Changing the cervical mucus, or cervical mucus, is an indication that your ovulation is coming and you are fertile. If you want to become pregnant, it is useful to pay attention to changes in the cervical mucus.
Cervical mucus during menstrual cycle
The cervix (cervix) makes mucous secretions. Due to the increase and decrease of the hormone estrogen during the menstrual cycle , this separation changes color and composition. From cloudy to transparent, from stiff to flexible and from liquid to sticky. This means that the uterus is closed on certain days, while on fertile days it ensures that sperm cells have an easy passage. It changes in three phases: before, around and after ovulation. If you know what to look out for, you can use the cervical mucus to determine whether you are fertile or not. More information on fertibella
Cervical mucus until ovulation
From your menstruation to ovulation it is tough and thick in structure. This way it ensures that your cervix is sealed and well protected against external influences. During this period you have no discharge and your vagina feels dry.
… during ovulation
Around ovulation, or ovulation, the egg produces a large amount of the hormone estrogen . This makes the cervical mucus stretchable, elastic and feels slippery. It looks a bit like raw protein and you can pull threads if you hold it between your fingers. You also often have some separation around this moment. In this phase, sperm can remain alive in your body for at least 48 hours.
… after ovulation
After ovulation, the amount of estrogen decreases again and decreases. Your vagina will feel drier. If you have some separation, it is usually a bit grainy. This means that your uterus is no longer accessible for sperm.
The Billings method
The Australian doctor John Billings has developed a method with which you can determine when ovulation occurs and when you are fertile, based on the change in the cervical mucus. The method simply means that it examines daily. You do this by feeling clean, dry fingers in your vagina, as close as possible to the cervix. Of course not if you’ve just had sex, because this gives a distorted picture. Remove some mucus from your vagina with your fingers and hold it between two fingers. If the mucus is transparent and stretchable and you can make threads from it, then you are probably fertile.
Blood pressure during pregnancy
At every checkup, the midwife measures your blood pressure, or the amount of pressure that your blood exerts on the walls of your blood vessels. Your blood pressure always consists of two digits: the so-called upper pressure, which arises when your heart contracts, and the negative pressure; that is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart relaxes.
Average blood pressure
Normally your blood pressure is around 120/80, but it is normal for those values to change during your pregnancy. Blood pressure is the pressure that comes on the arteries when the blood is pumped around your body. If your heart squeezes together, the pressure is highest, you call this the upper pressure. If your heart relaxes, the blood pressure is the lowest, you call this the underpressure. The average blood pressure is 120/80 (upper pressure / lower pressure). If you naturally have low blood pressure (for example 90/60), a blood pressure of 120/80 may seem normal when it is not. That’s why it’s good to know your blood pressure before you get pregnant. The midwife checks your blood pressure at every appointment to keep a close eye on whether it is going to rise. Normally your blood pressure is often somewhat lower in the first 6 months than before pregnancy. During the last 3 months of pregnancy, blood pressure is again at the same level as before and sometimes slightly higher. Does your blood pressure suddenly rise during the first 6 months? Then there is a good chance that your midwife will take the necessary measures. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.
Low blood pressure during pregnancy
Your blood pressure may fall around the fourth month. Not surprising: apart from your baby that develops, countless new blood vessels grow in your organs and placenta. Your body cannot produce all that extra blood in one go. The amount therefore increases more slowly than the number of veins, which lowers your blood pressure. This is not dangerous. In months 7 or 8, your body will be ‘back’. Low blood pressure does not affect your baby. You can suffer from dizziness or fatigue yourself. You can also faint because of low blood pressure. Therefore, make sure that you eat and drink enough and do not get up too quickly if you have sat down for a long time.
High blood pressure during pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy is one of the most common ailments. Of the women who are pregnant for the first time, around 10 to 15% are affected. Your blood pressure may suddenly rise during pregnancy. This is called high blood pressure or hypertension. You often do not have any complaints and you do not notice so much. High blood pressure during pregnancy is not dangerous in itself. Depending on when it occurs during pregnancy, you will be monitored extra. Because sometimes you can get complaints and you have to act quickly. Your blood pressure is too high if the underpressure exceeds 90. Strangely enough, you don’t have to notice anything about it, so it is important that your midwife regularly measures your blood pressure. You can’t do much to prevent high blood pressure. However, smoking during your pregnancy is a risk factor. 1 in 10 women has high blood pressure during the first pregnancy, usually after seven months. Exactly how you got it, scientists don’t know exactly yet. The production of pregnancy hormones plays an important role in this.
What to do with high blood pressure?
Do you have high blood pressure? Getting enough rest can lower your blood pressure again. Also make sure that you do not eat too much salt. Sometimes a doctor chooses to prescribe your blood pressure-lowering medication. If, according to the midwife, your blood pressure is really too high, which increases the chance of complications during delivery, he or she will refer you to the gynecologist . Keep an eye on your health if you know that you have high blood pressure. Do you get the feeling that you have a tight band around your upper abdomen, do you have a headache, tingling fingers or do you see stars? Then contact your midwife. There is a chance that you have pregnancy poisoning and have to go to the hospital. Fortunately this only occurs in three percent of the pregnant women.
High blood pressure can be treated with medication. These blood pressure lowers prevent high blood pressure from getting worse, but do not cure or remove the cause. Pregnancy hypertension is only about giving birth. In some cases you will be admitted to the hospital for observation if you have high blood pressure (underpressure above 100 mm), protein loss in your urine, abnormal blood results and your baby has a clear growth retardation. The health of you and your baby will be monitored during such an admission. In general, your symptoms decrease quickly after the birth. That is why it may be necessary to stimulate your birth with a cesarean section. This may mean that your baby is born prematurely.
Consequences for the baby
Too high a blood pressure can have consequences for you and your baby. Because your blood vessels become narrower, your baby receives fewer nutrients and oxygen. It is possible that the baby will grow less well as a result. Rest on your left for a few hours a day. This promotes the flow of the placenta. If your blood pressure becomes too high, your blood vessels are narrowed. That reduces the flow of your placenta. Your baby will then receive less nutrients and oxygen through the placenta. If you are resting or sleeping, it is better to lie on your left side for a good flow of the placenta. If the blood pressure is always higher than 140/90, the gynecologist will check you. You will then receive blood pressure-lowering medication. Sometimes your delivery is raised earlier. Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure with convulsions) and HELLP syndrome also have to do with high blood pressure. Serious forms of this can endanger yourself and your pregnancy. Fortunately, these forms are rare.
What is going to happen?
At the first check the calculated date is set, so that it is known how far your pregnancy has progressed. Questions are asked about your health, disease history and lifestyle. Blood will be taken for further examination and your blood pressure will be checked. Sometimes your urine and weight will also be checked, but that does not always happen. Furthermore, the height of the uterus is felt and the heart is listened to with a doptone. Bear in mind that the heart can sometimes not be heard during this first check. When you go through a healthy pregnancy, the midwife does not perform an ultrasound as standard.
Up to a gestational age of 24 weeks , the checks take place every 4 weeks. Then the growth of the baby starts to play and you come to check every 3 weeks. With a gestational age of 30 weeks you are expected every 2 weeks and after the 36th week you come weekly.
Obstetrician or gynecologist?
The midwife always supervises a normal, healthy pregnancy and delivery. A gynecologist takes over if problems arise or if they have arisen during previous pregnancies.
Prenatal diagnostics is research in which it can be checked during pregnancy whether the baby has certain disorders. The research is not done in every hospital, but in certain centers. It is primarily intended for expectant parents with an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect.