Checking Cervical Mucus
The Best Way To Know You're Ovulating
One of the two basic methods of determining ovulation is checking cervical mucus. When cervical mucus is checked consistently and the findings recorded, you will have a good idea of when you ovulate. Couple these findings with taking your basal body temperature, and you will have it nailed. There are other ways to predict ovulation, but they are secondary to these two methods.
If you can check your cervical mucus externally, then that's probably the easiest way. Noting the texture, color, consistency, and amount of cervical mucus by either wiping the vagina with a tissue a second time after going to the bathroom or using a clean finger is fast, easy, and pretty accurate. However, sometimes finding cervical mucus can be a challenge. If estrogen is low as a result of either breastfeeding or perimenopause, then there may not be an abundance of cervical mucus being excreted down the vagina from the cervix. Doing Kegel exercises, regular abdominal exercises, or even having a bowel movement can move the fluid down - but it that isn't happening, then you can check your cervical mucus internally.
Same Place, Different Route: Cervical Mucus Tests
The only difference between internal and external checking of the cervical mucus is the way it is done. The things you are looking for remain the same. First, notice if the vagina is wet or dry and if there is any fluid in the vaginal canal. Observe it on your fingers, noting how it looks - the color, consistency, quantity, and feel of it between your fingers. Can you stretch it between your fingers? If you can, then you are very close to ovulation.
In order to collect cervical mucus internally, insert two fingers into your vagina until you can feel your cervix - the opening point of the uterus. With one finger on either side of the cervix, press gently against the cervix and bring the fingers closer together in order to collect the mucus. Remove your fingers and slowly pull them away from each other. Observe how the fluid reacts and record your findings.
Recording Your Cervical Mucus
Regardless which method you use to check your cervical fluid, recording it will be the same. It is possible to have several different types of cervical fluid in one day, so be sure to record them all - especially your most fertile type of cervical mucus. This helps ensure you don't miss a chance at conception and also gives you a consistent way to track your cervical mucus from menstrual cycle to cycle.
It is important to know that not every woman experiences the same kinds of cervical mucus. All you have to do is record the types you get. If it doesn't fit neatly into a category, record it where it fits best. These are the types of consistencies commonly noted in cervical mucus. You can use these as a guide:
Dry - no fluid present at all on the vagina or in the panties. Expect to see several dry days.
Sticky - gummy, and glue-like or even stiff and crumbly and likely yellowish or brown.
Creamy - like hand lotion, white or yellow, cloudy or milky. It may stretch a bit, but not much.
Watery - cervical mucus is clear and looks like water. It may be stretchy and is considered fertile.
Eggwhite - This is it! Looks like a real eggwhite, clear and stretchy, maybe tinged with pink or white.
Spotting - pink or dark red/brown spots that may appear either before or after your period.
Menses - Light, heavy, or normal regular monthly bleeding.