Kindara for iPhone
Originally published at re:Cycling, blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, September 25th, 2012
Cervical fluid, the sticky/creamy/stretchy/slippery substance produced by the cervix is arguably the most important substance on earth. Without it, the human race would be shortly extinct, yet not many people even know what it is. This is unacceptable, and you and I are going to change this.
In case you don’t know, Cervical Fluid plays a vital role in helping women get pregnant, avoid pregnancy, and figure out health issues, yet its name has remained merely a description. Cervical fluid is too important to be forever described but never properly named.
Cervical fluid is incredibly valuable. Without it, life as we know it would literally cease to exist. Fertile cervical fluid keeps sperm alive once it is inside the vagina. It provides nutrients, a hospitable alkaline environment, and aids in transportation. Cervical Fluid helps the sperm survive, sometimes for up to five days, while waiting for an egg to be released. Cervical fluid is like a soccer mom, providing snacks, protection, and transportation to the sperm, while they are on their way to the big game. Without her, there would be no game, and getting pregnant would be virtually impossible without outside intervention.
And that is just ONE of the many ways cervical fluid makes our lives richer. It also tells an awful lot about the state of a woman’s hormones, which can play a key role in many health issues.
OK, so we’ve established that cervical fluid plays a vital role in the continuance of the human race, not to mention women’s health. But with just a description for a name, we are faced with an intractable communication problem: unnamed bodily substances have a particular propensity to make people uncomfortable, and currently many people get scared off or grossed out by cervical fluid’s various descriptive identifiers.
You’ll hear it referred to as “Cervical Mucus”, “Vaginal Discharge”, “Vaginal Mucus”, and the slightly less gross-sounding “Cervical Fluid”. It’s not fair. What if semen was called “Testicle Mucus”, or “Penile Discharge”? Imagine if saliva was called “Oral Mucus”, or “Mouth Discharge”? It’s not, for a reason! Even feces gets its own name! You don’t often hear it referred to as “Solid Anal Discharge”. Each of these substances has an important role to play in the health of the human body, and hence, they have been given names, not just descriptions, so that we can acknowledge and understand them.
This quote from The Simpsons episode The Principal and the Pauper illustrates my point:
Lisa: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Bart: Not if you called ‘em stench blossoms.
Homer: Or crapweeds.
Marge: I’d sure hate to get a dozen crapweeds for Valentine’s Day. I’d rather have candy.
Homer: Not if they were called scumdrops.
You get the point. Something can be lovely and beautiful and wanted, but if you call it by an unappealing name, no one is going to give it a chance.
Now, I personally LOVE cervical fluid. It has taught me a great deal about my fertility and my health. It’s a crime that this stuff is not more not widely popular. I posit that if cervical fluid had a more euphonious appellation, people would be more interested in hearing, talking, and reading about it. Which would lead to understanding and wider acceptance. This Quest to name Cervical Fluid has broad-reaching social implications. With wider understanding and acceptance of this most sacred substance, women would own their fertility again. The sense of panic and confusion that many women experience when thinking about their reproductive health would diminish and eventually vanish. There would be fewer unplanned pregnancies and more wanted pregnancies. More wanted pregnancies would lead to happier families and, ultimately, a happier world! For the betterment of women everywhere and the world at large, cervical fluid needs a name of its own!
I propose we give cervical fluid a name within six months. I will be working towards this goal. If you want to help, please leave your thoughts about this and your suggestions for cervical fluid’s new name in the comments below. Together, we’ll make history.
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