The cervical mucus is a secretion produced by the cervical glands. This secretion is important as it lubricates and protects the vaginal canal and the cervix. The consistency of the mucus varies during the menstrual cycle, from its highly viscous appearance prior to menstruation, to the watery consistency during the mid-cycle or just prior to ovulation.
During ovulation (which takes place during the 11 to 21st days of your cycle), the body releases a fertile egg in the reproductive tract. Signs include breast tenderness, ovulation pain (cramping), spotting, changes in basal body temperature, and alteration in the position and firmness of the cervix.
However, each woman is unique and the signs may vary for each woman. If you are having a rough time tracking your cycle you can use the ovulation tracker or calendar.
As you approach ovulation, estrogen levels in your body increase. As a result, the amount of cervical mucus released by the cervix also increases. This mucus tends to be clear, stretchy, slippery, and wet. Normally, the discharge looks similar to “raw egg-white.”
This characteristic of the secretion along with the pH is ideal for helping the sperm move up the reproductive tract. If you are using an ovulation kit, the test will show a change in PH due to a rise in Luteinizing hormone (LH).
The type of discharge produced during the ovulation period does not last long (maximum 3 days). The likelihood of getting pregnant is high if you have intercourse in the three days leading to as well as the three ovulation days.
Types of Ovulation Discharge
Prior to ovulation (the release of the fertile egg), a lot of mucus is produced compared to after ovulation. A normal discharge produced by the cervix or the vaginal cells appears clear, creamy, white/milky/off-grey in color. The consistency of the discharge changes as you appear ovulation. For instance:
1. Thick, dry, pasty/clumpy white discharge
Appear at the end of the menstrual cycle. It is normal, and can have a mild-smell, or can also be odorless. This type of consistency blocks the sperms and signals the infertile days.
2. White discharge that may be creamy white or milky in appearance
Occurs between the dry (infertile days) all the way to prior the ovulation (fertile) days: This mucus tends to be odorless or mild-smelling. However, if the discharge is itchy or causes irritation, you should consider going for a check-up as it may indicate an infection. Also, if the discharge has an odor, causes irritation, or appears green or brown, you should go for a check-up.
3. Clear, stretchy, white discharge/creamy white appearance:
This is the discharge to look out for during your fertile days as it signals ovulation. It may appear around 5 days earlier. This mucus progresses to become more slippery or watery as you get closer to the fertile days.
4. Thick, clumpy, discharge (resembling cottage-cheese)
This type of discharge may signal an infection.
The cervical mucus is experienced throughout a woman’s cycle. The amount produced differs depending on the estrogen levels produced in the body.
Also, there is the lubricating discharge that is normal during sexual arousal or intercourse.
Other discharge types to look out for include brown discharge, or brown discharge with blood spots. This type of discharge is common after the menstrual cycle and is simply a sign of the body cleaning up the vagina. This type of mucus is also evident sometimes during early pregnancy. If you exhibit symptoms such as itching, rashes or sores accompanied by a vaginal discharge, pain, or discomfort, then you should consult a physician.
Ovulation spotting involves slight bleeding that may occur during this period. It may occur due to weakening or rupture of the follicular wall. This may lead to a blood-stained discharge as you ovulate.
Also, a surge in estrogen hormone can lead to pinkish, or brownish discharge during ovulation. It may appear like a bloody discharge.
This is a normal, yet unpopular fertility indicator and can be as a result of a number of factors. For example, thickening of the uterine wall leading to spotting, or widening of the cervix. Most women report observing a pinkish, or slightly brown discharge while ovulating.
Brown discharge during ovulation is normal for some women. However, if you experience a brown discharge accompanied by irritation or any form of discomfort, consult a gynecologist. Also, if you notice a change in the coloration of the discharge, then this may signal an infection.
Abnormal discharge types to look out for include green, or yellow discharge. This discharge may appear chunky and may have an odor. Green/yellow discharge during ovulation may be an indicator of a bacterial infection.