EWCM and Your Ovulation Cycle
When it comes to trying to conceive nothing is more important than knowing how to tell when you are fertile. One of the ways to determine when you’re most fertile is by understanding the changes that happen to your cervical mucus during the different stages of your cycle. For instance, having EWCM (egg white cervical mucus) is a good indication that you’re fertile and that you’re soon going to ovulate. When you know what these changes are all about you can pinpoint when you’re going to be ovulating. As well, being able to notice the changes in your cervical mucus allows many women to know if they’ve been successful at trying to get pregnant. When some women conceive they notice that they have EWCM however, don’t rely on this change in your cervical mucus to accurately diagnose pregnancy.
Typical Changes in Your Cervical Mucus (CM)
Although slightly different for each woman, the following are typical changes in CM that occur during your cycle. Keeping track of your cervical mucus for a few cycles will make it that much easier for you to read your body:
- Non-fertile stage: Once you’ve had your period your CM will be dry and almost nonexistent. As your cycle continues more mucus will be evident. At first this mucus will be cloudy, yellow, and a bit sticky when you touch it. As an indication of your fertility at this time all the signs are pointing to very low odds of getting pregnant.
- Pre-ovulation: As you get closer to your ovulation date you’ll notice more cervical mucus. The mucus will be more creamy and moist than it was before. Your body is preparing for conception to take place.
- Ovulation: When you’re ovulating you’ll have more cervical mucus than before. This CM is known as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM). This is the best time during your cycle to conceive.
- Post-ovulation: Once ovulation is over your CM will lessen and become less sticky. You’ll start to experience some dryness at this time as the progesterone levels in your body are elevated. There is almost no chance of getting pregnant during this time.
Knowing the different stages of your CM can help you plan when your window of fertility is going to be, so that you can increase your chances of getting pregnant during each cycle.
Why the Changes in Cervical Mucus
If you’ve been charting your CM you’ll already know that it’s one of the best ways that you can tell when your body is getting close to ovulation. Yet what are the reasons behind these changes in cervical mucus throughout your cycle? The answer is your hormones. As your body becomes more fertile your CM will change from dry to slightly sticky all the way to creamy until it becomes much like egg whites (EWCM). During normal fertility you’ll go through the changes in CM in much the same order during your cycle.
EWCM Can Mean a Delay in Ovulation
If you experience EWCM after you’ve ovulated it could mean that you really haven’t ovulated at all, and that for some reason ovulation has been delayed. It is possible for your body to get ready to ovulate without it actually happening. There are several different factors that might be preventing ovulation such as illness or stress. If you think that you might not be ovulating, it will be a good idea to chart your BBT (basal body temperature). If you’re not seeing a rise in BBT it might be another sign that you’re not ovulating. This is also known as anovulation. It can be confusing to diagnose anovulation especially if you’re noticing that your CM is pre-ovulatory or that it’s egg white in consistency. Keep tracking your BBT and your cervical mucus for a bit longer, and then take your charts to your doctor. This information can be very important when it comes to determining if you’re having fertility problems.
EWCM and Pregnancy
For some women having EWCM after they ovulate can be a sign that they’re pregnant. Normally after you ovulate your CM will be dry, however if pregnancy has occurred you may start to notice that you have a lot of creamy cervical mucus that has a slight yellow or white color to it. This EWCM may be Leukorrhea, which can be first noticed about 5 to 7 days after you ovulate. Leukorrhea occurs when there is a rise in your body’s hormones during pregnancy. This is where all the tracking of your CM comes in handy. If you normally have a dry CM after ovulation and suddenly you have EWCM then it’s a good indication that you might be pregnant. Studies show that about one out of eight women who are trying to get pregnant will notice that they have an increase in CM after they ovulate with the cause being that they’ve conceived. If you notice that you have EWCM after you’ve ovulated then it’s time to take that pregnancy test!