Most women are aware of the presence of bloody vaginal mucus even since puberty. You should know as much as possible about cervical mucus, because this can tell you a lot about the fertile period of pregnancy.
If you want to increase your chances to become pregnant or, actually, if you want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, cervical mucus can tell you with an accuracy of over 95% which are the fertile and infertile periods of your menstrual cycle.
The notion of mucus may make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but the evolution of cervical mucus during a menstrual cycle can offer you precious clues about the moment when you are ovulating.
Firstly, it`s important to keep in mind that there are some situations in which it can be affected by external factors:
- If you are premenopausal
- Health problems
- Diet, weight changes or periods of fasting
Table of Contents
What Is Bloody Vaginal Mucus?
A bloody cervical mucus is often a normal occurrence. Still, there are times when such a discharge may show an infection. Such a discharge is known as an abnormal discharge, and it often has a different color (yellow, green), specific odor (foul, fishy) and a chunky consistency.
Cervical Mucus & Pregnancy
In case that conception took place, mucus (in most cases) has infertile qualities until implantation, and is secreted in reduced amounts, similar as during the luteal phase. After implantation, the lotion-like mucus starts to be secreted in larger amounts under the influence of progesterone, which also begins to be secreted in larger amounts to support the endometrium to not break down and under the hCG hormone. That`s why, one of the pregnancy symptoms is abundant mucus.
Another type of discharge which may appear during a menstrual cycle is cervical mucus with blood, which is also known as spotting. There can be blood in cervical mucus during all types of mucus, but the most often one appears during ovulation when there`ll be blood tinged cervical mucus around menstruation (a few hours-days before and after menstruation) or in the same day when the implantation takes place.
How to Notice Cervical Mucus?
There are 3 ways that you can use to do this, and you should choose the one that makes you the most comfortable:
- Toilet paper – you can notice it after using the toilet;
- External – you can use your fingers and feel the mucus all around your vagina;
- Internal – you can try to feel your mucus inside the cervix by inserting 2 fingers in your vagina and sweep a bit its interior.
Once you have an amount of mucus on your fingers, between your thumb and index finger, bring them both to one another to notice the texture and consistency of the mucus. It`s elastic, sticky or slippery? It`s clear or yellow? Do you have a bloody cervical mucus?
Possible Causes for Bloody Cervical Mucus
- Implantation bleeding – pinkish cervical mucus may be the sign you have waited for if you have been trying to conceive. One of the main causes of blood in cervical mucus is implantation of the fertilized egg. This particular blood appears when the egg gets implanted in the uterine walls and usually lasts for around 48 hours. However, this doesn`t always happen for every woman, so you cannot take it as a reliable pregnancy symptom.
- Blood during ovulation – when your ovulation starts, you might notice some small amounts of blood. As the egg leaves your ovaries, it might lead to a small breaking in the ovarian follicle, which then leads to a small bleeding.
- Some of your remaining menstrual blood – among the most common causes for that blood tinged cervical mucus that you see some months the left over menstrual blood from the previous menstruation. Even though your period has ended, there might still be small small amounts of blood remained in the cervix. As your ovulation starts, this particular blood will then mix with your mucus which then leads to spotting.
- Cervical trauma – You should include a trauma of your cervix as another possible reason for noticing blood in your mucus. This is actually a common cause, but it isn`t really so dramatic as you probably think. This trauma can include almost anything from a scratch from the nails to sexual contact.
Why Does Bleeding Appear during Ovulation?
Experts have different opinions about this. Some of them believe that the rupture of the follicle and the release of the fertilized egg are to blame. When you are ovulating, the luteal hormone (LH) causes the follicle`s surface which covers the egg to become thinner and break. Thus, the egg is released and goes towards one of the fallopian tubes. This release stage of the egg can be accompanied by a small bleeding.
On the other hand, there are voices which claim that female hormones, specifically estrogen, can cause this bleeding. The level of estrogen increases rapidly before the egg leaves the ovary, and decreases suddenly before the rupture of the follicle, just as it happens during menstruation. According to this version, this is also the reason for which this bleeding appears.
What Could Be the Cause of Brown Discharge?
Ovulation: There are times when a small bleeding occurs when the egg is released. This type of blood will mix with your own typical vaginal mucus, so the discharge may then change to dark brown.
Endometrial tissue: In some various situations, this brown discharge is nothing more than old tissue which didn`t pass with your last menstruation.
Why Do I Have Discharge with Odor?
Typical white discharge: isn`t normally accompanied by itching. However, if this symptom is still present, this type of discharge might signal a yeast infection.
Clear & watery discharge: this may happen during different periods of your menstrual cycle and may be somehow heavy after physical exercises.
Clear & stretchy discharge: this is nothing else than “fertile” mucus and it will means you`re ovulating.
What Is the Cause of Bloody Discharge?
Bacterial vaginosis seems to be the most common cause for blood discharge, often accompanied by a fishy odor which might become worst after menstruation or sexual contact. BV isn`t to be considered a STI, as it`s usually caused by a growth of normal bacterial in the vaginal cavity.
Changes in Cervical Mucus
At the end of menstruation, mucus dries. The vaginal feeling is of somehow dry, although there might be cases when at the end of menstruation the vaginal discharge is clear and slippery. In fact, this discharge isn`t cervical mucus, but mucosa that forms the endometrium and wasn`t been eliminated yet along with the menstrual blood. Theoretically, it`s a part of menstruation, but without bleeding. It doesn`t last for more 1 to 3 days! After this discharge, mucus is dry. This is an infertile period of the menstrual cycle. A few days after the end of menstruation, the cervix starts to secrete the first mucus from the menstrual cycle. This mucus is in small amounts and is sticky, white or yellowish, opaque, and has somehow a consistency of flour.
As the follicles start releasing estrogen, mucus becomes more „diluted,” thinner, creamy, similar to body lotion. It still has a white-yellowish color. It may be elastic as well. Now the vaginal sensation is of wet and cold. This period can be infertile or of minimal fertility.
As the ovulation approaches, mucus more transparent, wet, elastic (it can be stretched a few cm) and sticky, similar to raw egg white. The vaginal sensation is of wet, sticky, well lubricating. This period is very fertile. When the ovulation is so near, mucus starts to reduce its quantity and become drier. This may happen 1 – 2 days before, during or after ovulation. This dryness can take place gradually or suddenly.
Immediately after ovulation, lotion-like mucus may transform in sticky mucus under the effect of progesterone. There may also be only sticky mucus that will be secreted or no mucus at all. In case that the conception and implantation won`t take place, menstruation will start the end of the luteal phase. There are women who with a few hours up to 2-3 hours before the beginning of menstruation notice a transparent discharge again, similar to the discharge to the one from the end of menstruation. In this case, this discharge is actually the endometrium which starts to break down.