Tracking Cervical Secretions
Fertile days of the menstrual cycle can be predicted by tracking vaginal discharge or cervical mucus. However, it usually requires checking multiple times a day and keeping records.
Cycle length and changes to vaginal discharge vary from woman to woman. In a regular 28 day cycle, the sequence of changes could look like:
1. Menstrual period
2. No secretion for 3-4 days.
3. Scant, sticky, and cloudy secretions for 3-5 days.
4. Abundant, wet, clear and stretchy secretions for 3-4 days before, during and after ovulation.
5. No secretions for 11-14 days until menstrual period begins again.
If checking vaginal discharge multiple times per day is not convenient, perhaps monitoring sensation at the vulva would be less time consuming. Having intercourse on a day with a wet or slippery sensation at the vulva, which occurs when cervical mucus is transparent and stretchy or elastic results in a 2-3 times greater chance of conception when compared to having intercourse on a day with low fertile secretions (1).
There are several different methods that use vaginal discharge or cervical mucus to identify the fertile window.
TwoDay Method: www.irh.org
Billings Model: www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org
Creighton Model: www.creightonmodel.com
Marquette Model: http://nfp.marquette.edu
Jeanna Ryan MPAS, PA-C, MS, RDN, MSCIS
Physician Assistant, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Mother of 3 Daughters
1. Evans-Howker, E, Pritchard DA, Long L, Herring AH, Stanford JB, and Steiner AZ. Cervical mucus monitoring prevalence and associated fecundability in women trying to conceive. Fertility and Sterility. October 2013. 100(4): 1033-1038.