Charting the signs of your menstrual cycle is a good way to keep in touch with your body, your feelings, and your health. It is also a good way to predict your days of menstruation in advance, even if your menstrual cycles are irregular, and to know the most fertile times if you are hoping to conceive.
The sign that is easiest to observe is the cervical mucus, since it is noticed in the course of daily activity. Fertile type mucus is produced by the cervix during the days when the ova are maturing and preparing for ovulation. This mucus is not only an indicator of fertility, it is essential for fertility. Cervical mucus nourishes the sperm, protects them from the natural acidity of the vagina, and guides them toward the ovum. Following is a simple way to observe and chart your fertile type mucus.
Pay attention to how you feel as you go about your daily activities. Just as you have learned to notice a certain wetness at menstruation, you will begin to notice a second wet time, but later in the cycle, and without bleeding. The second wet time is caused by your fertile type mucus.
Each time you go to the bathroom, wipe with toilet paper both before and after you use the toilet, noticing: a) the sensation you feel as you wipe with toilet paper, b) what is on the toilet paper. Chart what you see and what you feel in any way that makes sense to you.
1) Menstruation: mark the days of bleeding in some way, such as coloring the calendar day red.
2) Nothing: if you don’t see or feel anything outside your vagina, you can leave the calendar blank on those days.
3) Something: but if you see or feel something – anything – such as pasty or sticky mucus, or a feeling of wetness – draw something, such as a raindrop, on these days.
4) Slippery something: If the pasty or sticky mucus turns to slippery mucus or a slippery feeling, color the raindrop dark to indicate the slippery wetness.
After a few slippery wet days, the mucus may disappear or return to sticky or pasty. When it does, begin to count the days until menstruation arrives. In a normal fertile cycle, the time between the last day of slippery mucus or slippery feeling and the next menstruation is between 11-16 days. You will become quite accurate about your predictions after you chart for about three cycles.
The mucus is your most fertile time, since fertile type is produced during the days leading up to and including ovulation. If you are trying to conceive, use the wet, slippery days for sexual relations. But don’t try to use this information for birth control unless you seek out a qualified teacher of fertility awareness or natural family planning.