Cervical Mucus As Ovulation Predictor
There a few ways to tell that you're at your most fertile time of the month and one of the best and easiest is to observe your cervical mucus. The vaginal secretions change throughout your cycle. When you're at the peak of your fertility you will see that your cervical mucus becomes clear, elastic and (if you have a microscope) has a branching pattern similar to fern leaves (ferning).
Charting the changes in your cervical mucus is an excellent method that has stood the test of time for charting your cycle. Learning your body's own clues will help you figure out the ideal time for you to have conception sex. Every type of cervical mucus (thick, white, sticky, stretchy, cloudy, clear, thin) has a correlation to a time in your cycle.
Your cervical mucus serves specific reproductive functions. When your period is over, your cervix will be closed off by thick, acidic mucus. This type of mucus keeps sperm from traveling into the uterus at a time when conception might yield a fetus that is deformed. Your reproductive state is not at peak function and nature helps to prevent the conception of a nonviable fetus whose life may end in miscarriage.
During ovulation however, a woman's cervical mucus will have a high water content. This mucus is non-acidic and has a branching quality called ferning that helps guide the male sperm into the cervix and on through to your egg. If you would place a sample of your cervical mucus on a slide, it would be possible to see this ferning pattern under a microscope at low magnification. When you see this type of mucus, nature is telling you that now is the time to make love and conceive.
Hormone-based contraceptive methods also serve to make changes to your cervical mucus, causing it to become thick and white. The hormones stop the production of your "fertile" mucus. But some women have a condition called "hostile cervical mucus" in which the cervical mucus never becomes thin and clear.
In this case, thinning the mucus with medication may serve to help a woman conceive. The common treatment for hostile cervical mucus is an expectorant called guaifenesin that is in common use to treat upper respiratory congestion. This medication thins mucus anywhere in your body and not just in your chest during a cold or flu. Using the expectorant just before ovulation may make all the difference.
Once you begin to monitor your cervical mucus for cyclical changes, you will see that as you approach ovulation, you will have a larger amount of mucus and the texture of the mucus will change, too. The changes are a direct result of your changing hormones. When your mucus looks like raw egg whites, you're ovulating and ready for conception sex. You don't need any expertise or practice, you should see these changes as soon as you begin to chart your first month. Pretty amazing, isn't it?