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Cervical Mucus Method for Pregnancy Prevention

It would be unfair to confirm that women choose natural family planning methods only because their religious beliefs do not let them use some other options for preventing unwanted pregnancies (though, such cases surely also exist). However, those who choose them definitely can have many different reasons for that.

Some women do not want to use the means of pregnancy prevention because they interfere with lovemaking, while others hate inserting any devices into their bodies. Some cannot stand taking pills every day. A lot of women have to use natural family planning due to some health conditions or when the other ways of contraception are contraindicated. Finally, some women seek for such methods, which would allow them to study their bodies better. For all of them cervical mucus method may be the best option for planning their families.

Cervical mucus method is based on the statement that little or no mucus in the vagina indicates that an egg has not yet been released from the ovaries; thus, unprotected sexual intercourse will not result in pregnancy.

Female cervix produces mucus under the influence of estrogen in order to help sperm move towards the egg. Hormonal levels change in the female bodies through the menstrual cycle. Less estrogen results in lesser amounts of cervical mucus.

The period when very little, if any, cervical mucus is found in the vagina starts right after the menstruation and is considered to be infertile. These days are called “dry”. Unprotected sexual intercourse is safe and will not end in pregnancy, since the egg has not yet been released by the ovaries.

Some time later, as the new egg begins to develop and mature, there appears more cervical mucus in the vagina, and it tends to be cloudy, yellowish, or grayish and sticky.

Around the time of ovulation cervical mucus becomes very thin, clear, and stretchy, like eggs whites. This is the most fertile period of a woman’s cycle; therefore, unprotected sex is forbidden for those who do not want to conceive a baby.

After the ovulation is over, the production of mucus is decreased. With the lapse of time, vagina becomes almost dry again, since the sticky and stretchy mucus is gone. This is an infertile period in the cycle of a woman, when unprotected sex can safely be enjoyed.

To use this method of birth control, a woman should first get acquainted with her body, observing the mucus from the vagina several times every day and making notes about its quantity and consistency. It is also advised for a woman to get an advice of a qualified physician prior to using this method.

Observation of the mucus is done by inserting a finger into the vagina (some women have to reach as deep as possible, actually, up to the cervix) and then checking the substance, which is left on it. To find out whether mucus is stretchy, try to stretch it between your index finger and thumb. Sometimes it can be stretch to six inches without breaking. This indicates the most fertile period.

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Unprotected sex should be avoided for up to four days after such stretchy mucus is gone. Later it is considered to be safe not to use any other contraceptives.

20% - this is a usual failure rate of the cervical mucus method. To increase its effectiveness women are encouraged to combine it with basal body temperature method and rhythm method.

The advantages of natural family planning are quite attractive for many women: they are costless, have no side effects, do not interfere with foreplay, and do not require using any devices. Consequently, a couple can surround themselves with love and fully enjoy their intimacy.


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