Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Okay, I’m new to charting and TTC. I’ve never checked CM internally before. In fact, the very thought grosses me out. I know it’s my body and that pregnancy and birth are going to have their gross parts. But I’ve always been grossed out by bodily functions, so even thinking about my CM or cervix is weird.
So far, I’ve been trying to check my CM externally only. I basically wait to see if anything shows up on my underwear. But I’m starting to wonder if this is a reliable method or not. Do you ever get that feeling that you’re wet between the legs, kind of like when you get your period, but there’s nothing there? I can’t tell if this is related to CM or not. Should I start checking internally? How do you do that? And how often do you check? Do you do it more than once a day?
Also, do you check your cervix position? If so, what exactly am I looking for? How deep (sorry for the TMI) do I put my fingers? LOL! I just don’t know what to do or if it’s really that important either.
Here’s a link to my chart for anyone who’s interested: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/christy42213 And THANK YOU to everyone who feels comfortable replying! I really appreciate any advice you can give.
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@Christy42213: I was so wondering this exact thing. I check internally. I DEFINITELY don’t have enough on my undies for me to externally check texture, color, etc. Sometimes I still don’t “scoop” much either. Too Much Information 🙂
Post # 4
Lol, Ok. I’ll try to answer your questions.
I check internally. I see the differences checking internally, but wouldn’t (except for extreme circumstances) if I checked externally.
No, I don’t think I get that feeling that you mention. I’m sure it’s normal. I mean, I guess, maybe if I’m about to be physical with DH, but that’s not CM that’s just vaginal lubrication.
I check it about once a day for a week before O. I usually stop after O if I’m certain of the O date. Otherwise I check a few more times for the days after to help confirm O.
Yes, I check my cervial position – I’m already in there, lol. If you were to start after your period ends, you’ll gradually notice the difference until O. Truthfully the first month is kind of difficult because it’s all relative. I just say it’s “high” when I can’t really reach it.
I don’t check opening, because I can’t reach the opening when it’s high anyway. Just texture and height.
Um, if you google “finding your cervix” I’m sure you can find directions on that.
ETA: It takes me less than 10 seconds to do this.
Post # 5
@Christy42213: I get that wet feeling you describe. I check CM externally. When I wipe it’ very visible and obvious when it comes away from wiping.
Post # 6
I seem to have a lot, to the point that before TTC I complained about it constantly to my OBGYN because i thought something was wrong so I’m able to check externally when I wipe. Too Much Information but right before AF and during, it’s thick enough to see in the toilet after I pee. I don’t check my cervix, but when I’m ovulating I get the wet feeling you are talking about, almost like I peed myself or something.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
Internally is best because it might NOT show up in your underwear, especially if it’s not eggwhite CM. Checking internally allows you to follow the progression from infertile to fertile CM, which is especially important if you’re using NFP to avoid pregnancy. TCOYF recommends inserting fingertips into the vaginal opening while on the toilet, and rubbing them together to test texture, then looking at how gummy, adhesive, slick, or stretchy it is.
To check your cervical position, just put a finger into your vagina (again, on the toilet, or with one leg on the toilet seat while standing) and locate your cervix. If you aren’t familiar with it, tracking positional changes and softness might take a bit to get used to. It became apparent to me after one or two cycles and was pretty cool to feel it soften and open.
All of these bodily functions are normal, healthy, and nothing to be ashamed of. You’re simply increasing your awareness of your own fertility. 🙂
Post # 8
We use NFP, so I keep track of all of this stuff. I don’t feel like I have enough CM to be able to tell externally, so I always check internally. I also check my cervix, so I just do it all at the same time (usually once in the afternoon and once before I go to bed). I do get the feeling you’re talking about occasionally – that does relate to fertility… it’s “watery” CM (not as fertile as EWCM, but more fertile than tacky/sticky CM). For some people it can be a really helpful indicator – there’s actually an entire method of NFP (the Billings method) primarily based on how dry/wet you feel throughout the day.
As for the cervix thing, you’re looking for low/hard/closed (infertile) vs. high/soft/open (fertile). It took me a good three cycles or so to feel like I had any idea which was which, but you’ll start to notice the difference after a while. Just don’t check it in the morning (cervix signs aren’t accurate after you’ve been sleeping). I hope this helps!
Post # 9
hope this question isn’t too weird, but when you say about sticking your finger into the vagina opening to test for CM, do you mean inside the lips or inside the actual hole (so on your way to the cervix)?
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
I put a finger inside, yes. Especially when CM is in the earlier, stickier phases, it might not one present externally in adequate quantities to judge it’s state. This totally depends on the person, of course. I’d just check before peeing. Don’t really have to fish around, just a quick oil check will do. I would usually look twice a day since for charting FAM for avoidance you want to only have unprotected sex if you have dry CM, morning and evening.
Post # 12
I always check internally. Like others have said, it would not work for me to only check externally – I wouldn’t have enough just show up when I wipe to get an accurate idea. And this isn’t because I don’t get much CM – there’s usually quite a bit when I check inside, it just doesn’t show up on my underwear/toilet paper.
I check both CM and CP at the same time. What I always do is either squat (I can get the best angle this way) or if I’m in a public restroom or something I just do it while on the toilet, and I insert a finger (usually my middle finger because it’s longer) and reach up and forward (toward my belly button). Your cervix will feel like a rounded mound with a dimple in the middle. I feel the position and texture of my cervix, then swipe my finger around it to collect my CM.
No reason to feel weird or embarassed about checking these things! You’re just monitoring your body and getting better acquainted with your cycle – these are good things 🙂
Post # 13
‘I seem to have a lot, to the point that before TTC I complained about it’.
LOL! I didn’t go and see my doctor but I thought I should on a few occasions as like you I was a bit what is this stuff!?
Post # 14
lol…for me, I knew what it was, it was just rather annoying to almost always wear liners because of it. My OBGYN was trying different BCP to help, but every kind I’ve taken didn’t agree with me so about 3 years ago I quit trying to find a BCP. The only kind of birth control that I ever “liked” was the depo shot, and unfortunately after 5 years of that I had to quit.
Post # 15
I agree with pp that checking internally is a little better, because sometimes you may not get enough by just wiping. Just as a word of caution, always make sure to wash your hands prior to checking-you don’t want an infection of any sort. I tried checking the cervix, but gave up after a while.
Post # 16
I check externally, which seems to work well for me given the amount of CM I have. I do also check my cervix, but I do that in the shower in the morning, because of what @BalticBee:
mentioned – I want my hands to be uber clean when I do that!
One thing I’ve noticed is that I see the most CM right after a bowel movement (sorry, I know that’s a bit graphic). I think the action of doing that coaxes some of the CM out. So if you’d prefer to check externally, you could try to pay extra attention at that time.