Lesson 6 - How to Check and Chart Cervical Fluid to Detect Ovulation
- Understand the different types of cervical fluids secreted during a woman’s cycle.
- Discover ways to check your cervical fluid both internally and externally.
- Learn how to record your cervical fluid observations throughout your cycle.
- There are three main ways to check your cervical fluid: by observing fluid on a tissue after wiping your vagina, with clean fingers inserted inside your vagina, or by “scooping” fluid internally from your cervix.
- Notice the different characteristics of your cervical fluid, such as color, consistency, wetness, texture, and stretchiness.
- In order from not fertile to very fertile, record your cervical fluid as “dry”, “sticky”, “creamy”, “watery”, or “egg white”.
- Cervical fluids can be checked multiple times throughout the day. Always record the fluid that is most fertile.
- Certain factors can influence cervical fluid, such as some medications, illnesses, douching, arousal fluid, and more.
Cervical fluid is an excellent gauge of fertility. For most women, it can be checked both externally and internally at the cervix. Cervical fluid can be observed in the vagina using clean fingers as well as out of the vagina with bathroom tissue. However, don’t track your cervical fluid directly before or after intercourse as seminal and arousal fluids can affect your observations.
Tips for Checking Your Cervical Fluids Externally
Cervical fluids can be checked externally when you go to the bathroom. As you wipe, take note of any fluids you find on the tissue paper. In some instances, you may find some fluid in your underwear that was secreted from your vagina. If you don’t notice any external fluids, you can insert clean fingers into your vagina to check cervical fluids. When checking your fluids, take note of the following:
- Is the vagina wet or dry?
- Are there cervical fluids on the tissue paper after wiping?
- What does the cervical fluid look like?
- What color is the cervical fluid?
- What consistency is the cervical fluid?
- How much fluid is there?
- What does the cervical fluid feel like?
- Can the fluid be stretched between your thumb and index finger?
Tips for Checking Your Cervical Fluids Internally
If your external cervical fluid is scant, you may want to check it internally. Observing cervical fluid from inside the vagina is the same as an external observation. The only difference is that you must gather the fluid from inside using your fingers. To collect cervical fluid internally, try the following:
1. Insert two clean fingers deep into the vagina into you feel your cervix.
2. Place a finger on each side of the cervix.
3. Gently press against the cervix with your fingers.
4. Move your fingers towards the opening of the cervix to collect fluid.
5. Remove your fingers from your vagina and slowly pull them apart.
6. Observe the cervical fluid and chart your findings.
Tips for Charting Your Cervical Fluid Observations
After observing your cervical fluid, you’ll want to chart your findings. No matter how much of one type of cervical fluid you observe in a day, always record the most fertile type. This method will help prevent you from missing out on a fertile day. Below you’ll find the basic types of cervical fluid. Not everyone experiences all the different types and some may experience a combination. In this event, record it as the closest option.
- Dry: Chart your cervical fluid as “dry” if there is no cervical fluid present, including in your underwear or outside your vagina. Dry is common after your period and after ovulation.
- Sticky: Chart your cervical fluid as “sticky” if it feels gummy, glue-like, stiff, or crumbly. It should not stretch easily. Sticky cervical fluid may occur before and after ovulation.
- Creamy: Chart your cervical fluid as “creamy” if it appears white, yellow, or clear/cloudy with a hand lotion-like consistency. It should break easily but not stretch much.
- Watery: Chart your cervical fluid as “watery” if it is clear and resembles water. Watery cervical fluid may be stretchy and is considered fertile.
- Egg White: Chart your cervical fluid as “egg white” if it looks like a raw egg white with a clear color (sometimes tinged with white or pink) and stretchy consistency. You should be able to stretch the fluid between your thumb and index finger.
- Spotting: Chart your cervical fluid as “spotting” if you discover pink, brown, or dark red spots in your underwear or when you wipe. This may occur before or after your period, around ovulation, or during implantation if you conceive.
- Menses: When charting your menses, track whether it’s light, normal, or heavy. Begin your new chart on the first day of your menses which indicates cycle day one. Menses begins on the first day you experience red blood flow.
Different Factors That May Affect Your Cervical Fluid
Various factors can influence the quantity, consistency, and look of your cervical fluid which could potentially impact your charting. While most do not cause enough of an impact to seriously alter your chart, it’s important to understand how factors such as hormone influences and lifestyle choices can affect your cervical fluid. Here are some factors that may change your cervical fluid patterns:
- Certain medications such as diuretics, antihistamines, and fertility medications
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or vaginal infections
- Being overweight
- Delayed ovulation
- Semen residue or arousal fluid
- Reduced ovarian function
- Recent stopping of birth control
While most types of cervical fluid are normal, talk to your doctor if you notice anything that concerns you, such as an unpleasant odor or associated symptoms like discomfort, itching, or unexpected bleeding.