How Does The Cervix Change At Ovulation?
Ovulation is the process of release of a single, mature egg from the ovarian follicle in mature women. The human ovary produces a multitude of ova during the course of a month, largest of which is expelled into the pelvic cavity and swept into the Fallopian tube. Once released, the egg is capable of being fertilized for 12 to 24 hours before it begins to disintegrate. If the released ovum or egg is fertilized and successfully implants, it results in pregnancy.
Changes In The Cervix And Cervical Mucus During Ovulation
Ovulation is the ideal period of your cycle when your chances of getting pregnant are highest. Your fertile period starts about 4-5 days before ovulation, and ends about 24-48 hours after it. Ovulation is also the period when your body shows certain characteristic physical changes, which are often used to predict ovulation. These physical signs include basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes. The changes in your cervix during ovulation indicate your fertile days. By enabling you to tell where you are in your cycle, the changes in cervix can help you predict the time of your ovulation.
The hormonal fluctuations in your body during ovulation are responsible for these changes in the cervix. You are considered most fertile when your cervical mucus becomes clear, slippery, and stretchy just like raw egg whites. You can monitor the changes in your cervix yourself by getting a sample of your cervical secretions (from the outer lips of your external genitalia) and stretch it between 2 of your fingers (the thumb and index finger) to test for the consistency. Examining the changes in your cervical mucus can help you pinpoint your chances of pregnancy.
As your cycle progresses, your cervix will show marked changes and the cervical mucus will increase in volume and changes texture. Right after menstruation your cervix will start getting dry, lumpy and appear closed when touched. At this stage, following menstruation, there will be little or no discharge present. You will feel dryness around your vulva. During this time, you will usually not be able to conceive.
Pre ovulation and during ovulation you may feel your cervix is very high, open and wet. The first cervical discharge that appears is moist or sticky and white or cream in color. In the finger test, the mucus will break easily. You will only be able to pull your fingers about 1 cm apart before it breaks. During this transition time, first the mucus will become cloudy and slightly stretchy during the finger test (this means that it will still break before the fingers are stretched all the way). As time progresses, the mucus will become greater in volume.
At this stage, cervical mucus is the thinnest, clearest and most abundant during your cycle. The amount of this thin cervical mucus will also steadily increase until you experience your ‘cervical mucus peak’. This occurs on the last day of your cycle where the chance of conception is high. It is closely related to ovulation.
Right after ovulation the cervix is returning to the dryer, lower, closed state you noticed after menstruation. During pregnancy the cervix becomes closed and blue in color. The cervical mucus also tends to change during this stage of your cycle. The cervical mucus would begin increasing due to hormonal fluctuation and blood flow to the uterus.