Cervical mucus is the discharge a woman has from her reproductive organs. This discharge varies throughout her menstrual cycle and is different even when pregnant. Although there are general guidelines that outline the appearance of the discharge at various times in a menstrual month, it is important to realize that every woman is unique. It is perfectly normal that the cervical secretions in some women will not conform to these guidelines. If your vaginal discharge causes you any worry, however, consult your medical practitioner for further checks.
Changes of Cervical Mucus After Conception
Many women will notice the virginal discharge increase during pregnancy. The appearance is often whitish and thicker than normal. Soon after fertilization, the mucus can become creamy white in color. This change is attributed to the increased levels of estrogen during pregnancy which causes cervical glands to produce more mucus. A large percentage of women will notice that the mucus increase in the third semester but a few see this happening early on in the pregnancy.
This discharge will change as the pregnancy progresses. Some women will notice the cervical mucus dry up after conception. Normally a mucus plug forms at the opening of the cervix near the uterus. This plug serves to protect the growing fetus from external bacteria or other harmful substances. As the pregnancy progresses, the mucus plug could be expelled as a thick-textured discharge.
Abnormal cervical mucus after conception usually indicates that you have an infection or an abnormal pregnancy. Signs and symptoms can include fever, vaginal itching, abnormal mucus in smell and color or abdominal cramps. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Do not use any douches, tampons, herbal remedies, vaginal creams or have intercourse until you have consulted your doctor.
How to Check Your Cervical Mucus
Many women use their cervical mucus to track their menstruation cycles. Once you become familiar with the changes in the mucus throughout your cycle, it is easy to know when you’re ovulating. Keep a record of your secretions to gauge the duration of each phase and you will see your pattern after a few cycles. You can use this information to optimize your chances of becoming pregnant or use it to avoid conception. Here are three ways to check your cervical mucus after conception or throughout your cycles:
- Wipe after urination and check the mucus on toilet tissue.
- Examine the mucus left in your underwear.
- Insert your fingers into your vagina until they reach your cervix. Press and move gently to collect the mucus. Slowly pull out your fingers and analyze the mucus on your fingers.
Tips for Checking Cervical Mucus
- Try to make your observations about the same time very day.
- Remember to note down the color, consistency and the smell of the mucus.
- It is important to remember that certain factors can change your normal mucus secretions like some medicines, tampons, sexual intercourse or using lubrication.
Changes of Cervical Mucus Throughout Menstrual Cycle
- A few days after the end of your menstrual period, you may notice no secretions or mucus from your vagina.
- Thereafter, the secretions are sticky and cloudy and may last for three to five days.
- At the time of ovulation, the mucus becomes slippery, clear and stretchy. It is often compared to the consistency of egg whites. This is when you are releasing an egg for fertilization. This type of mucus secretion will enable the sperm to reach the egg easily.
- After ovulation, the mucus can become thicker but will decrease in quantity.
Other Signs of Conception
Apart from the changes of cervical mucus after conception, there are other ways to tell if you're pregnant. However, the most reliable way to tell conception is always a pregnancy test.
1. Implantation Spotting
When a fertilized egg connects to the uterus wall, there may be a bit of spotting. It may last a few days and the vaginal discharge appears brown or pink. It occurs about six to twelve days after the egg has been fertilized.
2. Extreme Fatigue
A few weeks after conception, you may notice extreme tiredness. Your body is gearing up for the pregnancy and all your energy is focused on this body-altering process.
Women often confuse this bloating with the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). However, this is a common sign of early pregnancy.
4. Nausea and Vomiting
This is often fondly referred to as morning sickness although it is not always confined to the morning. Some pregnant women experience queasiness and throwing up. Generally, it abates after the first trimester.
5. Breast Tenderness
The breasts undergo changes to prepare for lactation. The physical changes that occur are the nipples that change color and size. Breasts become larger and heavier.
With all the new developments in your body, your blood vessels become dilated and your blood pressure may decrease. This can lead to dizzy spells and even fainting.
7. Headaches and Backache
In early pregnancy, your blood volume starts increasing. This may lead to mild headaches either daily or every few days. Some women experience constant backache at various stages of pregnancy.
8. Sensitivity to Certain Smells
Some aromas that previously never bothered you can now be a source of great discomfort. Examples can be perfume or cooked foods with strong aroma. This aversion is due to the hormone levels that are changing in your body.
9. Food Cravings
A few foods may stand out as your new favorites. On the other extreme, previously favored foods may now make you nausea. This is also associated with your changing hormones.
10. Missed Period
This is usually a good sign to indicate conception. If your period is late, then it is time to do a pregnancy test.
11. Frequent Urination
Around the 6th to 8th week of pregnancy, you may feel the need to urinate more frequently.
Feelings of being "blocked up" are due to the pregnancy hormones. This is very normal and can be alleviated by increasing fluid intake, eating fiber and doing mild exercise.
13. Mood Swings
Mood swings usually occur during the first trimester when you find it difficult to control your temper. You may also easily shed tears for the smallest things. Talking to your close friends or doing something you enjoy may lift your mood again.