Its the number one question I get asked when clients come to see me. How do I know if I have ovulated? Most women dont know if they have ovulated or not and many get confused by watching the dates and using ovulation kits. There are many tell tale signs of ovulation; temperature changes, changes in the cervix, changes in cervical mucus, hormonal fluctuations etc. However the most accurate way to tell is by cervical mucus changes, and this is backed by years of research.
So what are you looking for ? Fertile mucus will look like clear or white stringy egg white that stretches if you touch it and will appear at the onset of ovulation. Non fertile cervical mucus will be clear or white and tachy or dry, more like cooked egg white, so it wouldn’t stretch if you touched it. The body actually has 5 different types of cervical mucus that all have different functions, from blocking and protecting the cervix from infection to a nutritive mucus that actually provides nutrition for sperm to survive and thrive on. So its important to work out if you have the correct type of ovulation mucus.
The easiest way to know if you have the right types of cervical mucus is to chart your cycles. Thats why charting is actually extremely important to map out your fertile window. Its something that is often overlooked by patients and clinicians alike generally because it sounds too complicated and too time consuming. Most people think that you have to track temperature, date, symptoms and LH surges but the most consistent fertility sign is cervical mucus. Now that there are mobile apps to help you with this though its take as little as 30 sec a day to record the necessary data. Recording information about cervical mucus and bleeding patterns can all help to track that ovulation, and once you have found your fertile window conceiving can be so much quicker.
Charting isn’t just great for trying to fall pregnant, it’s also fantastic for detecting hormonal fluctuations. Which can be helpful when supporting health issues such as PCOS, endometriosis, early menopause, fibroids and amenorrhea.
So what happens if you find out your not making the right type of cervical mucus to support fertility? Diet and lifestyle factors can play a role in the development of cervical mucus so can a lack of the correct vitamin and minerals in your system. Calcium, vitamin D, E, B6 and C all play important roles in the production of mucus in the body so assessing your intake and personal requirements is crucial.
So don’t just guess, know! Sign up to one of the many tracking apps. My favourite is fertility pinpoint as it allows clients to invite me to view their charting so I can help them identify ovulation and hormonal fluctuations. If you need help charting or advice about your diet in regards to cervical mucus quality make an appointment with Merge Health so we can discuss it together.