Cervical Mucus and Fertility
I feel like anyone who's been around Moms.com a while knows I talk about cervical mucous with almost alarming frequency, haha. So... Might as well talk about how it affects fertility tonight.
Cervical mucous can tell you a lot about what's going on with your body, but it's different for every woman. When trying to conceive, tracking the color and consistency can be a great help, because it changes throughout your cycle.
It can be thin, cloudy, thick, milky, clear, a little, or a lot and that's normal! Most women find the amount fluctuates throughout their cycle and are often drier after their periods.
One reason to track cervical mucous is to determine ovulation. Sure, there are OPKs, but sometimes paying attention to your body is all it takes! During ovulation, many women experience EWCM – egg white cervical mucous. Though it's a rather yucky name, in my humble opinion, it is also quite fitting. EWCM generally comes out in greater volumes, is clear and stretchy. It looks just like egg whites. This is a great environment for sperm to live and swim.
Many women also notice an increase in cervical mucous when they become pregnant. Sometimes it has a 'strange' odor. Not necessarily bad, but different. Many women also say their cervical mucous becomes lotion-y during pregnancy. Pink tinged cervical mucous can also indicate implantation.
Of course, cervical mucous changes can be indicative of infections and STDs – bad smells, strange colors, curdled consistency... all of these things can warrant a doctor's visit.
Now that my initial CM spiel is out of the way- how it affects fertility!
Sperm are delicate little buggers. Vaginas are finicky. So many things have to align to have a baby and everything you can help, helps! Cervical mucous is one of those things.
Sperm have to be able to swim to the egg. Thick cervical mucous can make this very, very difficult and can prevent you from becoming pregnant, even if you're ovulating every month. Being 'dry' can also make it difficult for sperm because they can't exactly just walk right into your uterus (though in my mind, that image is hilarious), they have to swim. This is normally affected by hormones, so you can ask your doctor to check that, but there are other options.
Coconut oil- unrefined, cold-pressed, preferably. Use it as lube. 1. It works GREAT, and reminds me of some silicone based lubricants. 2. It's got a great pH and consistency for your man's little swimmers to meet the egg. 3. You can also use it as chapstick, hair conditioner, cooking oil, lotion, massage oil, oil pulling... pretty much everything. Seriously, get some.
Orrrr... You can use Pre-Seed lube. I've never used it personally, but a lot of women SWEAR by it. It has the same effects as coconut oil to the best of my knowledge. A simple switch to Pre-Seed has left many a woman pregnant after many years of trying. Remember, most commercial lubes are not intended for use when trying to conceive and can inhibit sperm.
You can also use Evening Primrose Oil caplets up to ovulation (please not after as it may cause miscarriage!) to increase your cervical mucous. It doesn't work for some women and sometimes it takes a couple months to kick in, but you can always use your leftovers when it's time for labor to help soften up your cervix too!
Vinegar baths and baking soda baths can help alter your pH over time naturally, to the best of my knowledge. (Vinegar to up the acidity, baking soda to make it more basic... Don't mix them. That just makes a volcano, lol.)
You don't really NEED to test your pH... but if you're science-minded I imagine you can use sensitive litmus strips to do so. You can get them at Lowes and suppliers online. Just search pH testing strips or something similar. They should be REALLY cheap. By the way, changing your vaginal pH can also change the likelihood of having a girl or a boy, if you're trying for that sort of thing. ;)
Plus, totally neat to test all sorts of stuff with your children (water, milk, grandma's saliva, whatever) to teach them about alkaline and acid and watch the strips change color.
You can even do a really cool thing with the litmus paper with black ink that separates it into all its rainbow color components, on a COMPLETELY unrelated note.
I know this post was kind of silly, but I hope I helped someone! Plus, now that I wrote you guys a short novel, I think I got it all out of my system. I'll try not to post about cervical mucous for a while now, LOL! (I make no promises.)
Anybody have anything to add about cervical mucous and/or fertility?