Tracking your ovulation when TTC can seem confusing. This is especially true when you have hundreds of apps and ovulation kits marketing themselves as the solution. However, there's a simple and natural way to know when you’re fertile–your cervical mucus.
Cervical mucus is a fluid produced by the cervix. Throughout your menstrual cycle, hormones cause your cervical mucus to change in texture, volume, and color. Your cervical mucus is the most reliable indicator of whether or not you’re ovulating. This process of tracking is also known as the Billings Method.
Evelyn Billings co-developed the Billings Method with her husband, Dr. John Billings, to help women achieve or avoid pregnancy. This method works for all women, including those who are nursing, approaching menopause, on birth control, or have irregular cycles. This natural family planning method has been an effective way for women to feel in control of their own bodies.
When does ovulation discharge occur?
When you approach the middle of your menstrual cycle, your ovaries will release an egg for fertilization. Then, your hormones will cause changes in your cervical mucus to prepare for sperm to meet the egg.
Pay close attention to your urine and vulva secretions as they will change during the days leading up to ovulation. Clear, watery discharge is a good indicator that ovulation is approaching very soon. If you wish to conceive, this will be a good time to start preparing. If you do not wish to conceive, we recommend abstaining from unprotected sex while your cervical mucus is thick and sticky.
- If you’re aiming to conceive, look for the thick, egg white discharge. When you notice a more jelly-like discharge, you are at your peak for conception! This ovulation duration lasts about 24 hours, and you’ll need to pay attention to when your cervical mucus starts to dry and disappear. Logging the amount of days you have a menstrual cycle, the dry days that follow, fertile days (thick mucus), and infertile days is essential when trying to understand your cycle. Our Fertility Support is a great way to aid your body’s natural fertility on your TTC journey!
Approximately two out of three women find success using the Billings method to track their ovulation as a means to conceive. Consistency is key here, so be sure to stay consistent with your tracking! There are a number of reasons why conception may not occur, such as diet, stress, and other medical concerns. As always, we would recommend speaking with your care provider to do an evaluation.
The Billings Method is simple, effective, and free. Thousands of lives have been changed using this method, and we hope this number continues to climb! Your body is beautiful, sophisticated, and miraculous by nature. Spend some time getting to it!