- What is cervical mucus?
- What does cervical mucus look like in early pregnancy?
- Is cervical mucus any different during pregnancy?
- How can you check cervical mucus?
- What does pink or brown cervical discharge indicate?
- What if the discharge increases before the periods?
Pregnancy causes several changes within the body, including the firmness and position of the cervix. Although a home pregnancy test can confirm your pregnancy, observing the changes in the cervical mucus helps you get some idea about your conception. This MomJunction post helps you understand how you can detect pregnancy early with the changes in the cervical mucus.
What Is Cervical Mucus?
Cervical mucus is a fluid secreted by the glands located in and around the cervix. It is also referred to as leucorrhea, which is a broader term given to any vaginal discharge. Cervical mucus aids in lubricating, cleaning, and nourishing the vaginal environment (1). Hormonal changes during the reproductive cycle influence the amount and consistency of this mucus. It is, therefore, a good signal of ovulation and fertility (2).
What Does Cervical Mucus Look Like In Early Pregnancy?
Cervical mucus looks either creamy or gummy in early pregnancy. There will be increased vaginal discharge around the time of the missed period, which is usually considered as a sign of pregnancy. The increased estrogen stimulates the blood flow into the pelvic region that results in increased mucus (3).
Will Cervical Mucus Change During Pregnancy?
Yes, cervical mucus changes when you get pregnant (4). The discharge usually increases in the first trimester and eventually turns into the mucus plug that blocks the cervical opening, thus protecting the baby from infections. The mucus plug breaks down at the time of delivery and releases in the form of large clumps or small bits (3).
How Can You Check Cervical Mucus?
Tracking your menstrual cycle helps you track the days of ovulation, which further enables you to check for cervical mucus during early pregnancy. Here are a few ways to check (5):
- Using toilet tissue: Before urinating, wipe your vaginal par using white toilet tissue. Check the color, feel, and consistency of the vaginal discharge.
- Check your panty: This is a simple method of checking for discharge in your underwear. It usually increases at the time of nearing ovulation, but this might not be an accurate method.
- Using your finger: This is the most precise method. Wash your hand using soap and water. Insert two fingers into the vagina and remove them. You can examine the stickiness, color, and consistency of the discharge.
To analyze the cervical mucus during early pregnancy, you should understand how the consistency changes through the normal menstrual cycle.
- No color and almost dry. It is the day right after your period stops.
- Thick and cloudy. It is one week after you enter the cycle, closer to ovulation.
- Clear, watery, and abundant. This is the time of ovulation when you are most fertile, and it is the perfect time to conceive.
- Cloudy, sticky and thick. This is usually around the third week from your periods, when you can figure out if you have conceived or not.
What Does Pink Or Brown Cervical Discharge Indicate?
Pink or brown vaginal discharge occurs in the early pregnancy, between six and 12 days of pregnancy. This is due to the implantation bleeding, that happens when the embryo implants into the wall of the uterus (6). Sometimes, you will not have any spotting at the time of implantation (7).
A pink discharge could happen because of ovarian cysts and hormonal changes, whereas a brown discharge occurs at the end of your period when the uterus is getting rid of all the leftover blood.
What If You Notice An Increased Discharge Before The Periods?
If you notice an increased discharge before periods, or after ovulation, you can take it as a sign of pregnancy.
If it is clear and watery, it means your body is preparing for menstruation. But, if the discharge is thick or creamy, it could mean that you are pregnant since watery or dry discharge is very rare in the early stages of pregnancy.
Remember that relying solely on cervical mucus will not give accurate results. It is not a fool-proof or reliable indicator of pregnancy. You should also look for other changes such as constipation, breast tenderness, frequent urination, morning sickness that are also signs of early pregnancy.
If your period is delayed, but you are unable to detect pregnancy by mere observation of the cervical mucus, go for a proper pregnancy test for a definite result.
[ Read: PMS Symptoms Vs. Pregnancy Symptoms ]
What signs did you notice in your early pregnancy? Were you able to detect pregnancy by observing the color, consistency or thickness of the cervical mucus? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
2. Martin Owen; Physiological Signs of Ovulation and Fertility Readily Observable by Women; Linacre Q (2013)
3. Vagina; UCSB SexInfo (2016)
4. Cheng SJ & Zheng ZQ; Early pregnancy factor in cervical mucus of pregnant women; Send to Am J Reprod Immunol (2004)
5. Cervical Mucus Monitoring; UNC School of Medicine
6. Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy; UCSB SexInfo (2017)
7. Reem Hasan et al.; Patterns and predictors of vaginal bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy; Ann Epidemiol (2011)
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