Does mucus during pregnancy is the wrong symbol? Can it badly affect the health of the mother and fetus? Should mom go to see a doctor?
The fertility awareness method (FAM) is a form of natural family planning that uses a combination of several separate methods – usually calendar charting, basal body temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, and cervical observation – to predict when a woman will ovulate.
The fertility awareness method helps women identify and predict ovulation so they can time their reproductive efforts to coincide with their most fertile days, thereby increasing the likelihood of conceiving. In general, a woman is able to get pregnant for about 5 to 7 days each month. Sperm can live inside a woman’s body for 3 to 5 days after intercourse; but after ovulation, an egg is viable for just 24 to 48 hours. You are more likely to conceive if intercourse occurs from 3 days before ovulation until 2 to 3 days after ovulation.
Basal Body Temperature
Monitoring your basal body temperature can help you identify the change in temperature that occurs just before and after ovulation. After charting a few cycles, you will be able to distinguish a pattern in your temperature and anticipate ovulation.
Take your basal temperature orally every morning before you do anything, even get out of bed (even the slightest activity can elevate your temperature), and record it on your fertility tracking calendar. Use a basal thermometer instead of a conventional fever thermometer; your body temperature will only rise between 0.4 and 1 degree F when you ovulate and a basal thermometer is more sensitive to small changes in your temperature. As you get closer to ovulation, you may notice a slight drop in temperature followed by a sharp increase, indicating that ovulation has just occurred. The temperature spike occurs within 12 hours of ovulation and it will remain elevated until your next menstrual period begins. Your fertile days are just before the temperature spike, and for the three days following.
The consistency of your cervical mucus changes during your menstrual cycle. In an average cycle, there are three to four dry days after a five-day menstrual flow. After the dry days, the mucus wetness increases daily, lasting approximately nine days until it becomes abundant, slippery, clear, and very stretchy, similar to egg whites. Ovulation occurs within two days of when your mucus becomes clearest, slippery, and most stretchy.
To monitor your cervical mucus, collect it from the vaginal opening every day with your (clean) fingers by wiping them from front to back, or examine the mucus that collects on your underwear. Record the consistency, color and feel daily to increase your awareness of your fertile period.
The position of a woman’s cervix changes over the course of her menstrual cycle. During menstruation and for the first few days after, the cervix is fairly low and firm like the tip of your nose. As ovulation nears, the cervix begins to move up, becoming more soft, wet, and open; during ovulation, the cervix is at its highest and most open to allow sperm through; and after ovulation, the cervix returns to the firm, low, and closed position.
To observe changes in your cervical position, insert your (clean) middle finger into your vagina and feel your cervix for softness, height, opening, and wetness. A plastic speculum can be helpful in the beginning while you are getting used to finding and feeling your cervix. Check your cervix about the same time of day and in the same position (squatting, sitting on the toilet, or with one leg raised). Record the position and quality of your cervix on your chart.
Here are a list of descriptions and abbreviations you can use to chart your cycles. Using these terms will help you to become familiar with your body and the menstrual cycle signs it provides to identify your most fertile days. When describing the cervical mucus textures you will likely use one word from each category (consistency, color and feel) in order to completely pinpoint how near or far your ovulation is.
Download Basal Body Temperature Chart (pdf, 81kb)
What is Cervical Mucus?
Cervical mucus is a normal physiological reaction during pregnancy. However, if there is too much mucus with smells and itching, the mother needs to pay attention and see the doctor find out what happens.
Why does mucus appear when pregnant?
Cervical mucus during pregnancy is an automatic defense mechanism of the body to reduce the risk of infection. The main reason for this phenomenon is because of the increased estrogen hormone. It leads more blood to the genitals.
At the same time, the pelvis and the vaginal wall are soft, so the amount of vaginal discharge must be increased to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. Mucus during pregnancy will be milky, odorless or natural smell.
In the late months of pregnancy, the uterus begins to thin and dilate to allow the baby’s head to open fully. This dilatation can tear small blood vessels in the cervix, causing mucus to get a little bloody. Therefore, a little blood mixed in mucus is entirely healthy.
Is a lot of mucus a sign that you are pregnant?
If only based on this sign, it is not possible to confirm that the egg has been fertilized, making a nest in the uterus. To determine whether a white spot is a sign of pregnancy, women need to keep an eye on the following symptoms:
- Late menstruation: this is the first, and the most critical sign is determining whether you are pregnant or not.
- The breast is tight and sore: some women will experience swelling, itchiness and pain in the chest, even nipples during the first week of pregnancy.
- Menstruation: do not think when pregnant, you will not be menstruating. In some cases, in the early pregnancy, the mother’s body still has periods. And this phenomenon only lasts 1-2 days.
- Uterine contractions: an increase in mutated hormones causes the uterus to grow and become constricted.
Is mucus ominous during the first week of pregnancy?
As mentioned above, it is reasonable to discharge mucus-like egg whites during pregnancy without affecting the health of both mother and baby.
But in some cases, the mother can get fungal infections due to changes in PH, bacteria in the vaginal membrane. So if the following symptoms accompany mucus, it is necessary to seek medical attention immediately:
- Excessive mucus makes the underwear always wet
- Mucus has a foul, fishy odor, strange colors like blue, yellow due to infection
- Unusual white blood appeared with symptoms of back pain, abdominal pain
- If the fluid is white and itchy, you may have a fungal infection or flagella.
To encounter vaginal infections during pregnancy, the mother should note
- Keep the genital area clean by washing with water, then pat dry several times daily.
- Change underwear two times/ day
- Choose the underwear with high absorbent material, not too tight.
In conclusion, the appearance of mucus during pregnancy is a positive thing to help prevent external effects on the fetus. However, mom needs to pay attention to clean vaginal hygiene to avoid inflammation.