Normally, the mucus is transparent or whitish and does not have any smell. The intensity of its secretion and the biochemical content are regulated by basic sex hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. The phases of its secretion are related to the menstrual cycle (MC). What does cervical mucus look like in early pregnancy?
1. Minimal amount of discharge (or “dry days”) – coincide with the follicular phase of the MC, when all the resources of the system are aimed at the maturation of the ovum;
2. Sticky, thick discharge – this type of mucus is yet not so suitable for conception;
3. Cream-like “soft” mucus – the level of estrogen rises;
4. Profuse watery discharge – the peak of this phase precedes ovulation and therefore it is advised to abstain from sexual life, if pregnancy is no part of one’s plans;
5. Cervical mucus in early pregnancy similar to an egg white – is provoked by maximal level of estrogen;
6. Whitish thick discharge is observed until menstruation.
While the phases 3-5 are regulated by estrogen, the 6th phase is exclusively a progesterone type. A laboratory test, confirming this, involves drying up the cervical mucus on the glass slide and examining it under a microscope.
Once dried up, the “estrogen” (fertile) mucus forms a fancy pattern, which resembles a frond. The 6th type crystallizes partially (in fragments) and the “picture” does not come together. It’s all due to the fact that under the influence of progesterone, the acid content in the mucus reduces rapidly.
During pregnancy the egg white discharge stays on for a longer period than usual, since the level of estrogen remains rather high. Further, after the formation of a mucous plug in the uterine cervix, the mucus thickens, acquiring a typical “progesterone-determined” look. Thus, phase changes are typical to early stages of pregnancy.