The podcast where you'll get answers to those questions you’ve been secretly Googling and all those things you’re too embarrassed to ask your doctor, because… well – We’re women! Shouldn’t we just know this stuff??
The Fertility Co. Podcast
I'm obsessed with all things periods, pregnancy, pelvic floor and helping women just like YOU to navigate all of life's major milestones!
I just don’t have enough mucus to actually track my cycle this way.
I get it. I promise. So many women (myself included when I was getting started) just can’t get their head around the fact that a tiny sensation is enough to tell them when they’re fertile!
And these roadblocks?
Are VERY real when it comes to identifying ovulation day so that you are confident enough to stop relying on hormonal contraception for birth control or an app or an ovulation testing kit to give you the answers that are ultimately right in front of you.
But you KNOW when you overcome them, magic can happen. Magic like:
That pill packet going in the bin – and staying in the bin this time!
The baby-making process being fun again because it’s not all calculations and peeing on sticks.
And of course, finally getting that Big Fat Positive.
In my very first podcast episode in over a year (sorry about that) I am dropping my best strategies to help YOU overcome these roadblocks and achieve this magic. Let’s go!
So, why the fuss about egg white mucus? What is it and what does it tell us?
Why you can still conceive even if you never see egg-white mucus
Sensation is more important than appearance
Only chart what you see and feel
Tips if you’re struggling to see anything
So, why the fuss about egg white mucus?
What is it and what does it tell us?
Mucus is everything when it comes to your fertility and identifying your fertile window and research shows that the most accurate way for a woman to identify when she is or isn’t fertile throughout her menstrual cycle is by observing her cervical mucus.
In the non-fertile phases, both before and after ovulation, we know that the cervix is closed with a mucus plug and the sensation at the vulva is either an unchanging dryness or an unchanging slight moistness. In the fertile window, the cervix produces a more wet, fluid, slippery mucus that becomes increasingly wetter and more lubricative in the lead up to ovulation, and the sensation at your vulva changes from moist, to wet to slippery. And it’s that slippery, wet, lubricative mucus that often looks a little like raw egg whites and this is the good stuff. This is the mucus we see just before ovulation, before mucus then dries up quite suddenly to signal to us that ovulation has happened.
This fertile quality mucus also helps sperm cells to move through the vagina towards the egg, increasing the chances of fertilisation and pregnancy. It forms channels that guide sperm through the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus and towards the fallopian tube where an egg is waiting to be fertilised after ovulation. This type of mucus can also keep sperm alive for up to 5 days inside the acidic environment of the vagina. Without it, sperm dies within hours and makes pregnancy virtually impossible.
The easiest way to detect this is when wiping after going to the toilet. Around ovulation, likely on your peak day, the last day of fertile mucus when ovulation likely occurs, you’ll wipe and your hand will slip a little. That is your fertile mucus. It might leave a bit of a clear sheen on the toilet paper, but it doesn’t have to be dripping out of you like literal raw egg whites drip when you crack the shell of an egg. Please keep in mind that most videos and reels and even photos of this egg white mucus is actually of egg whites. So this is not an accurate representation of what you should be seeing. And it’s causing a lot of confusion and a lot of women are panicking because they’re not seeing that. You are not a chicken, so you shouldn’t expect to see it.
Can I still conceive without egg white mucus?
Yes! Fertile mucus looks different to everyone. You are not more or less fertile because you can or can’t see egg white mucus. The important thing is to be able to recognise the mucus that for you indicates that you are in your fertile window, it’s the pattern – that transition from dry to moist, to wet and slippery and back to dry again.
When it comes to mucus, you are specifically looking at sensation and appearance. These are the two indicators of your fertile window. But, you can’t accurately judge whether or not you’re fertile from one isolated sample, just by looking at mucus on any one day. So for example if you see sticky mucus, for one woman this might indicate a shift into her fertile phase because she is usually very dry and doesn’t see mucus, whereas for another woman, this same appearance of sticky mucus might be a part of her unchanging pattern throughout her follicular phase and so for her this means she is not currently fertile. I have literally had women send me photos and videos of their mucus and ask me if that’s the fertile mucus. Unfortunately I can’t tell you! Because I’ll look at it and I’ll immediately compare to it my mucus patterns. Every woman and her mucus patterns are different, which is why it’s so important to look at the pattern as a whole throughout your cycle and not get too bogged down in the results of a particular day. Remember that you are fertile for a window of time. You just need to time sex for during that window. It doesn’t have to be the exact moment egg white mucus appears.
Sensation is more important that appearance
If you think about all of the words that I have used so far to describe the change in mucus patterns – dry and sticky, to moist, to wet and slippery – these words all describe sensation. Not mucus, but it will depend entirely on the individual.
So let’s talk about sensation. Even with all of those descriptors for sensation that I just listed – we can break this down even further into only two – wet and dry. That is all you need. At the end of every day, when you’re reflecting back on whether you were fertile, you ask yourself whether you were wet or dry. That’s it.
The vulva is a very sensitive area, and so even just walking around during the day is enough for you to be able to sense the presence of mucus. And when we move around as we go about our day, this movement is enough to spread any mucus we have over the entire inner surface of the vulva. So that’s how we can feel whether or not we are wet or dry on any given day.
Of course, if enough of this fertile cervical mucus is produced, we can observe it too. The best way to check is when wiping after going to the toilet or even looking at your undies throughout the day. When your fertile mucus is present, the toilet paper tends to slip when you wipe and you might be able to see a clear film of mucus on the paper. You don’t need to feel inside your vagina to check for mucus. The vagina is self-lubricating, so if you stick things in it, like your fingers to feel for mucus, it will lubricate and you will confuse this will wet and slippery mucus. It can also introduce infection to a very delicate environment. Because fertile mucus is quite fluid, it will pass from your cervix and out of your vagina quite soon after it has been produced, meaning you will see and feel it in real-time. You should only be putting a finger inside your vagina for fertility charting purposes if you are checking your cervix shape and position. And I always suggest doing this in the shower when you know your hands are clean.
Only chart what you see and feel
This might sound super self-explanatory, but you would be surprised at how easy it is to decide your mucus looks like egg white just because you’re approaching day 14 and your app told you you are about to ovulate. Never record what you think you should see or feel, whether that’s based on a previous cycle or an example of someone else’s cycle or what you think you should be seeing at certain times of your cycle. It comes with practice, it comes with experience. Sticking to what you actually see and feel every day will give you the most accurate chart, avoids confusion and helps you to feel so much more confident about charting.
So don’t get distracted by words that you might have heard about before, like egg white or sticky or creamy. Only use words that describe what is happening in your own body and become really familiar with those words so that you’re using those same key words over and over in your charting. If your mucus never actually looks like egg white, then don’t use the word, because not only are you going to confuse yourself, but you’re describing something that you’re not actually seeing reflected in your own menstrual cycle. And that is ok.
If you’re struggling to see anything
If you can’t recognise a mucus pattern, then you’ll need to focus more on that sensation that even a tiny amount of mucus causes. This is especially the case if you’re trying to conceive. Some women can struggle to get their head around only using a slight sensation as the most reliable indicator of their fertility and think that they just don’t produce enough mucus for this method to work for them, or maybe they put this wet sensation down to sexual activity, infection and anything other than what it actually is! If this sounds like you, don’t panic and don’t give up. The more you get to understand your own body and what your patterns look like, you will learn your own signs of fertility.
And remember, you will notice a definite change in sensation in the days after your Peak Day too. So you can look for the increased wet sensation as well as the shift back to dry. You won’t feel wet and slippery anymore because after ovulation, hormone levels change, we know progesterone rises, oestrogen drops and the cervix changes the type of mucus it produces. And you’ve got a 3 day window after your Peak Day where you are still fertile as the cervix plug re-forms.
Simple things like keeping hydrated can help you to monitor your mucus patterns too. If you think that mucus is mainly water, the more hydrated you are, the more fluid your mucus will be. This will also help to improve the quality of mucus and better nourish sperm and guide cells to swim towards egg.
If you’re struggling to see or feel anything and you’re feeling really stuck with charting your mucus, then you can add in some additional fertile signs to see if this helps to confirm things for you. BBT is the other key fertile sign, but it cannot be used on its own to predict or confirm ovulation, it can only effectively help you to identify ovulation when used in combination with mucus.
And when you notice changes in your mucus and you enter your fertile window, you’re going to watch for an upward temperature shift of approximately 0.2-0.5 degrees greater than the previous temperature. Then you’re going to continue to monitor your daily temperatures to make sure they remain higher than the temperatures in the first half of your cycle. To confirm an upward temperature shift, and ovulation, use the 3/6 rule – 3 consecutive temperatures after suspected ovulation are higher than the previous 6. When we see this, and the change in mucus patterns, we can confirm ovulation.
I’d love to know if this is something you struggle with, whether that’s actually noticing fertile mucus or getting really confused because you think you should be seeing egg white mucus but you’re just not. Or is there another roadblock you are experiencing?
P.S. Whenever you're ready, here's a few ways I can help you!
1. Want to know exactly when you're ovulating? Check out the Fix Your Fertility Masterclass where I'll share 3 simple steps to find out exactly when you're ovulating (without tracking apps).
2. Want a holistic preconception plan to optimise ovulation and get pregnant fast? You need my $47 Conceive with Confidence workshop series, where I'll teach you how to pinpoint your most fertile day in under 5 minutes and discover the quick-fix solutions you NEED if you're NOT ovulating. (Pssst...This is BRAND NEW and I'm already being told that this is the best program my students have ever bought and that it's an absolute steal!)
3. Want to quit the pill forever and conceive in half the time (even if your periods are irregular, unpredictable or non-existent)? Enrol in my flagship online program for the long-term fertility game, Fertility School.
4. Want individualised support and a tailored fertility management plan from a trained fertility educator? Book a 1:1 consultation now! Spots are strictly limited and I would love to work with you to achieve your fertility goals.
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