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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: fertile vs unfertile cervical mucus

 manengineer - Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:17 pm

my finance and i are trying to use NFP for our birth control method. We have been charting basal temps but she is having a hard time distigushing between the types of cervical mucus. She has told me that she is rarely dry expect a few days before the start of her period and says she always slippery or has cervical mucus and for about 3 days were it increases dramatically. she says it takes several wipes after urination to get fully clean. my question is can you have cervical mucus all the time and can it possible where it doesn't change color or become thick and tacky? In this case would phase two start right after menstration stops? Her temp doesn't really spike till day 19 so would all that time be phase two? would those days of heavy cervical mucus where she has to wipe several times be the most fertile? and the last day of heavy mucus be the peak day? so it sounds like if she has cervical mucus right after menstration stops that she would be fertile as soon as cervical mucus is present until temp spikes right? so that would mean teh truely unfertile time is after temp spikes until menstration beginning right?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:12 pm

User avatar Hello,
Monitoring discharge is one of the signs that can help in NFP techniques but it is not always reliable. Many women have discharge throughout the month and may or may not notice a change in consistency. Usually it is described as similar to raw egg white during ovulation. If you do the two day method, you would avoid intercourse if there was this type discharge that day or the previous day. Once you have moved to where the mucus was not like that for two day (present day and previous) the chances are good you have passed the ovulation day. Of course this is not 100% and it only works with women who can notice this subtle alteration and is quite comfortable identifying it.

Cycle beads are a helpful tool for NFP if her periods are quite typical - between 26 and 32 days. The beads are a tool to make it easy and you might find it better than charting temperatures, if she is a candidate. Or you could just chart during the "unsafe" or potentially fertile days 8 through 19 of the cycle. Combining this with monitoring mucus can be very effective. The "safe" days (not likely to be fertile) based on this pattern are 1 through 7 and 20 until the beginning of the period (which starts the next cycle - day 1)

Ovulation usually causes the body temperature to rise 0.4 to 0.6 degrees F (about 0.2 degrees C). If this coincides with the heavier mucus, this would be a good indication of her ovulation. You are correct that the latter part after the temp rise would be less likely to be a fertile time.

Good luck.

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