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If you and your partner are planning to be parents, then you may have started tracking changes in your cervical mucus to time sex so that you can conceive. You must be trying every possible thing to make sure that you conceive soon. There is a change in cervical mucus as you ovulate, but is there a change in cervical mucus during pregnancy? Could it indicate that you are pregnant? Find out!
What is Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus is a fluid which is produced by ducts in the walls of the cervix, which is located above the vaginal tunnel. It forms a major part of leucorrhoea. “Leucorrhoea” is the umbrella term given to all vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge performs the functions of lubrication, cleaning, and maintenance of the healthy environment of the vagina. Vaginal discharge changes in quantity, viscosity, and appearance depending on the phase of one’s menstrual cycle. It is thus a good indicator of ovulation and fertility. On an average, every woman has a vaginal discharge of about 4ml every day.
Cervical Mucus in Pregnancy
Some women report increased vaginal discharge in the early days of pregnancy. This discharge, in the days after conception, appears either creamy or clear and gummy. However, it isn’t a fool-proof indicator of early pregnancy. Indeed, even if it is accompanied by breast tenderness and frequent urination, which are both also considered to be signs of pregnancy, there is no certain way to confirm pregnancy.
The amount of cervical mucus during pregnancy varies. It is high during the early days. As the pregnancy progresses, cervical mucus forms a plug, forming a barrier to the uterus. This prevents any chances of infection. Vaginal discharge tends to decrease after the plug is formed during the course of pregnancy. However, it doesn’t stop altogether, and it again increases during the later stages of pregnancy.
How Can You Check Cervical Mucus
Checking your cervical mucus can be an accurate way to track your menstrual cycle and pinpoint which days you are ovulating. There are three ways to check your cervical mucus.
- Toilet Paper: Before you pee, wipe your vagina with a white toilet paper. Observe the colour, consistency, and feel of the discharge.
- Underwear: In this method, you simply check for vaginal discharge in your underwear. Vaginal discharge increases when you near ovulation. However, this method may not yield much information on other days.
- Fingers: This is the method that yields the most accurate information. Clean your hands. Insert two fingers into your vagina and check the consistency, colour, and stickiness.
The following are the typical results found through a menstrual cycle:
- No colour and mostly dry: This is the day right after the day when your period ends.
- Thick and cloudy: This is usually at one week into the cycle. At this point, you are approaching ovulation.
- Clear like egg white, less viscous and abundant: You are most fertile during these days and are ovulating. This is the best time to try to conceive.
- Thick, sticky, and cloudy: Now it resembles the discharge from right before you were ovulating. This is usually during the third week since your periods. This is usually the time when one is trying to figure out whether they have indeed conceived or not, but the only way they can try is by checking for any changes in their cervical mucus.
What If You See Pink or Brown Cervical Discharge
Some women have reported pink or brown spotting sometime between the 6th and 12th day of pregnancy. This is termed “implantation bleeding”. It is thought to be triggered by the action of the fertilized egg sticking onto the wall of the uterus. However, it isn’t really clear if that is the reason behind it. About one in three women who are pregnant have reported this. A brown discharge usually happens when your period ends and it is usually a cleaning mechanism which involves getting rid of old blood. A pinkish brown discharge could be because of many reasons, and pregnancy is one of it.
What If You Notice an Increased Discharge Before the Periods?
Usually, vaginal discharge is less after ovulation, so many women who are trying to conceive take increased discharge after ovulation to be a sign of pregnancy. However, it can be caused by lots of factors. If it is watery and clear, it is just your body preparing for menstruation. However, if you are pregnant, cervical mucus after ovulation will not be clear and runny. The absence of discharge or dry cervical mucus in early pregnancy is rare. If conception was successful, you are more likely to find the same thick, clear or creamy cervical mucus after ovulation and before ovulation.
If you have been tracking the changes of your vaginal discharge over the course of your cycles for some months and have found it to be more or less consistent, then you may be successfully able to observe changes in cervical fluid during early pregnancy. However, changes in cervical mucus is not a clear sign of pregnancy and by no means reliable. It is prudent to wait until you have missed your period and conducted a pregnancy test to confirm conception.
Also Read: Losing Mucus Plug during Pregnancy