Many women have dificulty distinguishing fertile mucus from sperm, because they look very similar. However, there are a few ways to tell them apart:

  • Fertile mucus is much more flexible than sperm. It easily expands between the fingers, whereas sperm is not very flexible and tears up easily. Sperm also dries quickly, while fertile mucus stays moist for a long time.
  • Fertile mucus is slippery and transparent. Although sperm may appear slippery, it's also whiter, turbid and not as transparent as mucus.
  • Fertile mucus is not easily absorbed. Place the mucus on a piece of toilet paper and wait a few minutes. Sperm will be absorbed, whereas fertile mucus will remain on the surface.

  • Fertile mucus reacts to water differently than sperm. In water, fertile mucus will become a ball and sink, whereas sperm dissolves quickly.

Despite these guidelines, distinguishing fertile mucus from sperm is not always easy. When making your observations, focus both on what you see and feel. Ask yourself if you sense general moisture and wetness in your vagina. Also, listen to your intuition. If you're still not sure what type of mucus you have, check the additional indicators of fertility (e.g. the cervix) so you don't miss a chance to conceive.