The Use Of Contraceptives (Part 9) – The Fertile Days
The Use Of Contraceptives (Part 9) – The Fertile Days: If this is all you could read on Facebook today, I think it worth it. Read it, and reread it, and reread it.
As I told you, this is a special class, and it is on the method discovered by Drs John & Evelyn Billings which today is popular called the Billings Method. What you will be reading today is from Nona Aguilar, an award winning Journalist specializing on family health.
In the 1960s two Australian physicians – a husband and wife, Drs. John and Evelyn Billings – realized that women could learn to monitor the changes in their mucus secretion just from observation of the vulva, the external female genital area.
The mucus changes follow one another in a regular unfolding pattern and do not depend on cyclic regularity. You will observe these changes whether your cycle are long or short. The only difference is that beginning mucus changes may be delayed or intermittent, ultimately determining the “cycle length.”
Once you become alert to the changes and their meaning in terms of fertility – you will know whether a specific act of intercourse can lead to conception in a new menstrual cycle.
What should you be looking for?
The infertile dry days: let’s assume your menstrual bleeding ended after about four or five days. The vagina itself will be moist, but externally there is a distinct sensation of dryness. You may notice a feeling of mild itchiness around the vaginal entrance. Perhaps a little additional estrogen is entering your system, but at this point there’s not enough to create any real changes in the cervical mucus – at least, not any changes you can detect. Thus, there will usually be a handful of so-called dry days.
You are infertile during the dry days. Acts of intercourse will not lead to conception when the vagina is without mucus.
The Fertile Ovulatory Phase
Assuming you don’t have short cycles in which the ovulatory phase immediately follows the menstrual bleeding, you will notice mucus for the first time sometime after the dry days have passed. The onset of mucus marks the possible beginning of the ovulatory phase.
Sticky, Tacky Mucus
The first mucus you see will probably be of a special consistency. Perhaps the best way to explain it is to remind you of school days when you sometimes used a white paste that was sticky and tacky. The first mucus you observe may remind you of that paste.
You won’t have to go searching for the mucus since it’s usually readily detectable near the vagina opening. Sticky, tacky mucus is usually opaque white or yellow. If you place this mucus between your thumb and forefinger, you’ll notice that it makes tiny little peaks when you separate the fingers. The mucus is also rather thick and will hold it shape quite well.
Microscopically and chemically, the sticky, tacky mucus is still a barrier to sperm. However, the cervical mucus secretions can change over a period of hours (in less than a half-day or so) so that the microscopic strands start to move in a parallel position. Since this change can be rapid, consider yourselves fertile on any day you notice this type of mucus as well as on three full days that follow its cessation. If there is no mucus on the fourth day, you are infertile that evening.
Thin, Watery, Cloudy Mucus
When the cervical secretion become thin, watery, possibly milky, and rather cloudy-looking in appearance-like smooth, creamy hand lotion – your body may be preparing for ovulation. You could conceive a child!
This type of mucus may also look somewhat translucent whether it’s yellow or white in colour. You may sometimes notice that it appears to be a little bit red, pink, or brown. This is caused by spotting and is perfectly normal for many women.
The thin, watery, or cloudy mucus is detectable on the external genitals just by a feeling of wetness that was previously absent. Also, if you get a dab of the mucus between two fingers and draw the fingers apart, it won’t make little peaks; it will remain smooth on both fingers like a dab of creamy hand lotion.
Since sperm can survive in this favorable mucus environment, you’re fertile. If you don’t wish to conceive during this cycle, you must both agree to abstain completely from all genital contact, including intercourse, when you feel any sensation of wetness, or if your mucus appears to be thin, watery, creamy cloudy-looking or translucent.
The duration of this type of mucus is highly variable for each woman. It could last a day or two or several days.
Occasionally, the mucus reverts to the sticky, tacky consistency for a day or more. However, this change does not alter the fact that the woman’s body is in a phase that could result in conception. The couple is fertile; acts of intercourse will probably cause pregnancy.
Slippery, Lubricative Mucus
When estrogen is highest in your bloodstream (and there’s no progesterone, to speak of, circulating in your system yet), the mucus is likely to become extremely profuse. The mucus changes in appearance, too: it looks like raw egg white – completely clear and “glarey” (shiny).
As for feel and quality, the mucus is much like raw egg white. If you were to take a small amount of this mucus between two fingers, it would feel very slippery. Then if you are to draw the fingers apart, the mucus would stretch at least an inch – or even several inches – until it looked like a long, thin, shimmering thread.
You are most likely to conceive during the days when slippery, lubricative mucus is present. Do not engage in either genital contact or acts of intercourse if you do not wish to conceive a child at this time.
The very last day of the slippery, lubricative mucus is known as the “mucus peak.”
Does the mucus peak mean that your fertile phase is nearly over? Will you be able to consider yourselves infertile the next day or two?
No you won’t.
You see, at this stage in our knowledge, it is not possible to pinpoint the exact moment of ovulation. However, special hormonal measurements indicate that ovulation can sometimes occur as late as three whole days after the mucus peak. It may also occur as early as two days before the peak. However, it is impossible to determine the moment of ovulation, even in the laboratory. For this reason, our major concern is to “bracket” the fertile days. This bracketing can be readily accomplished. Certainty about the exact time of ovulation cannot.
So the question comes back to this one: when are you infertile again? When can intercourse take place without conception? After the mucus peak has passed, a number of dry or drying-up days will usually begin.