Taking Charge of Your Fertility:
The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control
and Pregnancy Achievement

by Toni Weschler, MPH

Harper Perennial, 1995
Outlined by Laura Bryannan

No, it's not the rhythm method!


The Primary Fertility Signs

  • Cervical fluid
    1. Cervical fluid functions exactly like seminal fluid. It provides an alkaline medium to protect the sperm in an otherwise acidic vagina. In addition, it provides nourishment for the sperm. Without fertile cervical fluid, sperm will die within a few hours.
    2. After a woman has her period, cervical fluid typically starts to develop in the following pattern:
      • Menstruation . . . . . . . *
      • Nothing/dry . . . . . . . . --
      • Sticky . . . . . . . . . . . . .S
      • Creamy . . . . . . . . . . . C
      • Eggwhite. . . . . . . . . . . E
      • Nothing/dry . . . . . . . . --
      • Menstruation . . . . . . . .*
    3. Observing your cervical fluid
      • Begin checking the first day after menstruation has ended.
      • Try to check CF two or three times each day, either at your vulva or internally. Either way, remain consistent.
        1. If checking internally, remember that generic vaginal moisture is always present, but will evaporate quickly in the air. Do not confuse this with CF.
        2. Be sure to check when not sexually aroused, since sexual lubrication can mask CF (so can semen from the previous night :-).
        3. Note underwear during the day. Very fertile CF often forms a symmetrical round circle on your undies, whereas non-fertile CF tends to form more of a rectangular square or line.
        4. CF is insoluble. Take a sample and dip into a glass of water. CF will form a blob that sinks to the bottom. Basic vaginal moisture will dissolve.
  • Charting your cervical fluid
  • Identifying your Peak Day. This is considered the last day you produce fertile cervical fluid or have a lubricative vaginal sensation for any given cycle. It is called the Peak Day because it is your peak day of fertility. It most likely occurs either a day before you ovulate or on the day of ovulation itself. Your Peak Day is the last day of either:
  • Cervical Position. For the purposes of this outline, we will not go into this aspect of the Fertility Awareness Method. It is considered optional, in any case.
  • Secondary fertility signs. Many women experience other signs that signal impending ovulation (or impending menstruation). Some of these may include
    1. midcycle spotting
    2. pain or achiness near the ovaries
    3. increased sexual feelings
    4. fuller vaginal lips
    5. abdominal bloating
    6. water retention
    7. heightened sense of vision, smell and taste
    8. increased sensitivity in breasts and skin
    9. breast tenderness

    Natural Birth Control


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