Q: Checking cervical mucus?
Monday, February 04, 2008 10:56 PM
Q: Should I be checking my cervical mucus? What am I looking for and how do I do it?
A: First, put down any food you may be munching on. That said... yes, you should definitely set aside some personal time to check your cervical mucus when you're trying to conceive. It's an effective way to track ovulation and know when you're at your most fertile.
Quick review of the relevance of cervical mucus (or, vaginal discharge): In the days leading up to ovulation, it gets much more slippery, clear, and stretchy than normal. Your mucus will be at its stretchiest on the day you ovulate. It should resemble egg whites, more or less. Right now, your mucus is the perfect consistency for housing sperm -- meaning this is also the best time to hop in the sack and try to conceive.
Checking your own cervical mucus isn't tough. Insert your (thoroughly washed) index finger into your vagina and circle around your cervix (or as close as you can get) to collect the mucus. Remove your finger, and once you can see it press your thumb against it. Then pull your fingers apart, and note if the mucus breaks right away or merely stretches. The more stretchy the mucus, the more fertile you are. (This is where our fertility chart gets really helpful -- evaluating "stretchiness" is a lot easier when you've been consistently recording it and therefore have something to compare it to.) You can also simply wipe the entrance of your vagina with a tissue to get a mucus sample to evaluate, but the finger method generally works better.