Cervical Mucus In Early Pregnancy: Signs & How It Looks Like

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Several changes may occur in the cervical mucus in early pregnancy. Many women may use these changes as a marker to guess if they have conceived or not, even before they go for a home pregnancy test. The changes in the cervical mucus happen due to hormonal changes. Certain physical changes, such as alterations in the firmness and position of the cervix, may also affect the cervical mucus.

Read this post to learn more about how to check cervical mucus and what does the color changes in the cervical mucus indicate.

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).

Did you know?
Increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy helps prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the uterus .

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.

    Wash your fingers well before checking cervical mucus during pregnancy

    Image: Shutterstock

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.
  • Sticky, abundant and stretchy. 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?

Implantation bleeding during early pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

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).

Quick tip
Consult your doctor if you observe an unusual or foul smell in your vaginal discharge, the discharge looks greenish, or you feel itchiness in your vaginal area .

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does cervical mucus look like after ovulation if you are pregnant?

Usually, your cervical mucus dries up after ovulation, and then you get your period. But if you have conceived, you may continue to produce some cervical mucus, which may be white or yellow and sticky. It may also have a brown or pinkish tint around the time of implantation, which falls around the expected date of your first period (8).

2. What are the different types of cervical mucus?

The following are the different categories of cervical mucus (9):

  • Type 1: Lowest fertility: nothing is seen and may feel dry, rough, and itchy
  • Type 2: Low fertility: nothing is seen and may feel damp
  • Type 3: Intermediate fertility: Thick, creamy, whitish, yellowish, sticky, and non-stretchy/elastic mucus and may feel damp
  • Type 4: High fertility: transparent, stretchy, liquidy, watery, reddish, or may resemble egg-white and may feel wet, slippery, and smooth

3. How do I start charting cervical mucus to get pregnant?

Keep track of the cervical mucus changes that you see every day. You can use fertility mobile apps or may label days on the calendar according to the texture of your cervical mucus as creamy, pasty, dry, or wet (8).

Several changes may occur in the cervical mucus during early pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations. So, if you think you’re pregnant, check the color, consistency, and texture of your cervical mucus using tissues or your fingertips. The mucus will appear gummy or creamy, and you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. However, changes in cervical mucus cannot be used as a reliable indicator of pregnancy. If your period is overdue, look for additional signs of pregnancy and take a pregnancy test to get an accurate result.

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.

Infographic: What Causes Changes In Cervical Mucus Other Than Pregnancy?

Color and consistency of cervical mucus changes throughout pregnancy. It can be a white discharge in the early days and may change color as pregnancy progresses. However, cervical mucus changes cannot confirm pregnancy as it may change due to various other causes. Go through the infographic to learn the reasons for cervical mucus changes other than pregnancy.

reasons other then pregnancy cervical mucus changes [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • The production of cervical mucus (the fluid in and around the cervix) increases during early pregnancy. It takes the form of a mucus plug during later stages.
  • These changes could be due to a spike in hormonal levels, especially the estrogen.
  • A pink- or brown-colored cervical discharge might indicate embryo implantation in the uterine wall.
  • A thick cervical mucus is not the only reliable indicator of early pregnancy. You should also look for other symptoms such as morning sickness and tender breasts.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. EH. Zaher et al.; Awareness of Women Regarding Vaginal Discharge; IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science (2017)
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)
8. Cervical Mucus; Cleveland Clinic
9. Cervical Mucus Monitoring; UNC School of Medicine

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