How Does the Billings Ovulation Method Work

Key to Fertility Control - the Mucus

Key to Fertility Control - the Mucus font size decrease font size increase font size Print EmailRate this item1 2 3 4 5 (25 votes).We know from extensive scientific research that cervical mucus is essential for fertility. It protects and nourishes the sperm so they retain their fertilising capacity. It forms channels which help the sperm travel through your reproductive system to meet and fertilise the egg. And it acts as a filter, destroying imperfect sperm cells.The key to understanding your fertility is what you feel at the vaginal opening, called the vulva, as you go about your normal daily activities. Sometimes during your cycle you may wonder if your period has started. You feel wetness and slipperiness at the vulva. When you check you might see a discharge, and think nothing of it. But far from being nothing, this mucus, which is produced by the cervix for a few days before ovulation, is essential for fertility. To understand this natural signal of fertility you only have to pay attention to the sensation it produces. You don't have to touch it or make an internal investigation.

When fertility begins, you'll notice a change in sensation at the vulva which develops over the next few days. Any mucus you see is likely to become thinner and clearer, and the sensation becomes wet and then slippery. Both clinical and laboratory studies have shown that the most fertile time in the cycle coincides with what we call the Peak - the last day of the slippery sensation at the vulva. We know from hormonal studies that the Peak day relates very closely to the time of ovulation. In most cycles the egg will be released on the Peak day, but in some cycles ovulation may not occur until day 1 or day 2 past the Peak. The egg lives for a maximum of 24 hours after being released. By keeping a daily record of the sensation and appearance of the mucus you can learn to recognise your times of infertility, potential fertility and Peak of fertility.

Basic Infertile Pattern

The Woman menstruation there will often be a number of days when you feel dry and don't see any discharge. This is called the Basic Infertile Pattern (BIP). We know from the work of scientists that the hormone levels are low at this time and the cervix is blocked by a thick plug of mucus which prevents sperm entering the uterus. This means that you're infertile at this time.In the other common type of BIP there is an unchanging pattern of discharge following menstruation: the discharge feels and looks the same day after day. Again, the hormone levels are low and the cervix is blocked, resulting in infertility throughout this time.This infertile pattern of dryness or discharge may continue for a few days, or even for weeks or months when ovulation is delayed (for example, while breastfeeding). Your Billings Ovulation Method™ tutor will help you interpret your Basic Infertile Pattern so that you can apply the Early Day Rules with confidence.

Changing Pattern of Fertility

The first indication of potential fertility will be a change from the Basic Infertile Pattern (BIP). You will feel a change in the sensation that the mucus produces at the vulva. As the days pass you'll notice that the mucus becomes thinner and clearer, and the sensation becomes wet and then slippery. Women use different words to describe this changing, developing pattern, but the mucus will always have a wet, slippery quality because of its chemical structure and composition, even when there is too little to see. This mucus is essential for fertility, and keeps sperm alive and healthy.The fertile phase begins with the change from the BIP and develops for an average of five to six days. But even if it only lasts for a day or so, it will warn you of the approach of ovulation and the need to avoid sex and intimate genital contact if you want to prevent pregnancy. And if you want to achieve pregnancy, recognising your developing fertility and the approach of ovulation helps you optimise your chances of conceiving.You may also notice that the slippery sensation is accompanied by a feeling of fullness, softness or swelling of the tissues of the vulva. Many women described it as a feeling of "ripening" – something they can associate clearly with fertility. No other signs of fertility, such as pain or spots of blood, are as precise or as reliable as the mucus.

The Peak of Fertility

The Peak of Fertility font size decrease font size increase font size Print Email Rate this item1 2 3 4 5 (56 votes) Peak of Fertility The Peak of Fertility: Ovulation is very close - the egg will soon be released from its follicle. Then it will be swept up into the fallopian tube, ready to begin its journey towards the uterus. Days 1, 2, and 3 Past the Peak Days 1, 2, and 3 past the Peak: If fertilisation doesn't occur the egg will die within a day of ovulation. But if the egg meets any sperm along the way, fertilisation can take place. After ovulation the empty follicle is transformed into the Corpus Luteum. The Corpus Luteum produces a hormone called progesterone. Progesterone prepares the endometrium in case there's a fertilised egg ready to implant. It also causes the mucus to thicken, and the plug to begin forming in the cervix again. The day following the Peak you'll no longer feel wet or slippery at the vulva. By the end of three days after the Peak your fertility for this cycle is over. Both clinical and laboratory studies have shown that the last day of the slippery sensation is the most fertile time in the cycle. It is called the Peak of fertility because it is the day when sex is most likely to result in a pregnancy. Studies show that ovulation usually occurs within a day of the Peak. It is important to realise that the Peak isn't necessarily the day of most mucus. The slippery, lubricative sensation may last a day or two after the visible signs of mucus, which means you're still highly fertile – the sensation is the more valuable symptom.

Trials by the World Health Organisation have shown that over 90% of women can identify the fertile phase and the Peak day of fertility in the first month of observation and charting.Although an experienced user of the Billings Ovulation Method can often recognise her Peak day as it is occurring, it can only be verified the following day when you no longer feel slippery. The change after the Peak day may be to dry or sticky, occasionally damp, but definitely not slippery.Once the Peak has been recognised the Peak Rule can be applied: If you don't want to conceive, you need to avoid sex for three days following the Peak. This allows for the latest possible time that ovulation may occur (up to 48 hours after Peak) and for the lifespan of the egg (maximum 24 hours). From the fourth morning past the Peak until the end of the cycle you're infertile – the egg is dead and you won't ovulate again until after the next menstruation.

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