Cervical Mucus Changes During Pregnancy
| December 18, 2009
The mucus produced by the cervix is a thick fluid substance that functions as the medium that allows only the best sperm to reach and penetrate an egg. Immediately following the menstrual period, women experience a few days when no mucus discharge from the cervix take places. As a woman nears the time of her monthly ovulation, the cervical mucus turns from its cloudy, sticky texture to a less viscous, clear, egg white-like consistency in order to allow the sperm to sail through it without difficulty. Pregnancy occurs when the sperm successfully fertilizes the ovum. This leads to various hormonal changes in the woman’s body.
For instance, the level of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone in the body increases significantly after fertilization, which makes the discharge of cervical mucus milky and sticky. You could use some soft, clean tissue paper to get a smear of the mucus discharge after you have missed a period. If the color of the sample ranges between milky white to pinkish brown, it could be an early, natural confirmation of pregnancy. The increased flow of blood into the reproductive organs after implantation is the reason behind the pinkish tint of the cervical mucus. However, check if the discharge is itchy or has a foul odor, as these symptoms may be caused due to fungal growth and infection in the vagina or of a venereal disease and may not be an early sign of pregnancy. It is necessary; therefore, that you consult your doctor and get a pregnancy test done in order to ensure if you are pregnant.
Since each pregnancy is different from others in small but significant ways, every woman goes through an individual pattern of changes in the quality, frequency and amount of cervical mucus discharge. You are likely to experience increased discharge of cervical mucus once you become pregnant, but this happens only gradually as the gestation period nears its end. You could therefore expect heavy discharge of cervical mucus as you approach the ninth month of your pregnancy. Sometimes, the vagina secretes fluids that block the opening of the cervix in order to protect the growing fetes from infections, which leads to the accumulation of cervical mucus in the womb till the pregnancy reaches its advanced stage. The cervix then begins to dilate in order to prepare the body for labor and expels a large amount of mucus in a single lump, which is popularly called the “mucus plug”.
Pregnancy and Baby Care Questions