Cervical Mucus (CM)
Definition - What does Cervical Mucus (CM) mean?
Cervical mucus is vaginal fluid produced by the cervix throughout a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle that helps facilitate conception by allowing sperm to easily swim into the cervix. By tracking and monitoring the changes in cervical mucus, it is possible for a woman to gain awareness of her fertile and non-fertile phases. This awareness can assist a controlling the chances of conception. Cervical mucus can be monitored through an easy self-evaluation.
Cervical mucus is also known as cervical fluid.
FertilitySmarts explains Cervical Mucus (CM)
The cervix is a small organ that divides the uterus from the vagina. The cervix rotates in accordance with a woman's monthly cycle, and its position serves as a cap, allowing menstrual blood to flow out during menstruation, for sperm to enter during ovulation, or blocking the entrance entirely. Throughout the cycle, the cervix is also responsible for the development and secretion of cervical mucus, the production of which is controlled by a woman’s hormones.
Most women experience cervical mucus in the form of vaginal discharge. This discharge typically appears as residue on underwear or can be noticed when wiping after urination. The discharge varies throughout the month, in accordance with the various stages of the cycle.
The majority of the month a woman is not fertile, as ovulation is not occurring. During this time cervical mucus is produced in texture and quantity that hinder sperm or foreign matter from entering. However, during ovulation, cervical mucus is produced that aids the sperm in reaching the egg. Throughout the fertile time, cervical mucus propels the sperm forward and provides an environment that allows the sperm to remain alive for several days.
A woman can check her cervical mucus by inserting two clean, washed fingers into her vagina. Removing her finger, it is possible to inspect the cervical mucus present. It is important to note that it may be hard to differentiate between vaginal fluid and semen. Women should inspect cervical mucus prior to unprotected intercourse or a day or two after.
There are three notable variations of cervical mucus:
Egg white mucus:
- Clear or nearly clear
- Can stretch up to an inch between fingers without breaking
- Occurs during fertility window
- Conception is likely when present
Creamy cervical mucus
- White or cream colored
- Thick, somewhat stretchy, will break when pulled apart
- Just prior to ovulation
- Conception is possible
Watery cervical mucus
- Thin, runny, similar to water
- Occurs after ovulation
- Conception is possible
When no cervical mucus is present, it is known as a dry stage. A woman is not fertile during that time.