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Cervical Mucus during Pregnancy

A woman can technically determine if she is likely to be pregnant or not on the basis of changes in her cervical mucus. During the menstrual cycle, the cervical mucus changes due to the level of estrogen, progesterone, FSH and luteinizing hormones that occur during the cycle but, once a woman becomes pregnant, new changes in hormones occur. The egg white cervical mucus of ovulation no longer occurs because a woman does not need to ovulate while she is already pregnant.

The levels of estrogen and progesterone remain elevated after the missed period, although the type of estrogen changes from being predominantly estradiol to becoming estriol, made by the placenta during pregnancy. The female body also makes a great deal of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropins) during the early stages of pregnancy and this change can affect the environment of the cervix and the degree of vaginal and cervical mucus she makes.

Early Sign of Pregnancy

Changes in cervical mucus can indicate that pregnancy has taken place if a woman really takes the time to evaluate what her cervical mucus is supposed to look and feel like when she is not pregnant. Cervical mucus is normally secreted by glands inside the cervix—in the cervical mucous lining. It is normally white or transparent, creamy, and without an odor. The amount of cervical mucus varies from woman to woman and depends on her hydration status, the number of cervical mucous glands, and on how much estrogen and progesterone are in the system.

When the cervical mucus is affected in pregnancy, it does not go through a stringy, egg white stage and remains a creamy, non-odorous, white discharge which can increase in amount because the hormone levels are so increased. This increased cervical mucus can mean there is more discharge from the vagina that can be soaked up by using underwear liners. Try to stay with underwear liners that actually keep the vulvar area dry and that contain no dyes or perfumes as these can cause allergies or further irritation to the vulva.
If there is yellow cervical mucus while pregnant, it can mean that there was a little bit of bleeding from the more friable cervix, and this can tinge the color of the cervical mucus to a pink, brown, or yellow color. Infections, such as group B strep, trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can contribute to discoloration of the cervical mucus. Fortunately, these things are often screened for at the first prenatal visit, so they don’t cause problems with the pregnancy or fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage, so they need to be tracked and discovered early in pregnancy. When treated, these changes in cervical mucus go away, and the mucus becomes creamy cervical mucus again.

If there is yellow cervical mucus while pregnant, it can mean that there was a little bit of bleeding from the more friable cervix, and this can tinge the color of the cervical mucus to a pink, brown, or yellow color. Infections, such as group B strep, trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can contribute to discoloration of the cervical mucus. Fortunately, these things are often screened for at the first prenatal visit, so they don’t cause problems with the pregnancy or fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage, so they need to be tracked and discovered early in pregnancy. When treated, these changes in cervical mucus go away, and the mucus becomes creamy cervical mucus again.

Fortunately, these things are often screened for at the first prenatal visit, so they don’t cause problems with the pregnancy or fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage, so they need to be tracked and discovered early in pregnancy. When treated, these changes in cervical mucus go away, and the mucus becomes creamy cervical mucus again.

A woman can technically determine if she is likely to be pregnant or not on the basis of changes in her cervical mucus. During the menstrual cycle, the cervical mucus changes due to the level of estrogen, progesterone, FSH and luteinizing hormones that occur during the cycle but, once a woman becomes pregnant, new changes in hormones occur. The egg white cervical mucus of ovulation no longer occurs because a woman does not need to ovulate while she is already pregnant.

The levels of estrogen and progesterone remain elevated after the missed period, although the type of estrogen changes from being predominantly estradiol to becoming estriol, made by the placenta during pregnancy. The female body also makes a great deal of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropins) during the early stages of pregnancy and this change can affect the environment of the cervix and the degree of vaginal and cervical mucus she makes.

Early Sign of Pregnancy

Changes in cervical mucus can indicate that pregnancy has taken place if a woman really takes the time to evaluate what her cervical mucus is supposed to look and feel like when she is not pregnant. Cervical mucus is normally secreted by glands inside the cervix—in the cervical mucous lining. It is normally white or transparent, creamy, and without an odor. The amount of cervical mucus varies from woman to woman and depends on her hydration status, the number of cervical mucous glands, and on how much estrogen and progesterone are in the system.

When the cervical mucus is affected in pregnancy, it does not go through a stringy, egg white stage and remains a creamy, non-odorous, white discharge which can increase in amount because the hormone levels are so increased. This increased cervical mucus can mean there is more discharge from the vagina that can be soaked up by using underwear liners. Try to stay with underwear liners that actually keep the vulvar area dry and that contain no dyes or perfumes as these can cause allergies or further irritation to the vulva.
If there is yellow cervical mucus while pregnant, it can mean that there was a little bit of bleeding from the more friable cervix, and this can tinge the color of the cervical mucus to a pink, brown, or yellow color. Infections, such as group B strep, trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can contribute to discoloration of the cervical mucus. Fortunately, these things are often screened for at the first prenatal visit, so they don’t cause problems with the pregnancy or fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage, so they need to be tracked and discovered early in pregnancy. When treated, these changes in cervical mucus go away, and the mucus becomes creamy cervical mucus again.

If there is yellow cervical mucus while pregnant, it can mean that there was a little bit of bleeding from the more friable cervix, and this can tinge the color of the cervical mucus to a pink, brown, or yellow color. Infections, such as group B strep, trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can contribute to discoloration of the cervical mucus. Fortunately, these things are often screened for at the first prenatal visit, so they don’t cause problems with the pregnancy or fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage, so they need to be tracked and discovered early in pregnancy. When treated, these changes in cervical mucus go away, and the mucus becomes creamy cervical mucus again.

Fortunately, these things are often screened for at the first prenatal visit, so they don’t cause problems with the pregnancy or fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage, so they need to be tracked and discovered early in pregnancy. When treated, these changes in cervical mucus go away, and the mucus becomes creamy cervical mucus again.

How Cervical Mucus Changes with Hormones

During a normal menstrual cycle, there are six different stages of cervical mucus. During pregnancy, only one of these stages is present. The six stages include the following:

  1.  Relatively dry days when the estrogen levels are still low, and bleeding has stopped. The focus during that time is on proliferation of the uterine lining and the maturation of the egg.
  2.  As the estrogen level increases, it is usually thick and sticky. The sperm can survive in this mucus phase for up to five days, but they cannot travel up into the uterus or fallopian tubes to create a pregnancy.
  3. Estrogenic phase: this is when the estrogen levels are highest but there is still no LH surge and the discharge still prevents sperm transport.
  4. Profuse, stringy and stretchy phase: this is when the egg is ready to ovulate, and the sperm can travel through the vaginal canal so that the egg can be fertilized when the sperm finally reaches the fallopian tube.
  5. Egg white mucus: this is when the peak of estrogen has occurred, and there is not yet the progesterone component from the ovarian follicle.
  6. Thick whitish discharge: this means that progesterone is dominant, and there can be no ovulation. The progesterone supports the uterine lining and matures it so it is ready to take on the implantation of the pregnancy zygote if fertilization can occur.

Cervical Mucus: Pregnancy Effects

The woman is pregnant, both estrogen and progesterone determine the quality and character of the mucus while pregnant. As these are both present in high amounts, an increase in white cervical mucus can mean an early pregnancy sign. At this time, there will not be many other pregnancy symptoms.

As an early pregnancy sign, a small amount of cervical mucus can be applied to a microscope slide to check for an estrogenic dominance. If estrogen is dominant (not pregnant), the mucus will dry into a fern-like pattern. If progesterone is dominant in early pregnancy, the fern-like pattern does not appear.

Common Questions about Cervical Mucus in Pregnancy

You may ask, “Is cervical mucus a sign of pregnancy?” The answer is yes. An increase in thick, white cervical mucus can mean elevations in estrogen and progesterone common in early pregnancy. This is especially a sign of pregnancy when the period has already been missed, and the progesterone has remained elevated.

What does cervical mucus look like while pregnant? It depends on the levels of hormones and the presence or absence of infection. Normal pregnancy cervical mucus is thick, creamy and sticky. It is in increased amounts when compared to the amount in a regular menstrual cycle.

Can you get pregnant without cervical mucus? You really need cervical mucus to have an environment for spermatozoa to swim in. The best cervical mucus for sperm swimming is the egg-white mucus found at the time of ovulation. It is stretchy and clear in color and can help the sperm motility a great deal. After a pregnancy has occurred, the body produces a mucus plug created mostly be progesterone. It prevents the passage of anything, including sperm up into the uterus, which is now creating and growing a pregnancy.

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