What is Cervical Mucus?
Cervical mucus is the mucus that excreted by your cervix. Your cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus where the vagina meets the uterus. It forms a passageway for menstrual blood to leave your uterus during your period and also allows sperm to travel up into your reproductive system so fertilization of your egg can happen.
Cervical Mucus and Your Cycle
Your cervical mucus will change throughout your monthly cycle. The three characteristics to look out for are color, consistency and volume. Early in your cycle, you’ll have almost no cervical mucus, and it may be more white in appearance and sticky. As you get closer to ovulation, your cervical mucus quantity will increase and it will white or cream colored and become thicker and maybe a little stretchy and moist. The time to look for, in terms of trying to conceive, is when cervical mucus is plenty, and when it’s the color and consistency of the white of an egg and is stretchy and wet. After you ovulate, the amount of cervical mucus drops off and becomes sticky again.
What Causes “egg white” cervical mucus?
A woman’s cycle is run by a delicate dance of hormones that ebb and flow over the span of about a month. As your body get approaches ovulation, there is a surge of estrogen, created by the maturing follicle in your ovary that will eventually rupture and release your egg. It’s this surge of estrogen that prompts your cervix to secrete the slippery clear cervical mucus to produce a more sperm friendly environment.
Cervical Mucus and Sperm
The cervical mucus, near ovulation, helps to nourish and protect the sperm as it travels to meet and hopefully fertilize the egg.
The egg white cervical mucus helps to do a number of different things in relation to conception, including:
- Protecting the sperm. The vaginal environment is a harsh one for those struggling sperm to swim around it. It’s very acidic, which in turn can cause sperm to stop moving altogether. Egg white cervical mucus helps to protect the sperm in the vagina.
- Helping the sperm travel. There’s another way in which egg white cervical mucus helps the sperm out, however. In addition to shielding the sperm from the acids in the vagina, it also helps to create a path for the sperm to move and swim forward in. It literally helps the sperm along their journey up the fallopian tubes, where it can (hopefully) find an egg to fertilize.
- Holding back abnormal sperm. Some sperm aren’t as healthy as others. Because of chromosomal defects, some sperm are considered to be “abnormal.” If these sperm were to be the ones that would make it up the reproductive canal and fertilize an egg, chances are pretty good that the egg would not implant, or that there would be some other problem. Egg white cervical mucus actually slows down abnormal sperm, and helps the normal and healthy sperm to beat out the others in the race to fertilize the egg.
The egg white cervical mucus is an important player in your ability to get pregnant. If you have a hormone imbalance or are taking a fertility medication like Clomid, you may find that you are just not able to produce the type of cervical mucus that will help your partner’s sperm get to where it needs to be. In cases like this, you may way to use a sperm friendly lubricant, like Pre-Seed, to provide the sperm friendly environment.