Fertility & Natural Family Planning

Understanding natural fertility, infertility, and related moral and social issues.

Choosing a Method: Ovulation


The Basic Idea of Ovulation Methods

Ovulation methods are based on carefully tracking external cervical mucus throughout the day.  Generally speaking, days of no mucus or of non-fertile mucus are considered infertile.  Days where any fertile mucus is seen are considered fertile.  There are usually days of dry/non-fertile mucus following menstruation and then a cycle of fertile mucus.  Immediately following the last day of fertile mucus (peak day), there are typically about 3 days that are still considered to be fertile.  If no fertile mucus is apparent after peak day, infertility is assumed until the next cycle.

Benefits of Ovulation Methods

  • There are no internal cervical exams (can be a benefit or a challenge- especially if a woman was previously using a sympto-thermal method)
  • The system can help detect cervical issues based on certain mucus types and/or patterns.
  • No temping is required.  This makes these methods easier to implement for people who travel a lot or have irregular sleep patterns (mothers of babies, those who work night shifts, etc.).  The lack of temping also means that illness/fever won’t throw off you chart, nor will a few (or more) alcoholic drinks from the previous night.


  • Learning ovulation methods from instructors can be more expensive (but you get one on one attention- which, for most, is a definite benefit!)
  • Initially, many women have trouble getting into the mucus observation routine
  • There are no internal cervical exams (can be a benefit or a challenge- especially if a woman was previously using a sympto-thermal method)

Supplies Needed

You typically need a chart and stamps to record observations when using ovulation methods.  For couples who have learned the Billings Method, they currently have an online chart available.

Where to Learn

Upcoming Post: I will talk about what makes the Creighton FertilityCare System unique!

Disclaimer: This post provides only a general overview of the method.  It is strongly recommended that methods are learned directly from an instructor, particularly when being used with the intention of avoiding pregnancy.


5 thoughts on “Choosing a Method: Ovulation

  1. I love these posts! It is so interesting to me to be reminded of how differently different people view various NFP methods. Your bias seems rather clear, and that is a *good* thing since it reminds me of how others experience the world, and thus all things fertility, differently.

    • Thanks, Rae! As someone who chose to pursue Creighton certification, I guess I am biased! But honestly, I think that different methods are better for different people depending on their needs, which could be another separate post, I guess? Even though I chart Creighton, and think that it can provides an excellent foundation for identifying and treating many issues, I still like to chart my temperature separately- mostly because I like graphs, but also because it can provide another source of information. All the information I can get, please! 🙂

  2. I think Creighton would be a great method for me to learn, especially given that I have PCOS and a wildly unreliable sleep schedule (college student). Since I do have PCOS, my CM varies quite a bit, some months I’ll have a lot and other months I have skint. To identify which CM is fertile would be vastly helpful.

  3. This is a good post. It succinctly summarizes the pros/ cons. I would only add the Families of the Americas model as well, which is especially great for Spanish Speaking learners (although not limited to them).

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