What Causes Brown Discharge and What Does it Mean?
Close Cervical Mucus and Early Pregnancy Cervical mucus plays a fundamental role in the conception process by nourishing and protecting sperm as it makes the long, arduous journey through the female reproductive tract to meet the egg. So, as you become more familiar with your cervical mucus, you will be able to better time having sex in order to conceive.
In simple terms, cervical mucus is a fluid secreted by the cervix, the production of which is stimulated by the hormone estrogen. Throughout your menstrual cycle, the amount and quality of mucus that is produced will fluctuate, and by observing these changes you can begin to predict the most fertile days in your cycle.
This fertile-quality cervical mucus, also known as egg white cervical mucus EWCM , is clear and stretchy, similar to the consistency of egg whites, and is the perfect protective medium for sperm in terms of texture and pH. Having enough egg white cervical mucus during your fertile window will actually improve your chances of conceiving.
And, by noticing when your body is producing the egg white mucus, you will be able to identify your most fertile days. The most accurate way to identify changes is to collect and observe a sample of mucus on a daily basis.
To do this, wash and dry your hands well, then insert your middle or index finger into your vagina, getting as close to your cervix as possible. You may also notice cervical mucus when you use toilet paper to wipe. You can use either method checking at your cervix or when you wipe ; just make sure you are consistent in using the same method each day.
Remove your finger and observe the consistency of the mucus sample by rolling the mucus between your thumb and finger, pressing your fingers together, and then slowly moving them apart. But, over the next several days, more mucus will become present, and it will likely be yellow, cloudy, or white in color, and somewhat sticky the touch.
Your Ovulation Date Approaches: As you enter your fertile window, your cervical mucus will increase in quantity and moistness. Its color may be cream-like in appearance. At the Time of Ovulation: In the days immediately preceding ovulation, the production of cervical mucus will be at its highest and the consistency and color of the mucus will be similar to egg whites.
Once you detect the presence of this fertile-quality cervical mucus, you will know you are in your most fertile days. After Ovulation: After ovulation, the quantity of cervical mucus begins to decline and become thicker in consistency. Either condition can hinder your reproductive efforts by making it difficult for sperm to travel efficiently and safely to the fallopian tube to meet the egg for fertilization. Insufficient production of fertile-quality cervical mucus or the presence of hostile cervical mucus may result from a variety of factors including diet , stress , hormonal issues, or even from taking prescription medications like Clomid.
Suggestions for improving your quantity and quality of cervical mucus First and foremost, staying properly hydrated is very important, so be sure to drink plenty of water.
Secondly, taking FertileCM , a dietary supplement designed to increase cervical mucus production and tone the lining of the uterus, can enhance your trying-to-conceive efforts. And finally, while you work to improve your production, consider using a sperm-friendly lubricant like BabyDance. This product features a pH and consistency that is similar to egg white cervical mucus and can be used during intercourse to help as many sperms as possible survive the journey through your reproductive tract.
These products are all available at Fairhaven Health , a leading provider of natural, doctor-designed products to help couples conceive. Fairhaven is also a corporate sponsor of the American Pregnancy Association supporting the mission to make motherhood a healthy reality. Some couples want to explore more traditional or over the counter efforts before exploring infertility procedures. If you are trying to get pregnant and looking for resources to support your efforts, we invite you to check out the fertility product and resource guide provided by our corporate sponsor.
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What Cervical Discharge Tells You About Fertility
Last Updated on May 5, If you and your partner are planning to have a baby, then there are certain things or changes that you need to keep track of as they can give you the good news well before you bring home that pregnancy kit. And when a woman ovulates, the consistency of the cervical mucus is different from what it usually is. If you keep a track of changes in your cervical mucus, you can find out whether you are pregnant or not.
If not, then you can at least time sex to conceive soon. Find out how you can track early pregnancy with the help of cervical mucus. What Is Cervical Mucus? Cervical mucus is a fluid which is secreted by the glands found in and around the cervix, which is located above the vaginal tunnel.
Its consistency changes throughout the reproductive cycle of a woman because of hormonal changes. It changes before pregnancy and even throughout the pregnancy. Although leucorrhoea is an umbrella term given to all types of vaginal discharge , it is more commonly used to describe vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Vaginal discharge performs the functions of lubrication, cleaning, and maintenance of the healthy environment of the vagina.
It is thus a good indicator of ovulation and fertility. Cervical Mucus During Pregnancy Some women report increased vaginal discharge in the early days of pregnancy. This discharge, in the days after conception, appears either creamy or clear and sticky. Even when it is accompanied by other changes like breast tenderness and frequent urination , which are also the early signs of pregnancy , it is not a sure-fire way to confirm pregnancy.
The amount of cervical mucus during pregnancy varies. The production of cervical mucus increases during pregnancy due to increased estrogen and blood flow to the vaginal area; however, it is not noticeable until the eighth week.
As the pregnancy progresses, cervical mucus increases too and forms into a mucus plug, forming a barrier to the uterus. This prevents any chances of infection. The vaginal discharge tends to decrease after the plug is formed during the course of pregnancy. At the end of the pregnancy, when the cervix starts dilating and prepares you for labour and delivery, the mucus plug breaks down.
It comes out of the vagina in the form of large clumps or in small quantities. Checking your cervical mucus can be an accurate way to track your menstrual cycle and pinpoint the days on which you are ovulating. There are three ways to check your cervical mucus. However, do wash your hands thoroughly before and after performing the methods mentioned below.
Toilet Paper: Before you pee, wipe your vagina with a white toilet paper. Observe the colour, consistency, and feel of the discharge on the tissue. Underwear: In this method, you simply check for vaginal discharge on your underwear daily. You will notice that vaginal discharge will increase when you near ovulation. However, this method may not yield much information on other days.
Fingers: This is the method that yields the most accurate information. Clean your hands. Insert two fingers into your vagina and check the consistency, colour, and stickiness. The following are the typical results that are found throughout a menstrual cycle: No colour and mostly dry: You may notice immediately after your period ends.
You will have dry days for a few days; you might notice any discharge during this time. Thick and cloudy: You will notice thick and cloudy discharge at about one week into the cycle. At this point, you will be approaching ovulation. Clear like egg white, less viscous, and abundant: This is the time when you will be most fertile and will be ovulating. This is the best time to try to conceive. Thick, sticky, and cloudy: This resembles the discharge from right before you were ovulating.
This is usually during the third week since your periods. This is usually the time when one is trying to figure out whether they have indeed conceived or not, but the only way they can try is by checking for any changes in the cervical mucus. Some women have pink or brown spotting sometime between the 6th and 12th day of pregnancy. It is thought to be triggered by the action of the fertilized egg sticking onto the wall of the uterus.
Brown discharge is usually noticed when the period ends and it is usually a cleaning mechanism which involves getting rid of old blood. A pinkish-brown discharge could be because of various reasons, and pregnancy is one of them. Usually, vaginal discharge is less after ovulation, so many women who are trying to conceive take increased discharge after ovulation to be a sign of pregnancy.
However, it can be caused by various other factors. If it is watery and clear, it is just your body preparing for menstruation. However, your cervical mucus after ovulation will not be clear and runny if you are pregnant. The absence of discharge or dry cervical mucus in early pregnancy is rare.
If conception was successful, you are more likely to notice thick, clear or creamy cervical mucus after and before ovulation. When to Consult a Doctor If you have been keeping track of your cervical cycle for months now in order to get pregnant but notice abnormal discharge, you should seek a doctor immediately.
An abnormal discharge could be a symptom of an infection and do know that it would only come in your way of conception. So consult a doctor in the following situations: 1. If you notice yellow or green mucus discharge 2.
If you have a smelly discharge 3. If there is a burning sensation in your vagina If you have been tracking the changes of your vaginal discharge over the course of your cycles for some months and have found it to be more or less consistent, then you may be successfully able to observe changes in cervical fluid during early pregnancy.
However, changes in cervical mucus is not a clear sign of pregnancy and by no means reliable. It is prudent to wait until you have missed your period and conducted a pregnancy test to confirm conception. Also Read:.
5 Things You Need to Know About Cervical Mucus
This mucus is your type 4. While you ovulate: The same fluid you just observed will remain during your ovulation window. This is the ideal mucus to protect the sperm on its journey to your egg.
If you want to conceive, this is the best time to have sex. If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, use protection or abstain all together to be safe.
The mucus you may notice at this stage will be thicker, cloudy or gluey again like before your ovulation. You may also just have dry days. And then the cycle begins all over again with the start of your period. How To Check Cervical Mucus? There are a few different ways to do this but they basically boil down to two: outside or inside inspection.
Cervical Mucus and Early Pregnancy
The best way is to simply check your vagina. To do this: First, wash your hands! Another method is to use toilet paper. Before going to the bathroom is when you can use this method most effectively. If you see something out of the range of normal for you, check with your doctor. Totally okay! Either of these methods works to help you keep track of your cervical mucus. Just keep in mind that checking your underwear may not be as reliable as the others.
It changes in consistency closer around your ovulation. As mentioned above, your most fertile mucus is slippery and stretchy in consistency while egg white in color.
This discharge shows up one to two days before you ovulate. When you notice this cervical fluid, you are at your most fertile. Sperm can last days in this kind of mucus meaning it can survive longer to implant into an egg. If you want a baby, this is the time to be doing it. If not, avoid intercourse or use extra protection. When your cervical mucus starts to get gummy, your ovulation has likely passed.
The most important thing is to stay hydrated. The amount of time you have to pee. There are also dietary supplements you can take. These supplements are meant to help increase mucus production and tone the lining of the uterus.
This can help your chances in trying to conceive. Another way to increase your quantity and quality of cervical mucus is to try a sperm-friendly lubricant. The idea behind this kind of lubrication is to help the sperm survive. The longer sperm can survive, the more likely it is to reach your egg.
As for a natural approach, there are certain dietary changes that may help increase cervical fluid. Drink grapefruit juice: Drinking grapefruit juice a week before you ovulate may help with the quantity and texture. Eat your dark green vegetables: Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are high in alkaline.
Alkaline environments are what help sperm thrive. Have your man eat his greens also to help give his sperm quality a boost. Eat carrots: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which helps the body increase the quantity and quality of the cervical fluid. Lower your caffeine: If you can cut it out altogether, even better.
Brown Discharge: Causes and When to See a Doctor
Caffeine tends to dehydrate you which is counterproductive when you need to stay hydrated. Another thing you can do is to avoid chemical-based intimate products. Cervical Mucus And Early Pregnancy Generally, the changes in your cervical fluid when you are pregnant are so subtle that they may not be a reliable source of telling whether you are pregnant or not.
Pregnancy tests are still the way to go. That being said, there are changes that happen to your cervical mucus during pregnancy. Thin And Milky-White Discharge A thin and milky-white discharge happens during pregnancy, but can also be present in non-pregnant women.
This fluid is called leukorrhea. Brown Or Pink Cervical Mucus If you notice brown or pinkish discharge, this may be an indication of implantation bleeding. This refers to the time when an embryo would be implanting itself into the uterine lining. There are also various other reasons that you might be spotting mid-cycle besides being pregnant. It could have to do with hormonal changes or ovarian cysts, as two examples. Increased Cervical Fluid Before your period begins, you may notice an increase in discharge.
This is due to the increased blood flow, the changing levels of estrogen and your cervix preparing for menstruation. For most of us — the changes will be too subtle to notice. By monitoring your basal body temperature first thing in the morning before you rise on a daily basis, and tracking the results on a basal body temperature chart, it's possible to determine that ovulation has occurred. However, conditions such as fever, restless sleep, and exertion can affect the accuracy of the temperature readings.
In general, your vagina produces the least amount of secretions immediately following the conclusion of your menstrual cycle. The amount and consistency of vaginal secretions follow this pattern for most women: Soon after your menstrual cycle, you might notice a sticky or "tacky" vaginal secretion.
Can Clear Watery Discharge Be a Sign of Pregnancy?
Immediately prior to ovulation, most women usually detect increased vaginal secretions that are wet and slippery similar to the consistency of raw egg white. Generally, your body produces the greatest amount of this type of vaginal discharge is on the day of ovulation. Immediately following the day of ovulation, your vaginal discharge gradually becomes thicker in consistency, and less is secreted. Be mindful of the following factors that could affect the amount and consistency of your vaginal secretions: Vaginal infection or sexually transmitted disease Sexual excitement Use of lubricants during intercourse According to Planned Parenthood, the following factors might also influence your vaginal secretions: Douching.