Know Your Fertility

Get pregnant naturally. Avoid pregnancy naturally.

Charting the Fertile Mucus to Achieve Pregnancy

Observing and charting the fertile-type mucus (cervical mucus) is the best way to know your fertile time if you are hoping to conceive, even if your cycles are irregular.

Cervical Mucus is also the easiest fertile sign to observe, since it is noticed in the course of daily activity. It is produced by the cervix during the days when the ova are maturing and preparing for ovulation. This mucus is not only an indicator of fertility, it is essential for fertility. Cervical mucus nourishes the sperm, protects them from the natural acidity of the vagina, and guides them toward the ovum.

Here’s an simple way to observe and chart your fertile type mucus:
Pay attention to how you feel as you go about your daily activities. Just as you have learned to notice a certain wetness at menstruation, you will begin to notice a second wet time later in the cycle, a wet time without bleeding. The second wet time is caused by your fertile type mucus.

Each time you use the toilet, wipe with toilet paper both before and after you use the toilet, noticing: a) the sensation you feel as you wipe with toilet paper, b) what is on the toilet paper. If you do not use toilet paper in your culture, whatever way you clean yourself after using the toilet will be the way that you observe the mucus. Chart what you see and what you feel in any way that makes sense to you. Here is one way to chart.
1) Menstruation: mark the days of bleeding in some way, such as coloring the calendar day red.
2) Nothing: if you don’t see or feel anything outside your vagina, you can leave the calendar blank on those days.
3) Something: but if you see or feel something – anything – such as pasty or sticky mucus, or a feeling of wetness – draw a raindrop, on these days.
4) Slippery something: If the pasty or sticky mucus turns to slippery mucus or a slippery feeling, color the raindrop dark to indicate the slippery wetness.

After a few slippery wet days, the mucus may disappear or return to sticky or pasty. When it does, mark the LAST DAY of slippery wet mucus as the KEY DAY, and begin to count the days when no slippery mucus is noticed. In a normal fertile cycle, the time between the last day of slippery feeling and the next menstruation is between 11-16 days. You will become quite accurate about your predictions after you chart for a few cycles.

The slippery mucus time is your most fertile time, since fertile type is produced during the days leading up to and including ovulation. If you are trying to conceive, use the wet, slippery days for sexual relations. (Don’t try to use this information for birth control – avoiding pregnancy – unless you seek out a qualified teacher of fertility awareness or download and study the fertility awareness book on this site.)

Generally speaking, dark red bleeding for about three days indicates that hormones are high enough to build a good uterine lining and nourish a fetus in the event of conception. However, more than three days of dark red bleeding can be exhausting. In this case I recommend two or three cups of red raspberry leaf tea daily to strengthen the uterus and balance hormones.

Three to five days of wet, slippery mucus 11-14 days before the next menstruation is a probable indicator of normal ovulation and a fertile cycle. Cycles are often 28-30 days from the first day of bleeding to the first day of the bleeding of the next menstruation. However, irregular cycles do not indicate infertility. If the time between the last day of slippery mucus and the next menstruation is 11-16 days, the cycle is probably fertile. Even if one cycle is not fertile, the next may well be fertile.  If the time after ovulation and the next menstruation is less than 11 days, pay more attention to your nutrition.  Be sure to eat a few pasture-raised eggs each day.  Take a good pre-natal vitamin – making sure that the vitamins come from a food source.

Look for natural foods grown without chemicals. Heal your relationships with family and mate. Exercise in moderation. Drink plenty of pure water. Pray for the child you desire.

For more information, and a sample chart for fertile type mucus, download the free Fertility Awareness book available on this site. If you keep a careful chart for a few cycles and send the charts to me at I will be glad to review your charts and make suggestions.


Marie Zenack,

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By the time your temperature goes up, it’s too late.

Or: Why, if you are trying to conceive, you should forget about taking your temperature.

Let’s begin by understanding the cycle: To begin the cycle of fertility, a hormone, called follicle-stimulating hormone, (FSH) is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. FSH travels through the bloodstream to the ovaries, causing a few (about 16) of the many tiny follicles there to begin to ripen, or mature. (A follicle is a ring of cells with a tiny, unripe egg, called an ovum, inside.)

As the follicles ripen, they produce another hormone – estrogen. Under the influence of estrogen, the cervix (the opening of the uterus,) begins producing fertile type mucus. For most of us there is enough mucus to be noticed as a wet, slippery sensation outside the vaginal opening. (Without knowing our signs of fertility, we could mistake the cervical mucus for perspiration or an infection!)

Estrogen signals the pituitary gland in the brain that some follicles have matured in the ovaries.

Ovulation: When the pituitary gland receives the message that some follicles have matured, it produces another hormone – leutenizing hormone, or LH. LH causes one of the ripening follicles to release its ovum into a fallopian tube – ovulation

The tiny ovum – barely visible without a microscope – is moved along the fallopian tube by the cilia, tiny hairs that line the fallopian tubes. Fertilization actually takes place while the ovum is still in the fallopian tubes. If the ovum is not fertilized by sperm within 12 to 24 hours, it disintegrates and is reabsorbed by the body.

After ovulation, the empty follicle, which is called the corpus luteum, lives for about two weeks, all the while making another hormone – progesterone.

Progesterone causes a woman’s resting temperature to go up about 4/10 of a degree Fahrenheit or 2/10 of a degree Centigrade.

So here is the important thing about taking your temperature: The rise in temperature is produced by progesterone. Progesterone is produced by the empty follicle. Why is the follicle empty? Because ovulation has already occurred! Since the egg is only capable of being fertilized for about 12 hours after ovulation, by the time the empty follicle produces enough progesterone to cause a rise in temperature, it is too late to fertilize the egg.

So, for those wishing to conceive, I recommend forgetting about the thermometer and paying attention to the sensation outside the vagina, using the wet, slippery days for sexual relations.

That wet, slippery mucus is what protects the sperm from vaginal acidity, keeping the sperm alive, ready and waiting for the egg when it appears. As soon as it does, they race to meet her.
For more information, and a sample chart for keeping track of your basal body temperature, see the free Fertility Awareness download available on this site.

– Marie


Artificial Light and Fertility

Artificial light may be affecting your menstrual cycle, and your fertility.

Our sleepless society surrounds us with an  abundance of man-made light – even during times we call dark. This artificial light while we sleep appears to interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone associated with ovarian activity.
Research studies by Joy DeFelice, R.N., B.S.N. P.H.N. at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, showed that women’s cycles usually normalize when artificial light is eliminated while sleeping. Eliminating the artificial light seems to allow the hormonal system to reset itself, so to speak, and take a fresh start. Couples who were thought to be infertile have been able to conceive by eliminating artificial light while sleeping.
In these studies, couples slept in total darkness. Eliminating the sources of light usually resolved many, if not all, of the fertility difficulties. If the cycle had not normalized after three cycles in darkness, a small amount of light, such as a night light or outside moonlight, was introduced during sleep when signs of ovulation began.

Other experiments with light on laboratory rats had found that melatonin formation is on a clear 24-hour rhythm that is entirely dependent on the light-dark cycle. In continuous light, the rat’s pineal gland shrinks, puts out less melatonin, and ovarian activity increases. In continuous darkness, the opposite occurs.

These findings lead Joy DeFelice, the author of the studies on artificial light and fertility, to postulate that when the 24 hour rhythmic level of melatonin is lost due to the presence of abnormal levels of light at night, both the normal progression of hormonal events within the menstrual cycle and the normal circulating levels of each reproductive hormone can become disrupted.

Those women sleeping in darkness attained a more normal menstrual cycle and subsequently a high success rate in achieving pregnancy if no contributory medical factors were present.

My own daughter participated in this study. Her cycles were irregular and long – sometimes with no ovulation or menstruation at all for over eight months.  In order to participate in the study, she bought darkening cloth and velcroed it to the window frames. She removed the clock radio with it’s glowing clock, and rolled a beach towel into a tube to block light that might enter under the door.

Her cycles normalized within a few months, and she was able to conceive her first child. –


Marie Zenack,