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Cervical Mucus Method for Natural Family Planning

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Cervical mucus method is one the natural family planning methods to prevent pregnancy or to become pregnant. Also known as Billings method or ovulation method, it entails observing changes in the mucus produced in the cervix before and after ovulation. The mucus seeps into the vagina which can then be detected easily.

How to Prepare

To make the cervical mucus method work accurately, you need to know your fertile and infertile days. The strategy is simple-

  • During your infertile days your vulva tends to be dry and mostly there’s no secretion. This is the stage immediately 3-4 days after your periods.
  • During the pre-ovulatory  (increasing estrogen) and the post-ovulatory phases (high in progesterone), your mucus will be cloudy, thick, yellowish and a bit stretchy. This mucus is also called the transitional mucus.
  • During your fertile phase you will feel wetness around your vulva because the cervix secretes clear and slippery mucus, resembling egg white. You are ovulating at this time and these are your highly fertile days.  

If you are going to experiment with cervical mucus method for family planning then you need to get rid of stress, birth control pills, or any other external agents like douches, lubricants etc.  for an accurate observation.

What to Expect?

Record the changes in your mucus in a calendar immediately after your menstruation cycle is over. Observe the changes carefully to find out which are the best days to conceive if you are planning to have a baby. Check it twice throughout the day before and after urinating with the help of a tissue paper. Have sex during your most fertile days when the mucus is thin, clear and transparent. Most women wanting to get pregnant are successful after having sex in the ovulation/the most fertile phase.

On the contrary, you can abstain from sex during your fertile days or use complete protection. If you have no plans of having a baby, then avoid unprotected sex right from the days you observe mucus secretion. It’s better not to take a chance of getting pregnant when you are not prepared for it.

Advantages of Cervical Mucus Method

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  • First of all it’s free of cost. You don’t need to fix appointment with doctors to determine your fertile days.
  • It doesn’t involve any medicine, thus no health risks or side effects are involved.
  • It is acceptable for women as it’s very easy to check the mucus and keep a record of it.
  • Secondly maintaining a record also doesn’t cost you any sweat. You can easily get a chart and start noting down.

Disadvantages of Cervical Mucus Method

  • The reliability is an issue in this method because chances of pregnancy are still there while having unprotected sex during the non-fertile period.
  • The texture of mucus is subject to change if your menstrual cycles are irregular and you have other gynaecological problems.
  • Certain medication, e.g. birth control pill also affects the quantity and quality of cervical mucus.
  • Other conditions that contribute to failure of this method include, stress, depression, smoking, alcohol, etc.
  • Alternatively, spermicides, douches, lubricants also interfere with accuracy of the mucus texture.
  • You cannot rely on this method if you are just about to enter menopause or you’re breast feeding.

Considering the pros and cons of this method, what we suggest you to do is follow this method and simultaneously take protection while having sex. Similarly, you can consult with your doctor once if you are planning to conceive. You can also combine cervical mucus method and basal body temperature method to be more convinced about your fertile and infertile days.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 04, 2015