The presence and tactile consistency of a woman's cervical fluid undergoes a number of changes during her menstrual cycle. By observing changes in cervical fluid, a woman can predict ovulation - her most fertile time for conceiving a baby.
One of the purposes of cervical mucus - during the fertile period - is to sustain sperm in a healthy medium, to allow sperm to move freely through the cervix. Logically, there will be an increase in cervical mucus at ovulation, as well as a change in texture - the mucus becoming more pliable, "stretchable", and slippery.
Using clean fingers, or if you prefer, toilet paper, you can examine your cervical fluid. Prior to ovulation, during non-fertile periods, the woman will experience a dryness (or lack of cervical mucus). Gradually, as the woman approaches ovulation, the mucus will increase, though the consistency will be "sticky" and the color will be white, yellow, or cloudy in nature.
Directly prior to ovulation, cervical fluid will increase greatly, and now the mucus will be semi-transparent, slippery, with the consistency of "raw egg white". This is your most fertile period and ovulation will take place at about this time. Below you will find an overview of the changes that will take place in your cervical fluid throughout your cycle.
Pre-Ovulation: Following the menstrual period, there is a feeling of dryness. There will be no visible mucus. Gradually, more mucus will acc_mulate - yellow, cloudy, or white in color and sticky to the touch.
Approaching Ovulation: As you approach ovulation, your cervical mucus will increase. First, there will be a moistness or stickiness to the mucus, as well as a white or cream-colored appearance.
During Ovulation: At ovulation, the quant_ty of mucus will increase greatly and the appearance will resemble "egg whites", often semitransparent. The texture will become increasingly slippery and 'stretchable'. This is your most fertile time.
Following Ovulation: Following ovulation, the slippery quality of the cervical mucus will decrease and the mucus will become sticky and cloudier. Post-ovulatory dryness will also ensue.
In predicting fertility, observing the position of the cervix (located at the lower part of the uterus) can be very instructive. Like cervical fluids, the position and "feel" of the cervix will undergo a measurable change during a woman's menstrual cycle. Questions to ask:
Is the position of the cervix relatively low (easy to reach) or high (less easy to reach)?
Does the cervix feel relatively soft or firm?
Does the opening of the cervix feel open or closed?
Is the cervix dry to the touch - or relatively moist - or very moist?
Prior to ovulation - during the first half of your cycle, the cervix will feel relatively firm (like touching your nose) and dry to the touch - and the position of the cervix will be low in your va___a (easy to reach). The entrance of the cervix will feel closed.
However, as you approach ovulation, the cervix will become increasingly soft and will increasingly moisten in order to create a more fertile environment for the sperm. The entrance of the cervix will feel open and begin to lift. At the highest point, the cervix may be a bit difficult to reach and the entrance of the cervix will increase in size. The feel of your cervix will be softer - like touching your lip. At this point, you are at your most fertile time.
Following ovulation, the cervix begins to return to a firmer state and the entrance will begin to close. Also, the position of the cervix will again drop and become easy to reach. These changes in cervical position can be monitored and recorded, augmenting fertility charting and helping you pinpoint your window of opportunity for conceiving.