Cervical mucus (CM) is the main biomarker. It’s a hydrogel produced in your cervix (the narrow neck-like structure at the base of your uterus), made of mucus molecules, water, enzymes, protein chains, and other compounds.
It’s secreted by your cervical crypts, and it’s affected by hormones estrogen and progesterone. Depending on the hormone present in your body at the time, your cervix will produce two main types of CM:
- Estrogen = E-type mucus
- Progesterone = G-type mucus (gestagenic mucus)
Estrogenic mucus, or E-mucus is critical for fertility because sperm depend on it to survive. In other words, without E mucus, sperm would die pretty quickly in your vagina. During the fertile time of your cycle, E-mucus becomes thin, watery, and stretchy allowing sperm to stay alive for up to 5 days, and move through the cervix to reach the egg.
And the second type is produced when progesterone is present. It’s called gestagenic mucus, or G-type mucus. During the infertile time of your cycle, the g-mucus creates a dense antimicrobial plug to prevent sperm from entering your vagina. It stays high in the cervix, so you perceive it as a dry sensation when you wipe, compared to when estrogenic mucus is present.
The appearance, color, and consistency of cervical mucus can also provide clues to your reproductive (and overall) health.
Aren’t our cyclical bodies amazing? 😍