What is EWCM egg-white cervical mucus?
Egg white cervical mucus (EWCM) is a type of cervical fluid that is produced right before ovulation, during a time when you are most fertile. This mucus is called EWCM because it strongly resembles raw egg white in that it is clear or streaked, and is very stretchy and can also be watery. By placing your clean fingers into your vagina and obtaining a sample you can check for the appearance of EWCM. When a sample of mucus is between your fingers, it may stretch for several inches and should like somewhat like raw egg whites.
EWCM usually indicates fertility and that you are close to ovulation
Women in their early twenties typically have more days of EWCM than women in their thirties. Although it is not always true, women in their twenties will have around 5 days of EWCM and women in their thirties may have only 1 or two days with EWCM. Being that this mucus is necessary for conception, you should try to increase the amount you have present. This can be done by preventing dehydration and using supplements like evening primrose oil.
What is cervical mucus?
Cervical mucus regulates fertility and its physical properties change during the menstrual cycle. The cervical mucus is produced by the cervix and changes consistency throughout your menstrual cycle based on hormones associated with ovulation. Shortly after the menstrual period ends, the cervical mucus is dry and prevents sperm from penetrating the cervix but around the time of ovulation it becomes thin, has egg-white consistency, and is penetrable by sperm.
Cervical mucus (CM) is produced by glands in the cervix, the entrance to the uterus. It accepts, filters, prepares, and releases sperm for successful transport to the inside of the uterus, then, on to the fallopian tubes and the egg for fertilization.
Changes In Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus changes are common throughout the natural menstrual cycle that women experience each month. For women who are trying to conceive, the changes in cervical mucus can play a factor in choosing just the right time for trying to get pregnant. About a week before ovulation, under the influence of estrogen, cervical mucus becomes abundant, sticky, and thick.
Cervical Mucus Throughout the Menstrual Cycle
|Day in cycle (approximate)||Consistency|
|Days 1-5||Menses; menstrual period; bleeding|
|Days 6-9||Dry; little or no cervical mucus|
|Days 10-12||Sticky thick mucus, becoming less thick and whiter|
|Days 13-15 (most fertile time)||Egg-white or "spinnbarkeit" mucus: thin, elastic, slippery; stretchy, clear|
|Days 16-21||Sticky thick cervical mucus|
|Days 22-28||Dry cervical mucus|
How To Check Your Cervical Mucus
- Set Up a Fertility Temperature Chart. Fertility is something that needs to be watched closely and a fertility chart can help a great deal. The chart should consist of the date, your temperature and a place to record the look of the cervical mucus. The abbreviations used to record the consistency of the mucus include S (sticky), C (creamy), We (Wet), Wa (Watery) and EW (Egg White).
- Wash Hands. Before checking your mucus for fertility, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly. Obtaining a mucus sample requires an internal exam of sorts and cleans hands will ensure no infection from any germs present on the hands.
- Sit or Squat Comfortably. You will need to find a seat similar to the one you use to insert a tampon. or squat. The leg can be propped up to make insertion of the finger into the vagina more comfortable.
- Insert Finger. Once comfortable, reach one finger into the vagina. This finger will need to reach as far into the vagina as possible. The best source of mucus is the cervix which can be felt at the internal end of the vagina.
- Inspect the mucus. Remove the finger from the vagina and examine the cervical mucus. The mucus will be categorized as sticky, wet, watery, creamy and egg white. Each of these categories has a specific meaning in regards to fertility.
- Not Much Mucus. If there is no mucus on your finger or very little mucus, the body is not currently ovulating. Mucus production increases during ovulation.
- Sticky Mucus. If the mucus is sticky, this could mean you are not ovulating at this time. Mark the results on the chart and check again tomorrow.
- Creamy Mucus. Creamy mucus is a good thing. This is a good indicator that you are going to ovulate soon. Keep checking the cervical mucus every day for a change from creamy to watery and wet.
- Wet Mucus. Wet mucus is the first sign of ovulation. If you find that the mucus is wet, ovulation is happening and conception is more likely. Wet mucus will most often also appear watery and could appear similar to egg whites.
- Watery Mucus. As ovulation begins, mucus changes from sticky to watery. Along with the wet nature, the watery mucus means baby making is a priority.
- Egg White Mucus EWCM: Bingo! EWCM is mucus which can be stretched an inch or more between your fingers. EWCM is the perfect fertile mucus which allows sperms to penetrate the cervix and helps fertilization. Egg white mucus that stretches between the fingertips when spread means the mucus is fertile! The longer the stretch holds between the fingers the more fertile the mucus.
- Chart Results. No matter the results, make sure to note them on the chart. After a few months, a pattern will more than likely show up on the chart making it easier to determine the time of ovulation each month. The chart can also help the woman with irregular ovulation patterns to predict fertility. It is important to keep careful records and use the results to plan intercourse.
Reading Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus constantly changes with water intake, food choices, medication usage and douching. In an optimal situation where no major life changes are going on, cervical mucus can be read to provide insight into the time when a woman is most fertile.
Right before ovulation, cervical mucus will change to an egg-white consistency that is perfect for swimming sperm.
Reading cervical mucus can be difficult for some women, but with practice, the process becomes easier. Immediately after the end of a menstrual cycle, the vagina will be drier than normal. During this time sperm will have no means of swimming to meet the egg. Thus, it is not the right time to conceive. As the month passes, cervical mucus will change into a thick fluid that breaks when stretched between the fingers. Again, the sperm will not be able to swim in this atmosphere. Right before ovulation, cervical mucus will change to an egg-white consistency that is perfect for swimming sperm. This is the time when conception is most likely to happen.
Cervical Mucus In Pregnancy
Making the diagnosis of pregnancy solely from changes in the cervical mucus is too unreliable. You cannot make a pregnancy diagnosis from cervical changes alone. The typical stretchy and fertile cervical mucus develops under the influence of estrogen hormones. Estrogen hormones rise just before ovulation and decrease just after ovulation. At that time, cervical mucus becomes dry. About 7-10 days after ovulation, estrogen hormones normally rise again, and it is this second rise than can often give the appearance of fertile mucus again. That doesn't mean you are fertile again because you don't ovulate again. There are no reliable enough changes of the cervical mucus to indicate when implantation or pregnancy has happened.
Ejaculate And Cervical Mucus
Ejaculate may interfere with the cervical mucus consistency. Most of the ejaculate is usually absorbed from the vagina within hours after intercourse. Though there is sperm in the cervix even after that time, the sperm is unlikely to interfere with the cervical mucus consistency.
Not Enough Cervical Mucus
One of the major concerns of women who are trying to conceive is that they don't have enough cervical mucus. However, cervical mucus is rarely a reason for infertility. In less than 5% of infertile couples, there is a problem with the cervical mucus, while over 80% have a problem either with ovulation, sperm, or the fallopian tubes. If you think that you don't have enough cervical mucus, an underlying cause such as anovulation (no ovulation) may be responsible for this, and that cause must be treated first. Trying to improve the mucus when there are other problems won't work. You can also ask your doctor to check you at the time of ovulation to verify your observation.
Taking over-the-counter and prescription medications can change the consistency of cervical mucus. Fertility drugs may also alter consistency, so reading cervical mucus in these situations may be more difficult or impossible.