Jennifer Aldoretta wrote this on January 11, 2016
Cervical fluid is by FAR the most important part of charting your fertility using the sympto-thermal method. But it can also easily become the thing that feels the most confusing, especially if your cervical fluid doesn’t seem to perfectly “fit” into the typical categories (sticky, creamy, egg white, watery). You probably already know that cervical fluid can help you pinpoint the days that you’re fertile, but there are also some other pretty profound reasons to spend the extra time learning about your cervical fluid.
People chart their fertility for SO many different reasons, and if you’re anything like me, you REALLY don’t want to waste your time doing something that isn’t going to provide you with some sort of benefit. For example, knowing when I’m fertile is a pretty awesome benefit! But there are other benefits you may not know about, so I’m going to break down the meaning of a few different cervical fluid patterns to show you why it’s so important to check your cervical fluid throughout your entire cycle (and not just when you’re fertile).
(If you’re not sure how to confirm ovulation, check out this blog post here.) There are two main hormones that govern the menstrual cycle: estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is what causes your cervix to produce cervical fluid, and progesterone dries up that cervical fluid after ovulation. If you’re consistently noticing lots of sticky or creamy fluid after you’ve confirmed ovulation, it is likely a sign of suboptimal progesterone levels. Unfortunately, TONS of folks these days have low progesterone. Luckily, there’s a silver lining: you can catch low progesterone by simply checking your cervical fluid every day!
During the 6-ish day fertile phase that happens just before ovulation, your cervical fluid should progress from thick and tacky to super slippery. Slippery cervical fluid means that you’re fertile and healthy, but too much of a good thing can signify a problem.
If you have more than a few days of this slippery cervical fluid before ovulation (we’re talking 4–5 days or more), you should be suspicious of high estrogen (which is often coupled with low progesterone). Estrogen and progesterone help balance one another out — estrogen being inflammatory and progesterone being anti-inflammatory — so overproduction of estrogen can contribute to a number of menstrual problems. But again, knowing what to look for and how to detect a problem is a powerful first step in getting your body back on track!
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What I mean by that is that you don’t have any “dry” days, or days when your body doesn’t produce any cervical fluid, immediately after your period is over. This lack of dry days, like the long periods of slippery cervical fluid, is likely caused by elevated estrogen levels. Again, this elevated estrogen often occurs alongside low progesterone.
Both too much and too little cervical fluid during different parts of your cycle can indicate that there might be an issue with your hormones. If tracking your cervical fluid has led to the discovery of potential hormonal imbalance, it might feel like horrible news (I’ve been there). But there’s good news: knowing there’s a problem means you have information you can use to improve your hormone health. And that means you’re well on your way to having lovely, balanced hormones.
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