Can I Have Fertile Cervical Mucus But Not Ovulate?

If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s helpful to monitor your fertility so you can determine when it’s best to have intercourse. If you’ve been charting your basal body temperature (BBT) and/or monitoring changes in your cervical mucus, you probably know that it is important to have fertile cervical mucus or a sustained increase in BBT. 

However, it may be confusing if you have fertile cervical mucus and inconsistent BBT readings. We’ve received questions from women asking whether they can have fertile cervical mucus but not ovulate.

We shall attempt to answer this question in this post in the simplest way possible.

Why You Can Have Fertile Cervical Mucus but Not Ovulate

During your menstrual cycle, hormonal changes influence the amount, consistency, and appearance of your cervical mucus. Your cervix may produce enough mucus for you to notice it in your underpants.

Even though your cervix always produces some mucus, the quantity increases right before and after ovulation. During your fertile period, your cervical mucus becomes watery, clear, and slippery like egg-white.

If you’re using the BBT method in conjunction with monitoring of your cervical mucus, you should expect to see a persistent increase in temperature a few days after seeing fertile cervical mucus. 

If an increase in temperature does not occur at around ovulation, it may be due to one of the following reasons:

1) You May Not Be Recording Your BBT Accurately

One of the difficulties that some women face with charting is taking their BBT at around the same time every morning. Several factors may affect your basal temperature, including sleep quality, movement, environmental factors, and illness. You should also use a thermometer designed for BBT measurement.

You can find a good basal thermometer that costs between $10 and $15 online or at your local drugstore, grocery store, or supercenter. You can record your data using one of your home calendars, or you can buy a fertility awareness chart. You can also download our free BBT chart and print it.

To ensure an accurate reading, you should get at least three to four hours of uninterrupted sleep. You should also ensure that you measure your temperature first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. If you’re a light sleeper, you may want to read our tips for temping in this post.

If your BBT readings are inaccurate, you may not see a rise in temperature that corresponds to fertile cervical mucus. If you are not able to accurately chart your BBT manually, you may want to try a device such as the Ava bracelet.

Ava makes temping a breeze in that it measures your temperature throughout the night and all you need is sync up the bracelet with your phone in the morning.

2) You May Have Anovulatory Cycles

In some menstrual cycles, your ovary may fail to produce an egg and so you do not ovulate. This is known as anovulation and is more common in women who have irregular cycles

It may seem confusing that your body produces cervical mucus, yet you do not ovulate. In fact, your cervix produces fertile mucus as a sign that your body is preparing for ovulation so that you can time intercourse. The abundant fertile cervical mucus provides an ideal medium for sperm to swim up to the uterus and fertilize the egg. 

Sometimes, your body may prepare for ovulation, but for some reason, your ovary does not release an egg. So, you may have fertile cervical mucus and no other signs of ovulation.

If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, your cervical mucus may build up to a wet texture but your luteinizing hormone surge may not be adequate enough to cause ovulation.  

3) You May Not Be Getting a Temperature Rise During Your Cycles

A small proportion of women do not experience a rise in their BBT after ovulation. To know whether your BBT does not rise after ovulation, you may need to chart your temperature for at least three consecutive cycles and examine the patterns.

If you’re unsure about whether you’re ovulating, you should consult a doctor. The doctor may perform further investigations to determine whether you have an underlying condition affecting your fertility.

Should You Use an Ovulating Predictor Kit to Know Whether You’re Ovulating?

If you have fertile cervical mucus but your temperature readings are all over the place because you’re unable to measure your temperature accurately, you should consider using an ovulating predictor kit or fertility monitor.

The American Pregnancy Association encourages women to use the fertility awareness method of tracking cycles and combine that with using an ovulation predictor kit to help them determine when they are ovulating.

Ovulation predictor kits are 99% accurate in detecting the luteinizing hormone surge that occurs before ovulation. However, to get accurate results, you should follow the instructions of the manufacturer and perform the test as recommended.

Another downfall of these tests is that they cannot confirm whether ovulation actually occurs one or two days later. In some cases, a luteinizing hormone surge may occur without the release of an egg. This may happen in women with luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome

Final Words

In most cases, your cervical mucus will build up to a wet texture and you’ll experience a sustained rise in BBT at around ovulation. However, it is possible that you do not experience a rise in temperature despite fertile cervical mucus. 

If you are certain you’re measuring your BBT accurately, you should consider visiting a doctor so that they can determine whether you are ovulating or not.


I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray. Protection Status