Cervical Mucus Before Period: How Does It Look Like? Can it Predict Pregnancy?

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Cervical Mucus Before Period: How Does It Look Like? Is It a Sign of Pregnancy?
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Many women look for changes in their cervical mucus (CM) before their period as a sign of early pregnancy. Cervical mucus or vaginal discharge changes in consistency and amount during the menstrual cycle. Sometimes, just before ovulation and before your period, cervical mucus can look like sticky egg white. If you are pregnant, vaginal discharge before you expect your period may increase and take on a jelly-like appearance.

At other times during your cycle, cervical mucus may appear dry or watery. In the days as you approach ovulation, cervical mucus will start to become slippery and be clear or white. You can also expect that the amount of white sticky vaginal discharge will increase throughout pregnancy. As long as vaginal discharge looks like clear to milky white and has no unpleasant odor, there should be nothing to worry about.

In this article, you will find out what cervical mucus before your period looks like. You will also learn about how to tell if cervical discharge is a sign of pregnancy and how to tell it apart from ovulation discharge.

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What is Cervical Mucus?

Cervical mucus is a sticky clear to white fluid that helps keep your vagina moist, healthy, and free from infection. The cervix and vagina produce cervical mucus or vaginal discharge that changes in amount and consistency throughout your menstrual cycle.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that vaginal discharge can range from a thin clear fluid to a thicker milky white discharge during your menstrual cycle. Usually, cervical mucus is thickest at mid-cycle when you are ovulating, and this is usually when you have greater chances of becoming pregnant.1

Increased cervical mucus is also connected with pregnancy. Doctors from the National Health Service say that it is completely normal to have more cervical mucus that looks like milky white discharge. This helps to keep your uterus free from infection. Towards the end of pregnancy, you can expect increased amounts of cervical secretions.2

What Does Cervical Mucus (CM) Look Like Before Your Period?

Before your period, cervical mucus looks likes like a clear and stretchy fluid that is thickest when you are ovulating.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that cervical discharge will feel and look sticky and wet in the days before your period.3 Because of the way cervical mucus looks and feel in the 1 to 2 weeks before your period, it is sometimes referred to as egg white cervical mucus.

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As your period approaches, doctors from the American Pregnancy Association say that the amount of cervical mucus gradually decreases. This makes the cervical mucus before your period look and feel thicker in consistency.4

However, it is good to remember that the signs and symptoms of cervical mucus differ from women to women. Some women have slippery white cervical mucus in the week before their period. Other women have dry or damp cervical mucus 2 days before their period.

How Does Cervical Mucus Change Throughout Your Cycle?

Knowing how cervical mucus changes during your menstrual cycle can help to know when your chances of getting pregnant are at their greatest. Because the characteristics of vaginal discharge change noticeably around ovulation, this can be one of the best indicators of increased fertility.

Your menstrual cycle starts with the first day of your menstrual period. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that, on average, menstruation lasts for 28 days. However, a normal menstrual cycle can be anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Ovulation occurs in the middle of your cycle and can happen 4 days before or after the mid-point of your cycle.5, 6

What changes with cervical mucus can you expect during the progression of your monthly cycle? According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, normal changes to cervical mucus during the menstrual cycle are as follows:7

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  • Cervical discharge 3 to 4 days after your period ends is dry or not noticeable.
  • Cervical mucus about 2 weeks before your next period becomes whitish and sticky. This type of vaginal discharge lasts for about 3 or 4 days. During this time it is at its greatest and becomes clear or white and wet and sticky. This is the mid-point of your cycle when ovulation occurs. Ovulation discharge resembles raw egg whites.
  • Cervical mucus a week before your period becomes less, however the consistency may thicken as the cervix produces less fluid. However, if you have become pregnant and implantation has occurred, cervical discharge may start to increase in the week before you expect your period.
  • Cervical discharge two days or a day before your period may be white and sticky and significantly less than during ovulation. You may also notice signs of vaginal spotting that shows your period is about to start. For some women, it is normal not to have any cervical mucus before their menstrual period.

The texture and look of cervical mucus is an important way to know when you are ovulating. Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine say that cervical mucus in mid-cycle that is thick, sticky and creamy is an indication that you have a chance of conceiving at this time. When the ovulation discharge becomes like egg white it shows that you are at your most fertile stage.8

Cervical Mucus (CM) Before Period and During Early Pregnancy

Cervical mucus before your period is not only important to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. The quantity and quality of cervical mucus during early pregnancy is also important.

According to The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, pregnancy discharge contains important cytokines. These are important substances that help to boost the immune system. Researchers have found that the cytokines are prevalent in cervical mucus during pregnancy and help protect the vagina from infection during pregnancy.9

Expert in gynecology, Dr. Trina Pagano says that one of the early signs of pregnancy is milky-white discharge. This thick white cervical mucus is noticeable before you expect your period to start. You may also notice some pink spotting when implantation happens. Dr. Pagano says that cervical mucus caused by pregnancy increases as soon as conception happens.10

Is clear jelly-like discharge a sign of pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, you may notice that your vaginal discharge becomes jelly-like and looks milky-whitish. This can be caused by the increase in cervical mucus that your body produces in the early stages of pregnancy.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that cervical discharge during pregnancy increases naturally. This is normal and happens as the cervix walls get softer and it also protects the growing fetus from infection.11

Is white discharge before period a sign of pregnancy?

An increase in white cervical mucus before your period may be a sign of pregnancy. As already mentioned in the article, discharge 3 or 4 days after ovulation usually starts to decrease. As you get closer to your period, there should be very little discharge, and any that is secreted should be of a thick consistency. Therefore, if you continue to have a lot of white discharge towards the end of your menstrual cycle, it may indicate pregnancy.

Ovulation discharge vs. pregnancy discharge

Egg white discharge occurs around ovulation and has a stretchy consistency to it. However, it can be difficult to know the difference between ovulation discharge and signs that cervical mucus is due to pregnancy.

What is the difference between pregnancy discharge and ovulation discharge?

Ovulation discharge becomes more noticeable around the midway point of your menstrual cycle. Researchers from the American Pregnancy Association say that ovulation discharge can be cream-like in appearance. The “fertile-quality” cervical mucus will be clear and stretchy. However, this only lasts for 3 or 4 days after ovulation has occurred.12

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Pregnancy discharge will become a thinner white type of fluid and increases in amount in the days after ovulation. According to OB/GYN Dr. Nivin Todd, you may notice that pregnancy discharge has some pink or rust-colored spotting just before you expect your period. This is implantation spotting. If you are pregnant, you will likely notice that you still have noticeable amounts of whitish discharge when your period is due.13

What does early pregnancy discharge look like?

Early pregnancy discharge resembles milky white thin vaginal fluid that shouldn’t have any odor. The medical name for normal discharge is leukorrhea. Discharge during pregnancy shouldn’t have a yellowish or green color or have a distinct fishy odor to it.

Cervical mucus when pregnant

When you are pregnant, cervical mucus also changes as your pregnancy progresses. At the start, pregnancy discharge resembles a thin white fluid that is noticeable on your underwear or panty liner.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that during pregnancy the amount of discharge increases. In the week before you give birth, you may notice that cervical mucus becomes more jelly-like in appearance and you may notice streaks of blood in it. This is normal towards the end of pregnancy when your cervix gets ready for birth.2

Egg White Discharge Before Period – What Does It Mean?

If you are planning to get pregnant and want to know when the best time to conceive is, it’s important to look for egg white discharge before your period. Paying attention to a few signs your body gives you can increase your chances of conceiving.

OB/GYN Dr. Trina Pagano says that charting your cervical mucus before your period is one of the best ways to know when you ovulate. Dr. Pagano explains that cervical mucus when you are ovulating is clear and stretchy. This enables the sperm to reach the egg and fertilize it.14

Ovulation at other times in your menstrual cycle will either be non-existent or thick and sticky a week before your period.

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Sticky discharge before period

Dr. Trina Pagano explains that 7 to 14 days before your period, you are likely to have sticky and thick cervical mucus. This is sometimes referred to as dry cervical mucus and creates an environment in the cervix were sperm can’t survive.14

Dry cervical mucus before period

Dry cervical mucus means that you are not able to conceive during this time before your period. Sometimes, dry cervical mucus refers to thick sticky discharge about a week or so before your period, and Dr. Trina Pagano mentioned earlier says that you usually have a dry vagina in the 7 days before your period. 14

No discharge before period – is it normal?

It is normal not to have any discharge in the few days before you expect your next period. During this time your vagina becomes dry as little or no cervical mucus is produced. Doctors from the UNC School of Medicine say there may be no visible cervical discharge and the vagina may feel dry and itchy.8

How to check cervical mucus before period

If you need to know what cervical mucus before your period looks like to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you should check your cervical mucus regularly.

According to Dr. Trina Pagano, the way to check your fertility cycle using cervical mucus is as follows:14

  1. After you use the bathroom, wash your hands.
  2. Rub some toilet paper or your fingers over the opening of your vagina.
  3. There should be some cervical mucus there.
  4. Examine the consistency of the cervical mucus between your fingers and take a note of it.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the points to be aware of when checking cervical mucus for fertility are:7

  • Color. Is the cervical mucus clear, milky white, cloudy, or yellow?
  • Consistency. How does the cervical mucus look like? Is it sticky, stretchy, or thick when you rub your fingers and separate them?
  • Feel. How does the cervical discharge feel? Does it have a slippery, wet, or dry feel to it?

When you have the greatest chance of becoming pregnant, your cervical mucus should be abundant and have a raw egg white texture and appearance.

When Vaginal Discharge is Something to Worry About

Vaginal discharge is a normal part of the menstrual cycle and you will have an increased amount of normal cervical mucus during ovulation and pregnancy.

In some cases, abnormal vaginal discharge that is a yellowish or green color could be a sign of a vaginal infection. Unusual cervical mucus can be a sign that you need to treat bacterial infection, or address the causes of a yeast infection.

According to doctors from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, signs that you should see a doctor for vaginal discharge include:

Read my other related articles:

Medical Sources

  1. MedicineNet. Vaginal discharge: symptoms & signs.
  2. NHS. Vaginal discharge in pregnancy.
  3. NHS. Vaginal discharge.
  4. American Pregnancy. Cervical mucus and your fertility.
  5. MayoClinic. Menstrual cycle.
  6. MayoClinic. Getting pregnant.
  7. MayoClinic. Cervical mucus method for natural family planning.
  8. MedUNC. Cervical mucus monitoring.
  9. J Obstet Gynaecol Res.1996 Oct;22(5):517-22.
  10. WebMD. Pregnancy symptoms.
  11. NHS. Is it normal to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
  12. AmericanPregnancy. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy.
  13. WebMD. What is implantation bleeding?
  14. WebMD. Charting your fertility cycle.
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