What Is the Connection between Cervical Mucus and Menstruation?

Amanda Piontek

Cervical mucus is a discharge of fluid from the cervix—the opening of the uterus—and menstruation is a regular monthly discharge of blood. Cervical mucus and menstruation are connected as elements of a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. Cervical mucus or fluid changes in color, texture, and quantity as the woman moves through the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Scant, sticky discharge often marks the infertile periods, like the days directly following menstrual bleeding. Mucus generally becomes plentiful, stretchy, or slippery as the woman approaches ovulation. Once the fertile period has passed, cervical mucus begins to dry up again, and the woman begins her monthly period.

It is normal for a woman's cervical mucus to change throughout her menstrual period.
It is normal for a woman's cervical mucus to change throughout her menstrual period.

Cervical mucus and menstruation are only two aspects of a woman's monthly cycle. The typical cycle also includes changes in the cervix as well as changes in bodily temperature. When a woman is early in her cycle, the cervix is low in the vagina, slightly hard, and open just enough to allow the flow of menstrual blood. Once the bleeding has stopped, the cervix closes and continues to be low and hard. As the woman approaches ovulation, the cervix rises, softens, and opens. Additionally, a woman who takes her body temperature each day might notice a very slight temperature increase in the days immediately following ovulation.

Cervical mucus and menstruation may both be used to supplement an ovulation test kit to monitor a woman's fertility.
Cervical mucus and menstruation may both be used to supplement an ovulation test kit to monitor a woman's fertility.

Many women choose to observe changes in cervical mucus and menstruation, and record them in a weekly or monthly chart. Charting fertility in this manner can help a woman predict ovulation or the date her period will begin. It can also help a couple achieve or avoid pregnancy. By recording her body temperature and comparing it to both cervical mucus and cervical position, a woman can become more familiar with her monthly cycle. A woman can chart her cycle with a regular pen and paper, or through one of the various fertility software programs available for purchase or download.

Most girls start to menstruate between the age of 10 and 15 years old.
Most girls start to menstruate between the age of 10 and 15 years old.

Cervical mucus and menstruation charting can also be supplemented with the use of a fertility monitor. There are many different types of ovulation predictors, including simple drugstore tests, hand held microscopes, and computerized systems. These different kits measure physical elements of saliva or urine in order to predict ovulation. A woman who utilizes a monitor in conjunction with traditional charting methods can combine her test results with changes in her cervix and fluids to determine where she is in her monthly menstrual cycle. By using these methods, she can better understand her body as well as the connection between her cervical mucus and menstruation.

Early in a woman's menstrual cycle, her cervix is open just enough to allow the flow of menstrual blood.
Early in a woman's menstrual cycle, her cervix is open just enough to allow the flow of menstrual blood.
Cervical mucus in early pregnancy is typically creamy, odorless, and white.
Cervical mucus in early pregnancy is typically creamy, odorless, and white.
By learning to recognize what fertile cervical mucus looks like, women may be able to track ovulation to either become pregnant or prevent a pregnancy.
By learning to recognize what fertile cervical mucus looks like, women may be able to track ovulation to either become pregnant or prevent a pregnancy.
The color and consistency of cervical mucus can help a woman track her menstrual cycle.
The color and consistency of cervical mucus can help a woman track her menstrual cycle.
The uterine lining is shed during menstruation.
The uterine lining is shed during menstruation.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

What happens to cervical mucus when a woman is in perimenopause, meaning that she has not entered menopause yet but she will soon?

I'm forty-five and I've noticed that my cervical mucus has been lessening for the past few months and my menstrual cycle has become irregular. Are these signs of menopause?

donasmrs

I always know when I'm about to menstruate because my cervical mucus becomes thick and tacky a week before. And a few days before menstruation, I don't get any mucus at all.

ysmina

I think that the changes that take place during the menstrual cycle is amazing. Everything seems to happen at the right time. For example, the changes that take place in cervical mucus during ovulation increases fertility. Mucus increases and it becomes thin and slippery so that it can help sperm stay alive and reach the uterus.

It's also amazing how the cervix closes up and becomes hard during menstruation to prevent infection. Everything works like clockwork.

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