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Want to avoid pregnancy? You've plenty of contraceptive options to choose from. If you are in it for the long term, the pill or a mirena coil may be good choices.

If you want to have protection from sexually transmitted diseases, condoms are the only choice, and there is always the withdrawal method for couples who feel comfortable with that. With so many contraceptive choices around, why would you turn to your own cervical mucus to prevent an unwanted pregnancy? 

"Sorry, cervical what?"

Cervical mucus is also sometimes called a normal vaginal discharge. It is mucus produced by the cervix the "door" between the uterus and the vagina. Every woman's cervical mucus changes throughout the month, something every women who has menstrual cycles must have (vaguely) noticed. Sometimes cervical mucus is barely there, sometimes it is more fluid, and sometimes the mucus is thicker and more white in color. If you have only ever approached cervical mucus as the annoying stuff that stains your underwear, you are not alone. Yet, your discharge actually gives you an awful lot of information. We opened this post with some comments about cervical mucus as a birth control method, to trick you into reading on haha. Seriously, there are plenty of women who have so much faith in their cervical mucus that they rely on it to let them know when to avoid intercourse to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Women who monitor their cervical mucus to increase their chances of getting pregnant are probably far more common than those who use their mucus to prevent conception.

What kind of information does your cervical mucus give you?

The typical women notices the following mucus phases during one menstrual cycle, if she pays attention:

  • Menstruation
  • Mucus mixed with menstrual blood
  • Little or no mucus
  • Semi-fertile and fertile cervical mucus, which is sticky, fluid, and often near transparent
  • Thick, post-ovulation cervical mucus, in other words cervical mucus before your period, is thick and often white in color

Monitoring your own cervical mucus regularly is easy you may notice the mucus in your underwear or on your toilet paper after wiping, but it is simpler to just insert two fingers and check. Any women who looks at her cervical mucus throughout the menstrual cycle will start noticing a pattern like the one we described above. This is beneficial for many reasons, including to boost your chance of a quick pregnancy if you are trying to conceive, to try to prevent pregnancy, or just to monitor your health. To get the most benefit from monitoring cervical mucus, it is best to write your findings down in a fertility diary. This way, you are more likely to notice patterns you have sooner.

If you use ovulation tests, an ovulation calendar, or chart to conceive as well, you will be able to put two and two together more easily and recognize what your mucus looks like during ovulation. After a while, you will become "trained" in your own cervical mucus and you'll be able to tell where in your cycle you are just by checking. Besides finding out when you are fertile, your cervical mucus can also give you clues about your health. Your mucus may look slightly like cottage cheese if you have a yeast infection, for instance. Smelly cervical mucus, or mucus with blood, could indicate sexually transmitted diseases. All in all, frequently checking cervical mucus gives you lots of information!

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