A timeline of cervical fluid throughout your cycle- why your vaginal discharge changes!
- Beginning of cycle- menstruation
Cycle day one- the first day of your period, levels of both estrogen and progesterone are low. Since estrogen levels determine cervical fluid production, the cervix is not producing much fluid, due to low estrogen levels.
- Just after your period- Dry, no fluid
In the days just after your period, estrogen (produced by the follicle growing in your ovary as it prepares to release an egg at ovulation) is rising. Until Estrogen levels rise, you may not notice an increase in discharge.
- Leading up to ovulation- sticky, creamy
As estrogen levels rise, the cervix produces more fluid. It may be thick and sticky and become more wet and creamy. It can be cloudy, or even yellowish. During a typical 28 day menstrual cycle, fluid may be noticeable on day 9 or 10.
- Ovulation: slippery, clear
Leading up to ovulation, more cervical fluid is present. More water content may be noticed in your discharge. Over a couple of days, fluid becomes stretchier and clearer. As estrogen is at its highest levels, 1–2 days before ovulation, cervical fluid can resemble a raw eggwhite that you can stretch between your thumb and finger- it can be called “Ovulation Discharge”.
- Luteal phase: sticky, dry
As soon as ovulation is over, vaginal discharge changes. Cervical fluid will already have become more thick and difficult for sperm to penetrate. The luteal phase is the latter phase of the menstrual cycle. It begins with the formation of the corpus luteum and ends in either pregnancy or luteolysis. At the beginning of the luteal phase, the amount of fluid decreases quickly. Progesterone, the dominant hormone in this phase, acts to slow the creation of fluid from the cervix’s epithelial cells. This leads us back to menstruation, and the cycle begins again.
All this information helps you understand your own body’s rhythms and patterns in discharge. If your discharge is very foul smelling, chunky, or yellow/green in color- you know something is off. Be sure to communicate with your doctor, and start tracking your normal discharge patterns using an app like Clue, or simply a notepad. Help keep your PH balanced to combat any unhealthy discharge by using V-Blissful Suppositories, and V-Blissful Soothing Solution to keep odor, irritation and itching at bay!