What is that white stuff in my underwear?

While we know to expect a monthly red liquid (aka: our period!), we are usually completely in the dark about the different stages of discharge or cervical fluid which happens throughout our menstrual cycle and what they tell us.

Now we are all different, but there should be a general patten of period-dry-wet-dry-period.

After your period, you can expect to feel dry and then as oestrogen increases from around Day 5-7 your cervical fluid may become creamy (like lotion) or milky and white in colour.

When you enter your fertile window, you would expect a clear, stretchy, egg white quality fluid (basically a slippery blob!) which is known as fertile mucus. Its main focus is to help sperm stay alive and act as a super fast highway to propel the sperm to where they need to be. This magic stuff can keep sperm alive for up to 5 days, that’s why it appears the days before you ovulate.

As ovulation happens 12-14 days before we get our period, noticing when we get this pre-ovulation stretchy, slippery fertile fluid can help us predict our periods arrival.

I teach this “menstrual maths” in my Period Ready Workshops as it’s a really handy life skill for teenagers to know as periods can be irregular in the first few years when you start your periods. Frankly, it’s handy for us to know in our 40s too as our periods becomes more irregular through perimenopause!

After ovulation, with the rise of progesterone, the cervical fluid becomes thicker with a sticky, pasty texture, or may dry up completely.

For the rest of your cycle up to when you bleed, you’ll likely have very little or no cervical fluid, similar to what happens after your period. Although you may notice a wetter quality fluid around 5-7 days before your period, when there is a rise in oestrogen again, but this is not a sign of ovulation.

Aren’t our bodies flipping amazing giving us all these clues about what is happening through our cycle?! 

It’s crazy that we are not taught this stuff in school! And that’s why I’m sooo excited to be running school, pre-teen and teen workshops. Get in touch if you’d like to arrange a workshop for the young people in your life!

Got a hormone or period question that you need help with?

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