One of the many fascinating things a woman’s body does is send hormonal signals every month that create physical changes in the body that indicate when she is most fertile in her cycle. Cervical fluid is arguably the most important of these signs to track if trying to get pregnant OR trying to avoid it!
Cervical fluid is what many women have come to know as ‘discharge’, however, this name truly simplifies the complexity and importance of this substance. Cervical fluid is produced under the influence of estrogen in the first half of a menstrual cycle, also known as the follicular phase. Every woman’s cervical fluid can follow a unique pattern of colour, consistency and timing but it typically begins after the period ends and starts as a dry and sticky texture, slowly changing to a more wet and liquid appearance.
Why is cervical fluid important for fertility?
Tracking your cervical fluid will help you identify when you are most fertile since it indicates that ovulation is coming. Wet or watery cervical fluid indicates high fertility and an egg white or very stretchy cervical fluid indicates peak fertility and upcoming ovulation.
Research has found that timing intercourse according to the most fertile cervical fluid results in higher pregnancy rates than timing based on other ovulation predictors such as the LH surge.
The most fertile cervical fluid types also provide the perfect environment for sperm to survive. For example, the pH level of fertile cervical fluid is less acidic than the normal vaginal pH, and more similar to the alkaline pH of semen, creating a more hospitable environment overall. Fertile cervical fluid also has fibres that form straight pathways that support the semen’s
movement towards the fallopian tube where conception most frequently occurs.
Cervical fluid can be broken down into the following types:
Dry — Non-fertile
Sticky— Low fertility
Creamy or lotion-y — Medium Fertility
Wet or watery — High Fertility
Stretchy and with an “egg white” quality — Peak Fertility
How you can use cervical fluid to optimize the chances of getting pregnant?
If your goal is to get pregnant, timing intercourse with any day you see wet cervical fluid will vastly increase the likelihood of a positive pregnancy result. Sperm can only live for a few hours without the presence of cervical fluid, but up to 5 days if it is present. Stretchy, egg white fluid is the most fertile and is an indication that you will ovulate in the next 24-48 hours, so having intercourse on any day this type of fluid is present is essential.
Dr. Kelly Clinning, ND
Dr. Kelly Clinning is a licensed and registered Naturopathic Doctor (ND) with a passion for research and evidence-based care. Her clinical focus is in treating women’s health with a particular concentration on reproductive health, PCOS, endometriosis and thyroid health. Her goal is to help women connect with their bodies, understand their remarkable physiology, and maintain sustainable balance in their health and life.
Dr. Kelly has her naturopathic prescribing license and incorporates natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) and bio-identical hormone treatment into her practice. She also uses nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, and clinical supplementation.
After graduating from Western University with a Bachelor of Science and an Honours specialization in Kinesiology, she completed a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors, the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, and the Endocrinology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is in good standing with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
If you would like to book an assessment or work with Dr. Clinning directly, you can book an in-person or online appointment here.