Not many women pay attention to cervical mucus before period.
Until you see blood coming out of the vagina, you don’t feel the need for worrying. Despite this, it is a fact that cervical mucus tells a lot about your sexual well-being.
The changes of ovaries and uterus have parallels. They happen in a similar pattern every month until there is pregnancy.
Cervical mucus changes tell you a lot about the stage of the menstrual cycle.
Cervical mucus before the period is thick and gooey. This type of cervical mucus is not fertile and prevents sperms from entering the vagina.
The fluid that you often see in your knickers tells you a lot about your fertility. Sometimes it is better than the ovulation test kits available in the market.
Indeed, cervical mucus before the period is the method to help women with irregular period predict their ovulation date.
During the menses phase, one cannot distinguish between blood and cervical mucus.
Proliferative phase leads to the growth of the uterine lining and causes changes in the amount of cervical mucus. The discharge during this time is watery.
During ovulation stringy egg white cervical mucus indicates the fertility period.
How does cervical mucus change during menstrual cycle?
The changes in cervical mucus are reliable indicators of a particular stage of the menstrual cycle.
Every stage of the menstrual cycle has a specific kind of cervical mucus characteristic. You can use clean fingers or tissue paper to check the type of cervical mucus.
Take clean fingers inside your vagina and take a sample of fluid from there. Stretch it between your fingers and see if it forms a string or feels like crème.
You can even use a tissue paper during the days when the mucus is profuse watery discharge.
The cervical mucus changes due to fall and rise of estrogen and progesterone hormones during the cycle.
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, back in 2004 published a study putting light on cervical mucus and fertility. The article favors checking cervical mucus at every stage in cycle more effective way to get pregnant fast 1
There are six stages of cervical mucus during the menstrual cycle:
1) Dry days cervical mucus
After the period the cervical mucus production goes down. There is almost no production of mucus because the hormone levels are basal.
The estrogen-progesterone hormones are responsible for changes in cervical mucus.
When the estrogen levels rise the discharge becomes watery, and progesterone makes it thick.
During dry days either kind of hormone does not increase. The period of dry days lasts for three days or so and later the cervical mucus changes.
2) Thick sticky discharge
When the estrogen levels gradually start rising, the discharge is still sticky.
This process also lasts for another 4-5 days. After this, the fertility window begins.
Cervical mucus before ovulation starts getting clear.
Thick sticky discharge is a sign that estrogen levels are still not enough and so ovulation cannot be near.
For women with a longer menstrual cycle, this helps determine ovulation. They cannot merely consider 14th day because their cycle is longer.
3) Profuse watery cervical mucus
As the estrogen levels pick and ovulation nears the amount of cervical mucus increases.
The consistency is watery, and you feel like you are wetting your panties.
Profuse watery mucus is because of estrogen peak before ovulation.
4) Egg white cervical mucus stage
The most reliable indicator of ovulation is the Egg White Cervical Mucus or the EWCM.
It is stringy, white and semi-transparent vaginal discharge during ovulation.
One can use fingers to withdraw some amount and stretch it between fingers. As it forms strings, it indicates that most fertile during this period.
5) Creamy cervical mucus
Creamy cervical mucus after ovulation is not stringy. It is a sign that your fertility window period is over.
Creamy cervical mucus is because the egg cyst is releasing a lot of progesterone hormone.
This hormone makes the discharge thick and creamy. The water content of cervical mucus goes on reducing as period approaches.
The amount of cervical discharge before period also dramatically reduces.
6) Cervical mucus before period
The cervical mucus immediately before the period is thick and gooey.
It is like a cheesy mass. If it has a smell or color, then you need to consult a doctor.
If you see blood in your cervical mucus before period, then you may be having some internal problem.
Taking birth control pills or getting an IUD changes the kind of discharge to prevent pregnancy.
Stages of cervical mucus between menses
- The follicular stage of the ovary where the next egg begins maturation overlaps the period. During this stage, the cervical mucus is dense and doesn’t allow any sperm to pass through it. Though you may consider it unnecessary from the point of view of contraception, but this indicates your fertility stage. The cervical mucus helps in removing the exfoliated cells during menses. The other function during this time is to prevent any infections due to the bloody discharge. Blood invites many microbes, and the constant wetness is ideal for their growth. The cervical mucus regulates the good bacteria and prevents any harmful growth.
- During ovulation, the cervical mucus glands increase their functioning. The main function of this stage is promoting fertilization. The increased cervical mucus is a sign of fertility. It allows penetrative sex for delivering the sperms inside. The mucus helps sperms travel up to the tubes.
- Following this is the luteal phase that maintains the walls of the uterus. This is for the possibility of pregnancy that may happen if fertilization was successful. During this phase the cervical mucus becomes creamy.
- Cervical mucus before the period is thick and can be a sign that pregnancy did not occur. The body prepares for shedding the lining of the uterus.
Serious causes of cervical mucus before period
Cervical mucus by itself can never be a problem. The absence of cervical mucus creates problems such as uncomfortable intercourse.
You need a lot of lubrication for smooth intercourse. Reduced amount of discharge prevents attainment of sexual pleasure.
If you have blood in cervical mucus, then you may be having some serious problems. Blood in cervical mucus, even when asymptomatic needs medical attention.
Serious causes of cervical mucus before a period may be when it has a bad odor.
The gooey or cheesy texture of discharge is not normal.
- Mucus observations in the fertile window: a better predictor of conception than timing of Intercourse: Jamie L. Bigelow; Human Reproduction, Volume 19, Issue 4 https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deh173