What are the Different Stages of Cervical Mucus?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2019
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Couples trying to conceive should be interested in the stages of cervical mucus throughout the menstrual cycle, as the changes could indicate the best time to have intercourse. In fact, observing the changes in cervical mucus is a no-cost method for pinpointing ovulation, and is especially accurate when combined with other methods. There are three main stages of cervical mucus throughout a normal cycle, starting with scant, sticky mucus near menstruation. The amount changes as ovulation nears, and there is an increase in mucus. During ovulation, it is most copious and quite thin, eventually returning to the dry, negligible amount that appears as menstruation nears.

Menstruation is usually considered the beginning of the cycle, at which point most women should notice very little mucus. Instead, they should observe an average of five days of bleeding as their uterine lining is shed. Any cervical mucus noted just after the bleeding stops is likely scant and sticky, which means it is infertile. This is because it is not conducive to sperm easily traveling through it to get to the egg, making it nearly impossible for most women to conceive at this point in the cycle.


A few days after menstruation ends, most fertile women should notice a slight increase in mucus. This is a stage in which the consistency seems to become a bit thinner, which is good news for those trying to conceive. Many women describe their mucus at this point as creamy, white, and lotion-like, and it may be copious enough to be observed in their underwear at times. Couples trying to conceive may begin having intercourse at this point since sperm can live up to five days in a hospitable environment, and creamy mucus could indicate that ovulation is less than five days away for some women. It should be noted that starting intercourse up to a week before ovulation is not usually recommended for males with low sperm count, but should be fine for most couples not experiencing this condition.

One of the most desirable stages of cervical mucus occurs just before and during ovulation. At this point, the mucus should be copious, often appearing in the underwear. It is usually described as slippery, thin, and clear, looking much like raw egg whites. Some women make sure that this is fertile fluid by stretching it between their thumb and forefinger, as fertile mucus should be able to stretch easily without breaking, unlike sticky or creamy mucus. This type should be present just before, during, and after ovulation, meaning that it may be observed for nearly a week. It should start to taper off after this point, and if pregnancy is not achieved, the stages of cervical mucus should begin again after menstruation occurs.


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Post 3

Cervical mucus in the early stages of pregnancy is much like cervical mucus during ovulation. It's plentiful and slippery. Some women think that they're ovulating when they're actually pregnant.

Post 2

It can take some time to figure out changes in cervical mucus, especially if someone has never paid attention to it before. Also, every women is a little different and some women have a 28 day cycle while others have a 30 day cycle. So we can't expect cervical mucus to be exactly the same in everyone. It's a good idea to keep an ovulation calendar to keep track of cervical mucus changes. Gynecologists are also very helpful about this.

Thick, sticky and white mucus usually happens after menstruation. When menstruation is over, there are a few dry days where there is no cervical mucus. Then, mucus will start again and will be sticky and sometimes thick.


few days before ovulation, cervical mucus will become very thin and it will increase in volume. You will notice it when wiping after urination. This means that ovulation is near.

Try to keep a journal of cervical mucus daily, it will help you notice changes.

Post 1

I'm trying to understand the stages of cervical mucus and mucus during ovulation because my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. I've been paying more attention to it this month, but for the most part, it seems to stay the same. There are times when it's almost nonexistent and there are times when it's very thick and white. But I can't figure out when I'm actually ovulating.

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