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How to Chart Your Menstrual Cycle

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Cervical Mucus and Your Menstrual Cycle

The mucus made by your cervix changes at certain times during your cycle. You can predict ovulation by noting these changes. Using this and BBT together may be more effective than using just one method, though it's still not foolproof.

Mucus released by the cervix serves different purposes.

  • It prevents sperm from getting into the uterus when you aren't ovulating.
  • It protects sperm and helps it along on its journey toward the egg when you are ovulating.

Here's a typical pattern of cervical mucus changes for a woman with a 28-day cycle:

  • Days 1-5: You get your period.
  • Days 6-9: Vagina is dry with little to no mucus.
  • Days 10-12: Sticky, thick mucus appears, gradually becoming thinner and whiter.
  • Days 13-15: Mucus becomes thin, slippery, stretchy, and clear, similar to the consistency of egg whites. This is the most fertile stage.
  • Days 16-21: Mucus becomes sticky and thick again.
  • Days 22-28: Vagina dries.

Check your cervical mucus several times a day.

  • Be sure your hands are clean.
  • Rub some toilet paper or your fingers over the opening of your vagina. You should be able to see your cervical mucus.
  • Note the color and consistency between your fingers.
  • Write it down on your fertility chart.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Miller-Thrasher, MD on March 29, 2013
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