Cervical mucus is an amazingly accurate secret memo that your body sends you each and every day telling you the story of your fertility.
The Billings method, developed by John Billings in accordance with his Catholic faith, relies on cervical mucus and a general sensation of wetness or dryness around the vagina to allow women to determine the fertile and infertile phases of their cycles. Although John Billings was Catholic, and was even granted Papal knighthood, his intention was to raise awareness of natural family planning to all people regardless of religion.
Your secretions of cervical mucus are talking to you. Well, not really, but they are giving you a lot of information about what is going on inside your body. Different consistencies of mucus serve different purposes. One protects and nourishes the sperm so they can retain their fertilizing capacity, another acts as a filter which destroys damaged sperm cells, while another forms a kind of path that directs the sperm to reach and fertilize the ovum. If there is no viable egg, the body will simply not produce mucus at all.
It is also beneficial to be aware of the general feeling around your vulva as you go about your daily routine. A feeling of wetness, similar to the sensation you would recognize as menstruation, means you are secreting a thicker and more abundant mucus. It is not necessary to touch the mucus on your vulva or make any internal investigations.
The Four Basic Rules of the Billings Method:
1.There should be abstinence from intercourse and all intimate genital contact during the days of heavy menstrual bleeding.
2. Once the Basic Infertile Pattern has been recognized — days of dryness or unchanging discharge — intercourse is available on alternate evenings only.
3. Once there is any change from the Basic Infertile Pattern, whether it be bleeding or mucus — a change in sensation or in the appearance of the discharge — the couple should wait without intercourse before resuming sexual activity. Waiting without intercourse allows the woman to observe the development of the mucus pattern without interference from seminal fluid. Waiting for 3 days after the return of the Basic Infertile Pattern ensures that the hormones have settled back to a basic low level and the cervix is tightly closed.
4. The Peak Rule is applied once the Peak has been recognized. The Peak is the last day that mucus was sticky and slippery. It is recognized in retrospect when there is a distinct change and the mucus is no longer slippery. On the fourth morning past the peak, intercourse can be resumed for the remainder of the cycle. Waiting four days past the peek allows the egg to sufficiently deteriorate and become infertile.
Benefits Of The Billings Method
The Billings Ovulation Method™ has been independently trialled by the World Health Organization and other reputable bodies and been found to be as successful for avoiding pregnancy as any method of family planning available today.
From the earliest trials, method-related pregnancy rates were as low as 0 to 4 per cent. As teaching methods were refined and updated, these rates fell close to zero. Continuation rates were consistently high.
It is generally accepted that acquisition of accurate knowledge of the Billings Ovulation Method™ by the couple, combined with motivation and co-operation ensure success.The benefits of employing the Billings Method include improving the relationship, low cost, easy to learn, reliable, all natural, can be used for life, does not depend on regular cycles, and is morally acceptable to all cultures.
Other Methods of Natural Family Planning
The Billings method is one of many highly reliable methods of practicing Natural Family Planning and is based mainly on cervical mucus and cervical position . Other Natural Family Planning methods include the Symto-Thermal method which incorporates cervical observations similar to the Billings method, but also uses temperature charts to increase reliability. Feel free to click around our website to learn more!