Cervical Mucus Method
Under the influence of increasing levels of estrogen just prior to and at ovulation the quantity and quality of your cervical mucus changes to become fertile.
Fertile cervical mucus is vital for achieving conception as it allows the sperm to travel through the woman’s body to reach and fertilise the egg. For most of a woman’s cycle the high acidity and structure of cervical mucus makes it hostile to sperm and stops them from being able to travel through the woman’s body.
Cervical mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle. By learning to recognise your mucus changes you can identify when you are likely to be most fertile. To do so you should observe your mucus during the day especially when going to the toilet. You can either touch the outer genital area, gently insert your fingers into the vagina or observe the mucus that collects on the toilet tissue or your underclothing. Fertile mucus is watery, wet and slippery, stretchy, clear in colour and resembles raw egg white. Normally, the volume of daily cervical mucus also increases five-fold around the time of ovulation. Infertile mucus is sticky or tacky, cloudy, yellow or white and does not feel wet to touch.
You can describe changes in your mucus on a calendar. Label the days, ‘Sticky’, ‘Dry’ or ‘Wet’. You are most fertile when your mucus is wet. The last day of wet mucus is for most women the day after ovulation and is known as the ‘peak day’.
It is important to keep in mind that various factors may also affect your cervical secretions including sexual arousal, ejaculate from intercourse, use of lubricants, vaginal infections, certain drugs such as antihistamines and decongestants, nutritional and hormonal imbalances and surgery.
A commonly reported problem for many women trying to conceive is vaginal dryness. Research carried indicates that three out of four women trying to conceive experience vaginal dryness. This can be brought about by fertility medications and the various stress factors associated with trying to conceive. Unfortunately at a time when personal lubricants are often most needed, research has shown that most popular lubricants and even saliva are damaging to sperm. This is true even if they don’t contain a spermicide and even if they are water based. Thankfully, following considerable scientific research a new sperm-friendly intimate moisturizer named Pre~Seed™ has been recently introduced to the market.
Pre~Seed™ is the first ‘sperm friendly’ intimate moisturizer that mimics body secretions for an optimal sperm environment. Pre~Seed’s moisture is delivered in a fluid with the same pH as semen (around 7.25), and an osmolality similar to bodily fluids, so as not to harm the sperm. Additionally, Pre~Seed™ contains a naturally occurring plant sugar (arabinogalactan) which protects sperm cell function and decreases cellular oxidative stress (i.e. it has antioxidant-like activity).
Baby 4 You is proud to be a New Zealand stockest of this exciting new product which is available in both three and six-applicator packs. To purchase Pre~Seed™ please visit our Pre~Seed section.
Cervical Position Method
The cervix is the bottom narrow portion of the uterus where it joins with the top end of the vagina. Under the influence of increasing levels of estrogen the cervix undergoes a series of changes in position and texture which allows the sperm to travel through the woman’s body to reach and fertilise the egg.
For the majority of the menstrual cycle the cervix is closed and is positioned lower down, thus making it easier to locate with your fingers. It feels hard to touch rather like touching the tip of your nose. As ovulation approaches, the cervix rises up in position, starts to open slightly (dilates) and feels wider, wet and soft to touch.
This method of fertility checking can be tricky and for some women takes time and practice to completely master. If you are having difficulty with this technique you should consider discussing this with your health provider. When you next go for a cervical smear this can provide an excellent opportunity to better acquaint yourself with the anatomy of your cervix. Most smear takers are more than happy to show you the cervix and discuss this with you.
If you feel comfortable examining your cervix you should first begin by thoroughly washing your hands and ensuring your nails are neatly cut. Many women find it easier to check their cervix whilst sitting on the toilet, others prefer to squat or put one leg onto a chair. It is also a good idea to use the same position each time you check and do so at the same time each day. Gently insert one or two fingers into the vagina reaching back until you locate the cervix at the top of the vagina. Feel the cervix noticing its position. Ask yourself if it high and difficult to reach or low and easy to locate? Does it feel hard like the tip of your nose or soft and mushy like your lips? Is it dry, moist or very wet? Is it closed or slightly open? Add these observations to your fertility calendar or chart.