Cervical Fluid… An exceptional body secretion.
What is that ‘white stuff’ in my underwear?
Cervical fluid (CF), or cervical mucus, is a vaginal secretion commonly known to society as “discharge.” Many people receive an initial fright when noticing this fluid in their underwear, insisting it is an infection. Although you may notice an infection at some point in your life, cervical fluid is usually an sign that you are very healthy! It is an indicator that you are within your fertile window.
Learn how to chart your cycle with fertility awareness to learn your unique cervical fluid pattern.
As estrogen reaches it’s peak, cervical fluid becomes higher in water content. The first day of recognized cervical fluid after menstruation is your point of change. The last day of your most super fertile fluid (which we find in retrospect..) is called peak day. This is how we determine our fertile window!
A vagina is acidic for majority of the menstrual cycle, and cervical fluid comes in to alkalize the environment in order to keep sperm alive and able to travel through the cervix, into the uterus, and through the Fallopian tubes. After ovulation we enter the luteal phase, when our cervical fluid will dry up due to a rise in progesterone. Once we have confirmed ovulation with both CF and temperature observations, we can enjoy unprotected intercourse through the remainder of our cycle (premenstrual or ischemic phase and into menstruation).
- Your flow of cervical fluid will show a unique pattern each cycle, laying out the story of both your fertile window and internal health
- CF is the deciding factor on whether sperm will be able to make it to the egg for fertilization at the time of ovulation
- The consistency changes throughout the menstrual cycle, starting out on the dryer end of the spectrum and increasing in water content as ovulation approaches. Some ways to describe it is sticky, lotion, booger-like, egg-white, watery… and it varies from human to human!
Next time you go to the bathroom:
- Wash your hands.
- Check your vulva as well as the gusset of your underwear (where your vulva touches).
- Is there anything there? Maybe not right now.
- Before peeing, use a piece of toilet paper to wipe. What is the consistency as the toilet paper brushes past the vulva ~ slippery, dry?
- Wipe again for another sensation. What do you feel and see?
- You can also make a ‘come hither’ movement with a finger directly at the entrance of the vulva (not inside) for another CF observation.
- What does your CF feel like? What color is it ~ white, cloudy, clear?
- Red? You might be on your period, or spotting.
- Back to CF.
- Touch it between your fingers… Is it thick and crumbly/sticky, creamy like lotion, stretchy like an egg-white, watery?
- Is there only a little bit? A lot? None at all?
- Check again next time you go to the bathroom.
Write your daily observations on a fertility chart.
Cervical Fluid patterns
After menstruation we will notice a cervical fluid pattern (unique to each person), over the course of our cycles. Below are a few examples of cervical fluid types, including both infertile, fertile and Super Fertile quality fluids).
Baseline fluid will look different to each person. This is the fluid type that is recognized during our infertile time, in between menstruation and peak day. Cervical fluid might be white and thick, or maybe even dry and nonexistent.
Thick glue/paste-like consistency that will crumble or stick between your fingertips.
More water is present, comparing cervical fluid to lotion or hair conditioner.
Stretchy Egg-white / Watery (Super Fertile)
Vaginal sensation is slippery or wet, and CF is clear, stretchy and/or slippery when touched.
We may observe some days of our cycle without the presence of any CF. Keep track of these days also as they are just as important in your fertility.
Luteal Mucus (infertile)
This fluid will show up after ovulation has occurred, and is typically less in water content (therefore thicker, maybe sticky, and white/light yellow in color). Remember that we get a rise in estrogen during our luteal phase, so it’s normal to see cervical fluid during this time.
If your cervical fluid becomes dark yellow or green in color, cottage cheese in consistency, or itches, please be sure to contact a loving gynecologist to take a loving look at your needs in person. Also, drink fresh water and eat healthful meals throughout each day for optimal observations.