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Cervical mucus

I mentioned before that women have mucus in their vaginas. Well, they do. It's made mostly of water though its consistency changes with the woman's monthly cycle. The cervical mucus (the cervix is the inlet to the uterus from the vagina) is even used to help determine fertility and the most likely times to conceive. It can also be used by an everyday woman to prepare for PMS (the cycle goes from fertile to not likely to conceive to period to fertile to…on and on).

Read more to find out why women have this additional mucus.

Where does it come from? Cervical crypt cells, small glands in the cervix

What does it do? Cervical mucus protects the uterus from infection by preventing bacteria from entering the vagina, much like the mucus of the respiratory tract. It also lubricates the vaginal epithelium, which is important during intercourse.

Doesn't it stop sperm? When a woman ovulates (i.e. is fertile) the increased estrogen makes the mucus more watery, which is not a barrier to sperm. It allows them to more easily 'swim' into the uterus and up to the fallopian tube. The cervical mucus also protects the sperm after intercourse, helping one of them to succeed.

To see pictures of mucus production in the cervix at various times in the cycle, stop by the Beautiful Cervix Project

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