your Fertility Hub

Karenna Wood is an international fertility coach, founder of Your Fertility Hub and passionate advocate for more emotional support and information for women trying to get pregnant. She’s an expert in mind-body tools and when not blogging, podcasting, coaching or speaking is...fast asleep!