The mucus in the uterus changes during the menstrual cycle. Predicting ovulation can be done by tracking it.

The discharge from the cervix is called cervical mucus. The amount and thickness of mucus change during the menstrual cycle. mucus is produced by the hormones in the cervix.

“Tracking the mucus can help predict when you’ll have a baby. This is called fertility awareness or cervical monitoring.”

Read on to learn about cervical mucus and how it changes throughout your menstrual cycle.

A variety of factors can cause your cervical mucus to change. Some of these include:

  • Your menstrual cycle: Your cervical mucus can change during each stage of your cycle. Immediately before and during ovulation, the mucus is typically clear, stretchy, and slippery. After ovulation, it tapers off and becomes more tacky and sticky. You may also experience a few days without any mucus.
  • Pregnancy: Immediately after conception, your mucus can become thick and gummy. As your pregnancy progresses, the amount of mucus might increase and become white or yellow. In late pregnancy, the mucus can become thick and contain pink streaks. This may be a sign that labor has begun.
  • Some birth control methods: Hormonal birth control methods typically thicken cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize an egg.
  • Infections: Bacterial, yeast, and sexually transmitted infections can cause your mucus to change color or smell.
  • Other factors: Certain medications, feminine hygiene products, douching, breastfeeding, having sexual intercourse, or having a pelvic exam where lubrication is used may also affect how your cervical mucus appears.

The amount, color, and consistency of mucus during menstruation varies for everyone. Here are some ways that mucus can change.

  • During your menstrual period: Blood will cover the mucus, so you likely won’t notice it.
  • After your period: Immediately following your period, you might have dry days when you may not notice any discharge.
  • Before ovulation: Your body produces mucus before it releases an egg (ovulation). The mucus may be yellow, white, or cloudy, and the consistency might be gluey or stretchy.
  • Immediately before ovulation: Estrogen levels rise just before ovulation. Your mucus might be more clear, stretchy, watery, and slippery. It can look similar to egg whites.
  • During ovulation: The clear, stretchy mucus will remain during ovulation, as its texture and pH are protective for sperm. If you’re trying to conceive, have sex during the 5 to 6 days leading up to and including the day of ovulation.
  • After ovulation: There will be less discharge after ovulation. The mucus may be thicker, cloudy, or gluey. Some people experience dry days after ovulating.

Cervical mucus after conception

Changes in the mucus can be a sign of a baby. mucus tends to be clear, thick, and gummy after you have a fertilized egg in your uterus.

Some people experience implantation bleeding, or spotting, which can occur 6 to 12 days after conception. This bleeding is typically lighter in color than menstrual blood.

You might notice the changes before the test.

Cervical mucus in early pregnancy

During the first weeks of pregnancy, your cervical mucus’s color and consistency can change. You might notice stickier white or yellow mucus, known as leukorrhea. As your pregnancy progresses, your vaginal discharge might continue to change.

Does birth control affect cervical mucus?

Birth control pills and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUD) thicken cervical mucus so sperm can’t reach the egg. If you’re using either of these methods, your cervical mucus might have a different consistency.

Rub your thumb and pointer finger to feel mucus consistency. Here is how the mucus in your uterus feels during your cycle.

  • Before ovulation: sticky or tacky
  • Immediately before and during ovulation: slippery and stretchy, like raw egg whites
  • After ovulation: thicker and tacky

There are a few ways to check for changes. You should wash your hands before and after performing any of these methods.

  • Manually: Insert a clean finger or two into your vagina near the cervix. Remove your finger, and note the mucus’s color and texture.
  • With toilet paper: Wipe the opening of your vagina with white toilet tissue before you use the restroom. Note the mucus’s color and consistency on the tissue.
  • By checking your underwear or a panty liner: Look for changes in discharge on your underwear or a panty liner. This method can be less reliable than others, as the color of your underwear and how long the discharge has been there can change the discharge’s characteristics.

Natural family planning using the cervical mucus method is possible.

The method is based on the idea that if you want to get pregnant, you can track the changes in your mucus. Tracking your mucus daily can help you recognize patterns.

To improve your chances of pregnancy, try to have intercourse every day or every other day once you notice your cervical mucus consistency becoming more thin, watery, and slippery. This method is more effective for predicting ovulation if you have regular monthly menstrual cycles. If your cycles are irregular, long, or infrequent this method may not work for you and you should talk with your doctor or healthcare professional.

For the best chance of pregnancy, use an app or calendar to record the days you’re more likely to be ovulating. Then plan to have sex during this fertile window.

If you’re avoiding pregnancy

If you want to avoid having a baby, avoid sex when you first see mucus. The failure rate for the method is high. It is considered unreliable compared to other contraceptive methods. Consider using an alternative method of birth control.

You can use the following methods to track ovulation.


Your basal body temperature (your body temperature when you’re resting) rises by 0.5 to 1.0°F (.28 to .55°C) after ovulation has occurred. When tracking your basal body temperature, make sure to take your temperature first thing in the morning when you wake up each day during your cycle.

If you are ovulating, you should notice a rise in your body temperature. This method can be helpful in determining if you are ovulating, but it can also be unreliable. Predicting ovulation in real-time is not possible. It can detect the fertility after it has occurred.

If you are trying to get pregnant, you should use your body temperature graph to estimate your day of ovulation. Sex can be had on the day of ovulation.

The method can increase your chances of success.


Predicting your ovulation days can be done with free online ovulation calendars. You need to enter the start and average number of days in your cycle.

Fertility test

A doctor can perform tests and exams to make sure your hormones are normal. If you are over 35 years old, you should see a doctor if you have trouble getting pregnant after a year of trying.

You can also track ovulation at home using a digital ovulation predictor or ovulation test strips. Similar to taking a pregnancy test, ovulation tests require you to urinate on the end of a test strip or into a cup where you’ll insert the strip. These tests check for the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge to predict your most fertile days. An LH surge triggers ovulation.

If you see a vaginal discharge that is unusual, tell the doctor. Also watch for:

“If you don’t think you’re pregnant, talk to a doctor.”

The menstrual cycle includes a part of the mucus discharge. If you notice a foul smell, or if you experience itching or redness, you should talk to a doctor.

Tracking mucus can be used to predict when a woman will have an egg. Track your mucus for a while before trying to have a baby. If you want to avoid having a baby, use a backup birth control method.