written by: Nichole Bolton
• edited by: Diana Cooper
• updated: 12/25/2010
Natural family planning is the act of charting natural fertility signs as a means of birth control of planning a baby. This method involves tracking changes in the cervix, such as cervical mucus changes. Cervical mucus after ovulation can tell a woman when she is no longer fertile each month.
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Some women want to plan or prevent pregnancy, but don't want to use medications or synthetic hormones. It is possible for women to track their fertility and monthly cycle by charting their cervical changes, including changes in cervical fluid. While cervical mucus is low following menstruation and becomes abundant during ovulation, cervical mucus after ovulation has a drastic change that makes it obvious that a woman's fertile period is over. While cervical fluid is a natural part of a woman's cycle, there are certain signs that mean there may be an infection that should be examined by a doctor.
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What Does Cervical Mucus Look Like After Ovulation?
During ovulation, cervical mucus is very stretchy and looks like egg whites. This makes it easy to detect the period after ovulation and before menstruation, in which cervical mucus decreases and becomes sticky. Sticky cervical mucus is a white or cream liquid that does not stretch between the fingers. During this period, it is unlikely that a woman will become pregnant. There is very little of this cervical fluid which lasts until menstruation begins at the end of the cycle.
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What is Abnormal?
Any fertile mucus after detected ovulation is a sign that the woman may not have ovulated when she thought she did. An abundance of cervical fluid after ovulation may be a sign that a woman is pregnant, although that is hard to determine through cervical changes alone. If there is a chance of pregnancy, a woman should take a test and speak with her family doctor.
Any green or foul smelling mucus is a sign that there may be an infection. Foul smelling or discolored cervical mucus generally symbolizes bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection, although it can be a sign of a more serious infection. Any sign of infection should be taken seriously and discussed with a doctor to determine whether there is an infection.
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Women who wish to practice natural family planning should research and study cervical changes and other signs of fertility to ensure that they are able to accurately detect changes in their cycle.
Cervical mucus after ovulation is generally sticky and white or clear, and this mucus symbolises that the body is preparing for menstruation. Signs of infection, such as a foul smell or green color, should be discussed with a doctor to determine the cause. While natural family planning is effective for many women and their partners, relying strictly on cervical changes is not always accurate and other methods should be taken into consideration to help prevent or plan a pregnancy.
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FamilyDoctor.org: Natural Family Planning - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/contraceptive/126.html
Epigee: Natural Birth Control Methods - http://www.epigee.org/guide/cervicalmucus.html
MayoClinic.com: Cervical Mucus Method for Natural Family Planning - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cervical-mucus-method/MY01004/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all