Ovulation is the key: it determines a woman’s fertile window and informs a woman or couple if her cycle is healthy. Methods of charting your cycles based on observing signs of fertility have been designed to help you accurately identify what days you are fertile or infertile.
Through NFP, couples learn their combined fertility and together determine if they want to avoid or achieve pregnancy; the biological knowledge through daily charting combined with the couple’s decision to achieve or avoid pregnancy inform when they choose to have intercourse.
In order for NFP to be effective in determining the time of ovulation, the woman or couple must commit to daily observa-tions and charting. This requires a few minutes out of each day- a commitment to observe 100% of the time and communicate your observations with your spouse or on your chart.
Mucus: during each menstrual cycle, women can feel a wet/slippery sensation that usually lasts a few days. A yellowish or clear discharge is noticed when a woman wipes herself with toilet paper. This discharge is a sign that ovulation is near. The texture and appearance of the mucus will change as ovulation approaches.
Temperature: A woman’s body temperature elevates on average 0.4 degrees after ovulation.
Cervix position: The cervix is positioned high, open and soft around the time of ovulation and low, closed and firm otherwise. With some guidance, women can learn to tell the difference for their own bodies.
Hormonal production: Around the time of ovulation, two key hormones are produced: luteinizing hormone and estrogen. These can be detected in your urine with a simple at-home test.
Natural Family Planning methods have been created based on these various biomarkers.