One way of determining when ovulation will occur is to keep track of the cervical mucus. The color, consistency, and amount are all important to note because as ovulation nears, the mucus becomes clear, stretchy, and copious. Observing cervical mucus during ovulation is one of several methods for women to determine when they should have intercourse with their partner in order to achieve pregnancy. Thus, learning what to look for is important before expecting to get pregnant.
What many women are not aware of is that cervical mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle. The changes are not just random, as each type of mucus has a purpose, especially during ovulation. Unfortunately, many women consider any discharge to be a negative thing, so they often ignore it or try to get rid of it. Those trying to achieve pregnancy, however, eventually learn to appreciate the cervical mucus that their body produces, as pregnancy is not typically possible without it.
Mucus that is not fertile often appears sticky, thick, white, and shows up just before and after menstruation. There may be very little of this kind of mucus, and it is not considered conducive to pregnancy because it is difficult for sperm to move through it. Many women do not even notice any cervical mucus during this part of their cycle since it is quite scant.
As a woman approaches ovulation, she may notice an increase in cervical mucus. It will likely become thinner and easier to stretch, though it is usually still white, and not as plentiful as cervical mucus during ovulation. It is often described as creamy, and is said to look like lotion. Women who observe this kind of mucus should begin to anticipate ovulation in the following few days, and may even begin having intercourse in an attempt to ensure that sperm is waiting for the egg just before its release.
Cervical mucus during ovulation is clear, slippery, stretchy, and quite thin. It is often said to look like raw egg whites, and should be able to stretch between the fingers without breaking easily. This is considered the easiest for sperm to travel through, which makes it likelier than ever for the released egg to be fertilized. In fact, there are some lubricants that can be purchased from the store that mimic cervical mucus during ovulation, which can help women who naturally have trouble producing fertile mucus. The fertile mucus should dry up almost immediately after ovulation, gradually returning to the dry, scant mucus present during menstruation.