Ovulation-Mucus Method

A Method of Natural Family Planning

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cervical mucus

At different times of the month, the vaginal secretions change in color and consitency. Fertile mucus is copius, clear, and stretchy   like a raw egg white (pictured above). Infertile mucus is scanty, thick, and opaque. The consistency of the mucus can be observed during lavatory stops.

What is the ovulation-mucus method?

The ovulation-mucus method is a means of natural family planning that involves abstaining from sexual intercourse on days that a women is fertile, or capable of getting pregnant.

How does the ovulation-mucus method work?

To use the ovulation-mucus method, a woman needs to learn about her body's natural fertility signs. Every month, there are several days when the cervix secretes a special type of slippery mucus that helps the sperm travel more easily in the uterus. This slippery stretchy "fertile" mucus typically appears within a few days of ovulation. By keeping track of the type of vaginal secretions that are present and the feelings of moistness in the vagina, it is not hard to tell when pregnancy can occur. A woman keeps a chart where she records these body signs. Couples then avoid having intercourse on days when the fertile mucus is observed. To use this method, couples should receive training from a certified natural family planning instructor.

Unlike the calendar-rhythm method or standard days method, a women can use this method no matter how long her cycles are.


Annual Failure Rate

How effective is the the ovulation-mucus method?

Among experienced users, the ovulation-mucus method has an overall annual failure rate of 22%. That means each year over 1 in 5 users of this method experience a surprise pregnancy. For perfect users, the method has a failure rate of only 3%, but this method is completely ineffective if used incorrectly. This is not a good method for women who feel uncomfortable touching their bodies. This method is typically used as an adjunct to the symptothermal method to make it more effective.

Side-effects and health risks of the the ovulation-mucus method:

Like other methods of natural family planning, there are no side effects or health risks because the user does not put anything into her body. There are no hormones, chemicals, or surgical procedures involved.

Considerations for Christians about this method:

Most Christians do not have a moral objection to this method of natural birth control. This method is also acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church.

Related Links

Source for Failure Rates: D Kowal, "Fertility Awareness-Based Methods," In Hatcher et al, Contraceptive Technology, Ardent Media, 2004.

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