Learn how to identify cervical fluid types.
Learn how to chart and record your cervical fluid observations.
Your previous lesson discussed the properties of cervical fluid and its role in fertility and reproduction. You already know about the many roles of cervical fluid and you know to consider yourself fertile when you see watery or "egg white" cervical fluid. This lesson is all about how to record and chart your cervical fluid observations.
Cervical fluid is usually observable in the vagina and can be checked at any time with clean hands or with bathroom tissue. You can check it externally as it exits the vagina, or internally at the cervix. Most people find it easiest to check externally, but if cervical fluid seems scant, you may wish to check internally.
Note: Avoid checking your cervical fluid just before or after intercourse as arousal and seminal fluids will skew your observations.
The most convenient way to check your cervical fluid is to make observations when you go to the bathroom. When you wipe, you can note what, if anything, you find on the bathroom tissue. This will soon become second nature and you will find yourself noticing your cervical fluid every time you go to the bathroom. You can also use your clean fingers to check for cervical fluid at any time. You may also notice some cervical fluid in your underwear.
Does the vagina feel wet or dry?
Is there any fluid on the tissue?
How does it look?
What color is it?
What consistency is it?
How much is there?
How does it feel when you touch it?
Can you stretch it between your thumb and index finger?
If you have trouble finding cervical fluid, you may consider checking it internally.
If you check your cervical fluid by internal observation, only the method for gathering the fluid is different. Otherwise, follow the same steps and observations as for external observation noted above.
To collect cervical fluid internally, follow these steps:
Insert two fingers in your vagina until you can feel your cervix.
One finger should be on each side of the cervix.
Press gently against your cervix.
Collect the fluid by moving your fingers to the opening of the cervix.
Remove your fingers and pull them apart slowly.
Make your observations as outlined for external fluid observation.
No matter how you observe your cervical fluid (with your fingers, toilet tissue, in your underwear or internally if necessary) the way to record it will be the same.
Always record your most fertile type of cervical fluid, even if you noticed more than one type of cervical fluid in a given day or even if it is scant. This is so you will not miss a potentially fertile day and so that you have a consistent way of keeping track of your cervical fluid from cycle to cycle.
Below are the types of cervical fluid to record at FertilityFriend.com or on your Fertility Friend App. Not everyone experiences every type of cervical fluid. Just record the types you do get. You may also have some cervical fluid that does not seem to "fit" perfectly into any category. In this case, record it in the most fertile category that best seems to fit. For example, if you notice in a day that you have cervical fluid that seems to fit somewhere in between creamy and egg white, record it as egg white. Likewise, if you get both creamy and egg white fluid in the same day, record egg white on your chart.
Dry: Record your cervical fluid as "dry" if you have no cervical fluid present at all; if you notice no cervical fluid in your underwear; and if the outside of your vagina feels dry. You can expect to see dry days both before ovulation after your period and after ovulation. Record "dry" if you are not able to gather or see any cervical fluid, even if your vagina feels slightly moist inside.
Sticky: Record your cervical fluid as "sticky" if it is glue-like, gummy, stiff or crumbly and if it breaks easily and quickly and if it is not easily stretched. It will probably be yellowish or white, but could also be cloudy/clear. You may or may not see some sticky cervical fluid before and after ovulation.
Creamy: Record your cervical fluid as "creamy" if it is like hand lotion, white or yellow or cloudy/clear, like milk or cream, mayonnaise or like a flour/water solution. It may stretch slightly but not very much and break easily.
Watery: Enter "watery" if your cervical fluid is clear and most resembles water. It may be stretchy also. This cervical fluid is considered fertile and this may be your most fertile cervical fluid or you may get it before you get egg white cervical fluid or you may not get this type of fluid at all.
Egg white: This is your most fertile cervical fluid. Record "egg white" if your cervical fluid looks at all like raw egg white, is stretchy and clear, or clear tinged with white, or even clear tinged with pink. It also resembles semen (and has a lot of the same physical properties to allow the sperm to travel and be nourished). You should be able to stretch it between your thumb and index finger.
Spotting: Record "spotting" when you have any pink or dark red/brown spots that leave a small mark on your underwear or panty liner or that you only see when you wipe. If it does not require a pad or tampon, record it as spotting rather than menses. You may see spotting before or after your period, around the time of ovulation or around the time of implantation if you conceive. Do not start a new chart until you have red flow.
Menses: When you record "menses" you can choose
light, normal and heavy. Always start a new chart on your first day
of menses. That is the first day that you have red blood flow that
requires a pad or tampon. This is cycle day one. FertilityFriend.com
will automatically start a new chart for you when you enter menses.
Select the fluid type on your data entry form that best matches what you observe:
The data entry field for Cervical Fluid on the website is similar.
For more details about data entry using FertilityFriend.com please [Click Here].
Once entered your cervical fluid data will be displayed on your chart:
Affecting Cervical Fluid
Certain factors may influence the quality and quantity of cervical fluid that you produce and could thus impact the interpretation of your chart. Some factors may be a result of hormonal influences, while others may be related to lifestyle or medications. If any of these applies to your case, make sure to record it in the notes section on your chart so that you can recognize why a particular observation may seem unusual or different.
In most cases the effects are not great enough to seriously hamper your charting efforts or skew the analysis enough to dramatically alter your results. Nonetheless, the following factors may impact cervical fluid patterns and should be noted when possible:
medications such as antihistamines and diuretics
some fertility medications, (especially clomiphene citrate- ask your doctor)
herbs (ask your doctor before taking herbs or supplements while trying to conceive)
vaginal infection or sexually transmitted disease (ask your doctor if you think this is a possibility)
delayed ovulation (can cause multiple cervical fluid patches)
douching (not recommended unless advised by your doctor)
being overweight (can cause increased cervical fluid)
arousal fluid (can be mistaken for egg white cervical fluid)
semen residue (can be mistaken for egg white cervical fluid)
lubricants (not recommended when trying to conceive as they can be hostile to sperm)
decreased ovarian function
just stopping birth control pills
If you notice anything that concerns you about your cervical fluid (for example, if it has an unpleasant odor or is causing you discomfort or itchiness or if you are experiencing unexpected bleeding or spotting), call your doctor.
Next Lesson: All about Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Test your knowledge: Lesson 6 Quiz
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