Anyone who has spoken to me about their cycle, will have had me wax lyrical about cervical fluid at some point. It is a pretty special substance that not only aids fertility in multiple ways, but can also also tell you so much about your menstrual health.
For me, it is an essential part of my charting practice and it is something I recommend to most of my clients. If you’re on this post, the chances are you already chart your cervical fluid or you are at least attempting to. It can be difficult to get into the habit of charting your fluid and some people worry that they are using the wrong descriptions or category, thanks the to multitude of charting methods (which is not a bad thing but can be confusing).
Here are a few tips:
1. Remind Yourself To Get Into The Habit of Checking Your Cervical Fluid
Eventually, you may well become aware of your cervical fluid as you go about your day, but at first, you will need to get into the habit to checking every time you go to the toilet (or bathroom for my friends across the pond). If you are unable to remember there are things you can do such as make a note on your leg so that you remember every time you sit down on the toilet.
If you don’t go regularly throughout the day, you can set reminders on your phone or an alarm to go and check your cervical fluid.
2. Get Used To Checking Your Cervical Fluid In Different Ways
Start off with checking the sensation at your vulva, is it dry, wet or moist. You can check this by touching the area and eventually when you get more proficient you may well feel which category this fits into when you wipe, without having to give it much thought.
Also get used to collecting samples on toilet roll. Make sure your toilet paper is folded flat so that it doesn’t fall into the cracks, and you can also see whether it sinks into the paper, or sits on top, whether it is thick, dry, tacky, very wet, sticky or whatever texture you observe.
3. Use Your Own Descriptions To Start With
One reason a number of my clients have stopped charting their cervical fluid is because they couldn’t figure out which category of their chosen charting method it fit into. Also, some people do not fit into the textbook patterns that are often described and that is fine and normal for them.
Instead, take some time to familiarise yourself with our cervical fluid without the pressure of conforming to someone else’s definitions. Describe it how you want to describe it and in words that make sense to you. Believe it or not, many women do not feel that their cervical fluid ever looks like egg white cervical fluid but they will describe something similar on their most fertile days. Feel free to touch it, describe how it feels as well as looks.
Try and cover, colour, opacity/translucency, texture, stretchiness (can you stretch it between your finger and thumb) and anything else such as smell, whether it forms in neat circles in your knickers or random splodges (this is down to water content). Also ensure you make note of all non period observations from your vagina. This may include random periods of creamy textured fluid or dry lumps of white or cream coloured clumps.
And most importantly, write down everything, on a paper chart or an app, multiple times a day if necessary.
4. Have Your System For Quantifying How Much Cervical Fluid
We all have an idea whether our periods are light, medium or heavy, and eventually you will come up with your own system for defining your amount of fluid. It could be you use the same description of light, medium or heavy as per your period, or you may want a scale of 1-3 or 1-5 and make a note of how much you saw on each observation to help you define what these parameters are for you.
5. Remember To Record Your Cervical Fluid
This is very important too. You may or may not be recording on a chart, but make sure you make a note somewhere. It can be on a period tracking app or calendar on your phone, a diary, a paper chart, anywhere you like, just make sure you remember to record it. Eventually, you will be able to start seeing a pattern and you can learn to interpret this to see, what is going on with your hormones, health and fertility.
6. Keep Checking Your Cervical Fluid, Even When You Are Dry
This is super important. Yes, you will hopefully have a clear pattern of cervical fluid, but it is important to keep observations up all the time because it keeps you in the habit, it means that you aren’t making assumptions and do notice when there is cervical fluid that is outside of your normal pattern. This is very helpful in showing up changes in your health, wellbeing and fertility.
It is really important that you get to know your body in terms that you understand and can work with. Please don’t compare how you describe things to how someone else does or feel there is something wrong because you aren’t fitting a pattern someone else says is what you should be seeing. Just observe without judgement and record in terms that you understand.
Once you have gotten used to doing this, you can then look at specific charting techniques and methods and it will make more sense how they describe particular patterns when you have something to work with.