There are few commonly used synonyms for cervical mucus. Some of them are cervical fluid and cervical discharge. One thing that is crucial to mention right away is that cervical mucus is a healthy and normal part of the female reproductive system. So, all women will see cervical mucus through their cycle.
If you don’t know what cervical mucus is and what’s its purpose, you could look at the discharge and start to worry or even get a little scared. But, the opposite should be true. Healthy discharge patterns of cervical mucus during the month are an excellent indicator of fertility. You can track the timing and texture of the cervical fluid and chart it in order to track the fertile and non-fertile days.
But What Is Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus is produced by your cervix at various times of your cycle. It is connected to the hormones released at certain times during your cycle. Meaning that things like color, texture, and stretchiness of the mucus will differ at those various points of your cycle.
Can cervical mucus tell you if you’re pregnant? Cervical mucus has two very important jobs. One of them is to prevent viruses and bacteria to enter the cervix. And the other is to nourish and transport sperm. That is an important evolutional development physiologically because it’s not just about the meeting of the sperm and the egg – we need something to connect them. And that is what cervical mucus does.
Mucus as a Sign of Fertility
Since cervical mucus corresponds with the hormones produced in the female body during the cycle, it makes for a reliable sign of fertility. When your body’s preparing for ovulation, the estrogen levels in your body are raising. During the ovulation period, the estrogen level is at its peak. When you are fertile, your cervical mucus will be very gooey (clear and wet). You will be able to stick it from one finger to the other. It actually looks a lot like egg white.
This type of mucus will usually appear around the 12th day of your cycle. After ovulation, your body goes on to produce a hormone called progesterone. And that is when you begin to notice a lower level of estrogenic cervical mucus. At this point, your cervical fluid will be clumpier, a little bit whiter, and denser. This is a non-fertile cervical mucus and it will prevent sperm from surviving long enough to reach the egg.
Cervical Mucus as a Sign of Early Pregnancy
Pregnancy makes your body go through a lot of changes, starting immediately upon conception. But, before taking a pregnancy test or going to the doctor’s, your body might already be sending some early signals of pregnancy. And to answer the titular question – can cervical mucus tell you if you’re pregnant? – if you’re past your fertile window and notice an increase in cervical mucus that didn’t change its texture as it normally does post-ovulation, this could indicate an early sign of pregnancy.
Keep in mind, that not all women experience this symptom, nor is the symptom itself a sure sign of pregnancy. Sometimes the difference in the texture of the mucus can be subtle and you may not even notice it. In fact, you may not actually notice any difference before the eighth week of pregnancy.
If you are pregnant, during the pregnancy you’ll most likely experience a variety of vaginal discharges, so this could be one of them. But, if you think that you might be pregnant, there is no harm in checking your cervical mucus and compare it to how it usually is at this stage of your cycle.
Other Signs of Early Pregnancy
So much of what it means to be a woman is governed through the changes you experience during your monthly cycle. Surges and declines in estrogen and progesterone leave your body with symptoms and changes that are sometimes hard to keep track of. Aside from cramping during your period, you have to go through, what sometimes feels like, endless symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
And then when you get pregnant. Or your period is late for a few days (assuming it’s usually regular). Your body starts giving you little clues to let you know about what’s happening. These are a few signs you should look out for:
Your hormones and the increased blood flow upon conception might lead to pain and swelling of your breasts. You could also notice some difference in the color of your nipples – they might get darker. You could experience this symptom of pregnancy as early as week 1 or 2 of the pregnancy.
It’s usually referred to as morning sickness, but it can strike at any time. The official term is nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP). You can start experiencing it around week 4 and 5 of the pregnancy. Sometimes, this symptom can become more severe and last throughout the entire pregnancy.
If you feel more tired than usual, even though you’re getting enough sleep, you might be going through the very early stages of pregnancy. Your body is starting to acclimate to the changes in hormones and circulation. So it’s natural to not feel like yourself and that you just need a break. This usually passes as your body adjusts.
Headaches & Backaches
Yes, a lot of aches. Again, the increased blood flow will make you go through some uncomfortable changes. So, a headache might hit you out of nowhere, and the same goes for lower back aches.
This is probably the earliest sign of pregnancy you can detect. There could be bleeding in the form of spotting during the first week of pregnancy due to the embryo attaching to the lining of the uterus. Not all women experience this, but the ones that do can mistake it for menstrual bleeding.
Your Body Is a Map
One thing remains – to be in tune with your body makes all the difference. For a woman, this is especially true during pregnancy. If you want to know if you’re pregnant, paying attention to your body’s indicators is the most natural thing to do.