What Is Egg White Cervical Mucus (EWCM)?

All About Egg White Discharge and Getting Pregnant

Young couple touching noses in bed, she has EWCM and they are going to have sex to get pregnant
When you see EWCM (egg white cervical mucus), it's time to do the horizontal baby dance!. Dimitri Otis / Taxi / Getty Images

Egg white cervical mucus is a phrase used to describe the most fertile kind of cervical mucus. It is frequently abbreviated by EWCM on fertility charts and on fertility forums. Some may look at their vaginal discharge and see it as a nuisance or a "cleanliness" problem. They may even douche to "clean" things up. (Please don't do this!)

However, anyone who is trying to conceive knows that when you see EWCM, it's time to have sex!

Or, as they say on the fertility forums, BD! (BD stands for the horizontal baby dance!)

Why EWCM Is So Important

The reason fertile cervical mucus is called EWCM is because it really does look a lot like raw egg whites. EWCM provides the ideal environment for sperm. It helps the sperm swim up from the vaginal canal and cervix into the uterus. 

Egg white discharge also helps the sperm survive the normally more acidic environment of the vagina. 

If you don't have fertile quality cervical mucus, the sperm can't swim or survive as well. This may lead to trouble getting pregnant. 

(A lack of fertile quality cervical mucus can also indicate a hormonal imbalance or problems with ovulation. More on this below.) 

When You Should See EWCM

Vaginal discharge isn't always friendly to sperm.  Your cervical mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle

Starting after your period, your cervical mucus transitions from a sticky consistency to a more creamy, then watery, and finally, raw egg white like consistency.


Once ovulation passes, cervical mucus will dry up and return to a more sticky consistency.

Usually, you should get the extra fertile EWCM just for one or two days before you ovulate. These are your most fertile days, and if you want to conceive, have sex!

It's also possible to have EWCM for up to five days before ovulation.

Or, you might get it for only one day.

That said, two or three days is more common. 

Some women get fertile looking cervical mucus again just before their period comes. It may become watery or even egg-white like. Obviously, this isn't a sign of ovulation and having sex during this time will not help you get pregnant.

What Causes Egg White Cervical Mucus?

The hormones that trigger the ovaries to release an egg during ovulation also trigger other changes in your body.

These changes include things like having more fertile vaginal discharge, changes in the cervix, and even your mood. 

For example, just before ovulation your cervix moves up higher, becomes softer, and more open. 

Also, when you're most fertile, your desire for sex also increases.

All of this is to help increase the chances of pregnancy.

Estrogen is the hormone primarily responsible for egg white discharge. If your estrogen levels are low, you won't get as much (or any) fertile quality cervical mucus.

How to Check for Egg White Cervical Mucus

Research shows that tracking cervical mucus changes can help you time sex for pregnancy. It may be even more helpful that tracking your basal body temperature.

If you chart your basal body temperature, you can see when you ovulated. In other words, you find out when you were most fertile after your most fertile time has passed. 

But with cervical mucus, you can see when you're about to ovulate. That's the ideal time for sex.

How can you check for EWCM?

You can check by noticing the discharge left on your underwear or by inserting a clean finger into your vagina. You may also try looking at your toilet paper after urination. 

Egg white cervical mucus will stretch a few inches between your fingers and appear to be somewhat clear and mucus-like.

Non-fertile cervical mucus doesn't stretch much or at all. It may appear crumbly or sticky.

It's best not to check just before or after sex. Sexual arousal will change your vaginal discharge. Plus, it's easy to confuse semen with watery cervical mucus.

More on checking cervical mucus:

Lack of Egg White Cervical Mucus

Not every woman will have egg white cervical mucus. That doesn't necessarily mean you have a fertility problem, but it could signal one. 

Some women may notice more watery cervical mucus that never quite becomes like raw egg white.

If this is your situation, then the best time to have sex to get pregnant would be the days you have this watery cervical mucus.

It is completely possible to get pregnant and never get the so-called "ideal" egg white cervical mucus.

If you don't seem to get even watery cervical mucus throughout your cycle, you should talk to your doctor. Especially if you've been trying to get pregnant for a while.

A lack of cervical mucus, sometimes known as hostile cervical mucus, can cause infertility.

Ironically, the fertility drug Clomid in higher doses can lead to a lack of egg white or watery cervical mucus.

Your doctor may recommend using a fertility friendly lubricant.

Do not use regular lubricants. They can be harmful to sperm and may disrupt the natural flora and pH balance of your vagina.

Multiple Patches of Egg White Cervical Mucus

Normally, you should only notice egg white cervical mucus for a few days just before ovulation.

But some women get multiple patches of egg white cervical mucus. These patches of EWCM may  alternate with days of less fertile cervical mucus.

This is common in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Since it's not possible to know which patch of egg white cervical mucus is the one preceding ovulation, in this case, you should treat each patch as potentially the "right" day to have sex to get pregnant.

Excess vaginal discharge can also signal an infection. If the discharge is accompanied by other symptoms such as burning, itching, or a bad smell, or if the discharge is an odd color, talk to your doctor.

Whatever the situation is, if you're unsure if your vaginal discharge is normal, see your doctor. A vaginal infection can make conception more difficult.

(While you're there, don't forget to ask questions about trying to conceive.)

More on ovulation:


Speroff, Leon; Fritz, Marc A. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology & Infertility, 8th Edition. United States of America: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010.

Weschler, T. Taking Charge of Your Fertility (20th Anniversary Edition) . United States of America: Harper Collins Publishers Inc; 2015.

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