Sticky? Creamy? Milky white? Here’s what your cervical mucus looks like before your period, after ovulation, and every day in between so you can predict when you’re most likely to conceive.

Hormone fluctuations cause your cervix to secrete a discharge called cervical mucus during your cycle. It changes in appearance, texture, and amount throughout the month based on your estrogen levels.

There are four types of cervical mucus, ranging from type 1 (least fertile) to type 4 (most fertile). If you’re trying to get pregnant, finger testing—observing the feel and consistency of the discharge by rubbing or pulling it between your index finger and thumb—is the best way to check the cervical mucus changes we outline here. But don’t get discouraged if you can’t tell differences right away.

“It may take up to four months to get familiar with your body and be able to detect mucus changes,” says Cindy M.P. Duke, MD, Ph.D, medical director of the Nevada Fertility Institute in Las Vegas.

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