You may not know it, but cervical mucus plays a major role in the proper functioning of the vagina. We tell you more.Maybe the name doesn't ring a bell, but we bet you've heard of cervical mucus. Although it is also known as "vaginal discharge", this liquid that flows out of the vagina has a very specific role in the proper functioning of our body.
We remind you: no, vaginal discharge is not dirty, just like menstruation. In fact, this cervical mucus, which is liquid, thick, sticky and transparent, has many benefits, as it ensures that the vagina functions properly. This liquid also helps to :
- Maintain the balance of the vaginal flora by naturally cleaning the interior of the vagina and expelling pathogens and impurities
- Lubricate the vagina naturally during sexual intercourse to promote penetration
- Play an essential role in the reproductive process
Moreover, cervical mucus plays a major role in ovulation and fertility. As the gynaecological website Livi points out, during ovulation this mucus protects the sperm from the acidity of the vagina. Conversely, during the infertile period, it obstructs the cervix by forming a plug.
It is also a true indicator of fertility. When a woman ovulates, the appearance of the cervical mucus changes from a thick, opaque white to a sticky, transparent, slippery liquid. This is a good way to know when you are ovulating and when your fertility is at its peak.
What are the different aspects of cervical mucus?
During the menstrual cycle, the appearance of the cervical mucus changes. It can change from yellow, brownish, pinkish, transparent or blood red.
- White/yellow cervical mucus
The "normal" appearance of vaginal discharge is when the fluid is whitish/yellow in colour, odourless and thick in texture. If there is a foul odour, or an unusual change in colour, it is advisable to consult a specialist.
- Pinkish/brownish cervical mucus
Sometimes cervical mucus changes colour to pink or brown. This can be a sign of hormonal change, for example due to contraception, or inflammation or irritation of the cervix. If the change in colour and appearance persists, it is advisable to consult a specialist.
- Red cervical mucus
Finally, if the cervical mucus turns blood red, this can be a sign of several things:
- Breakthrough bleeding: this is bleeding outside the period and indicates a hormonal disturbance
- Delayed ovulation
- Implantation bleeding (which indicates that an embryo has implanted and is therefore a sign of pregnancy)
- Vaginal irritation
As you will have understood, cervical mucus plays a major role in the proper functioning of the female genital tract, but it is important to know all the natural indications of this liquid which says a lot about the state of health.