The Importance of Cervical Mucus
Many women have never heard the term cervical mucus, that is, until they are ready to actively try to become pregnant. Cervical mucus has a very important job in helping you to become pregnant. Throughout any woman’s cycle she will experience changes in her cervical mucus, and the closer she gets to ovulation, the clearer, slippery, and almost stretchy the fluid will become. Most doctors compare the most fertile indication in cervical mucus to egg whites. The job of this egg white like mucus is basically to protect the sperm from the acids in your body, as well as to help facilitate their transportation through the uterus and into the fallopian tubes where they will hopefully fertilize an egg.
It doesn’t seem logical, but the vagina is actually a very unsafe environment for sperm. The acidity in the vagina will render sperm immobile very quickly, and that is where the cervical mucus comes into play. The sperm will be swept up into the cervical mucus shortly after ejaculation and can be preserved for a few days in your cervix. If the time is not right for the sperm to fertilize, the mucus will act as a plug and will not allow the sperm to enter.
Around the time of ovulation, the mucus thins out and allows the sperm to go free and fertilize an egg within 12 hours of its release. Most women will experience the thinning of their cervical mucus one to two days before ovulation, while other women experience a thinning up to a week before ovulation, increasing their chances of getting pregnant from intercourse prior to ovulation. Every woman is different, so she must pay attention to her own cervical mucus, also known as vaginal discharge, to help her and her mate determine when she may be most fertile. After just a cycle or two, most women can see the differences in her cervical mucus, which will help her determine when she will become pregnant more easily.
Not only does cervical mucus help to guide the sperm at just the right time, it also helps to block abnormal sperm from fertilizing the egg. Abnormal sperm typically cannot travel as efficiently as healthy sperm, and the cervical mucus helps to slow down the abnormal sperm so that the healthy ones have an opportunity to fertilize the egg first. This seems to be a natural selection process that not only helps pregnancy happen, but makes the chance of the pregnancy being a healthy one more likely. As odd as cervical mucus may seem to some, it is a very useful tool in helping pregnancy happen, and even helping women to understand their bodies more than they did before.