“Do you need a speculum?” I was asked recently, when talking about about how to check vaginal fluid.
“Nope", I said, "there's no need for a big performance with a speculum and mirror*. It usually just means you notice it when you go wipe after going to the loo.” [Yeah, OK, you’re allowed one Eww]
A friend once said she knew “Tonight’s the night” when she noticed strings of stretchy stuff like raw egg white coming out of her. Sure enough, 9 months later her first child was born.
Egg white fluid is released into your vagina by the cervix (the entrance to your womb). It is like the “sperm motorway” and can
Those stories you've heard about "contact pregnancies", women getting pregnant when they've not even had penis in vagina sex? They're incredibly rare but they might happen if there is lots of egg white about.
As well as egg white, you can produce a sticky or creamy “hang around fluid”, which means that sperm can hang around for up to seven days waiting to spring into action the moment an egg appears.
You can also have days when you have no obvious fluid at all. This amounts to a big “no entry” sign for sperm. Your vagina will still produce some moisture and shed dead cells but there's no noticeable fluid and certainly no egg-white drama.
If you’re on the pill (or a man) you might not know what I’m on about. One of the ways that the pill and other hormonal contraception works is by stopping your body producing fertile cervical fluid, so having a few days of egg white each month can be a surprise when you come off it.
All too often women will end up going for unnecessary, and worrying, check-ups because they are not familiar with how their body works. Hardly surprising when some official leaflets about cervical cancer and sexually transmitted infections say that “any vaginal discharge” needs to be checked out.
Being fertility aware means getting to know what is normal for you – and of course visiting your GP or sexual health clinic if anything doesn’t seem right. Fertility awareness combines knowledge about your cervical fluid with that about other fertility signs so you know when you are most likely to get pregnant. So long as you know what you're doing, it can be over 99% effective as contraception (as good as the pill, but without the side effects).
Check out Do It Yourself if you want to go your own way, or I can provide you with support if you want someone to help you out.
*To be fair, some women do use a speculum - get more info here http://www.beautifulcervix.com/