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All Your Awkward Questions About Cervical Mucus, Answered

In our previous blog posts, we explored cervical mucus, its role in fertility, and how it is observed both routinely and in unique scenarios, such as after intercourse. While cervical mucus is key to understanding your fertility, there are many factors that can negatively impact it, thus making it challenging to interpret. Today we want to dive deeper into cervical mucus tracking and the challenges that can arise in doing so.
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Samantha Bock
10-year Creighton user with a passion for women's health, family, and writing.

How does mucus or discharge change in relation to illness or infection?

Although your cervical mucus is produced largely in response to hormones, it can also be affected by whole-body circumstances that affect mucus production in general. So, if you have a cold and your body is producing a lot of mucus in your nose or throat, you might notice an increase in cervical mucus as well.

Of course, illness is a stressor on the body—and stress can affect your reproductive cycle! If you get sick, your cycle may look different. Sometimes this means early or delayed ovulation, heavier or lighter periods, a longer or shorter luteal phase—everyone responds differently.

Likewise, if you’re taking a decongestant or antihistamine to treat your symptoms, you might notice a decrease in cervical mucus. Some expectorants, meant to thin and loosen mucus in your chest or sinuses to provide relief from congestion, will also change your cervical mucus—sometimes it will make it look more fertile. Antibiotics may also influence your mucus production. These effects are not universal, so you may or may not notice them.

Either way, keep tracking your fertility as best as you can. Make sure you note the possible interference of any illnesses or medications on your charts, particularly if your patterns may not look like you’d usually expect them to.

As mentioned in the question about vaginal discharge, your mucus observations will also look different if you have a local infection like yeast or vaginismus. In cases like these, make sure you check in with your doctor!

I rarely notice any cervical mucus, no matter where I am in my cycle. Is something wrong with me?

The amount and quality of cervical mucus can vary a lot from woman to woman, so don’t assume there’s something wrong with you. To troubleshoot minimal mucus, first try checking more often and more intentionally. Be thoughtful, too, about how you feel during the day. Are you changing your underwear more frequently or feeling wet as you walk around? That might be an indication of the presence of mucus, too.

Your kegg should be helpful with this as well! Its internal readings may not require as much volume of fluid as you might need to make observations externally.

If you continue to feel like you’re under-producing fertile mucus, the next step is hydration! Drinking enough water can make a big difference. You can also choose to use a conception-friendly lubricant during intercourse to aid in sperm survival and mobility during your fertile window.

Finally, certain supplements and medications can also be used to increase the volume and quantity of cervical mucus if you need additional help. Please check in with your doctor for tips.

I often notice a lot of cervical mucus, no matter where I am in my cycle. Is something wrong with me?

As mentioned above, the amount and quality of mucus looks different for everyone! Some women also have what’s known as continuous mucus, and may notice fluids all month long. Abundant mucus, as long as it doesn’t show any flags for infection or continuous bleeding, isn’t usually a problem. It can be tricky to distinguish how its fertile qualities change, though, so make sure you’re extra mindful of subtle differences as you track over time.

And, of course, your kegg can take that guesswork out of the equation for you with regular charting.

Are there any red flags when it comes to what my cervical mucus looks like?

Clumpy, yellow- or green-tinged, or foul-smelling discharge can be a sign of infection and should be addressed with the help of a doctor. Some brown discharge around your period can be normal, but excessive brown bleeding might be a sign of other problems as well. 

If you are seeing no discernible trends in your mucus, it could be a sign that your body is not cycling in a healthy way (which could mean you’re not ovulating, or have another issue that could impair fertility). Talk to a doctor if you need help investigating irregular or potentially anovulatory cycles.

How do I keep track of all this tracking data in a way that’s useful over time?

Over time, as you get more comfortable with mucus observations and more familiar with your own patterns, making evaluations of your fertile cycles based on cervical mucus will come naturally—but historical data is always helpful, so recording is a great idea!

Some women who are only casually tracking mucus patterns may make simple notes about their observations, either in a favorite app on their phone or a physical notebook discreetly stored in the bathroom or bedroom. 

If you choose a fertility awareness method that includes mucus charting, you’ll receive instructions on how to record your observations and read that chart as well. With kegg, the device will log your data in the app on your phone for historical reference to help you in spotting trends from cycle to cycle. Use it to identify your fertile window and interpret how your cycles compare to one another over time.

fertile window cervical fluid tracking

By now, you are a pro when it comes to cervical mucus, from normal observations to more challenging scenarios that arise. Whether you are trying to conceive or just trying to become more familiar with your body, cervical mucus can provide insightful information throughout your cycle.

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