You’ve probably gotten pretty familiar with how your body changes during each menstrual cycle. Including noticing your vaginal discharge or cervical mucus. That’s the clear to white fluid which flows down from your cervix, often making its way out into your underwear.
But cervical mucus in early pregnancy may be a bit different to what you normally see in your cycle. Let’s find out more.
In this article: 📝
- How does the discharge look in early pregnancy?
- Stages of cervical mucus
- What does cervical mucus look like after ovulation if you’re not pregnant?
- Why does cervical mucus change in early pregnancy?
- How to check your cervical mucus
How does the discharge look in early pregnancy?
If you’ve been trying to conceive (TTC) or using fertility awareness as part of your family planning, there’s a good chance you’ve been paying attention to your cervical mucus already.
The consistency and color of the discharge can help you detect if you’re about to ovulate. And it can give you a clue that you’ve recently conceived, even before you’ve missed a period. It may change in color and consistency to become stickier, more white, or even yellow.
This is a useful early sign that you could be pregnant, but the best way to make sure is to take a home pregnancy test.
Stages of cervical mucus
Your cervical mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle. If you’re trying to get to know your cycle better, you might find it helpful to track these changes. There are several stages you can look out for:
Right after your period you might have less discharge, and what is there can be thick and opaque. Or you may even experience some completely dry days.
In the next few days, but before ovulation, the mucus can become sticky and yellowish.
Then, in your fertile window (the days leading up to ovulation), the volume of discharge can increase and it can become creamy in texture.
Around the time that you ovulate, there can be a lot of stretchy and egg-white-like mucus. This can indicate that you’re at your most fertile, so keeping an eye out for it may help with TTC.
After ovulation, the way your mucus looks depends on whether or not you’ve conceived that cycle.
What does cervical mucus look like after ovulation if you’re not pregnant?
If you’re not pregnant, after ovulation your cervical mucus can be drier, more opaque, and thicker in consistency. And the mucus may remain thicker until your next period starts.
But if you’ve conceived, then the volume of cervical mucus can sometimes increase. It’s also possible that the discharge can be slightly tinged pink with blood. This could be spotting from implantation, which happens about 8–10 days after ovulation.
But not everyone has implantation discharge or bleeding, and sometimes it’s tricky to tell if your mucus has changed.
Why does cervical mucus change in early pregnancy?
Essentially, it’s all about the hormones. The pregnancy hormones estrogen, progesterone, and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) start working hard from early after conception, potentially causing your cervical mucus to change.
But it takes time for the levels of these hormones to build up in your body. So, as a mama-to-be, you may not see any difference in your mucus or see other signs of early pregnancy until a few weeks after conception. The most reliable way to check whether you’re pregnant is to do a home pregnancy test once you’ve missed your period.
How to check your cervical mucus
If you want to check your cervical mucus, the easiest and quickest way is to check your underwear. You can usually see what the consistency and color is when you do that. But there’s a way to check more closely, too.
Before you start, give your hands a good wash with soap and water. Then:
Insert a finger or two into your vagina, reaching up to your cervix.
Sweep around the cervix to touch the mucus.
Pull your finger or fingers out and observe how the mucus looks and feels.
If you notice any unusual changes in your cervical mucus during your cycle, and you don’t think they’re related to pregnancy, you can always seek advice from your healthcare provider.
And if there’s no change at all in your mucus, even when you’re TTC, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not pregnant. The best way to find out is by doing a pregnancy test.