NFP advice sought: cervical observations


#1

Does anyone have experience with cervical observations as part of NFP? My instructor has never done this so couldn’t help.

All the sample charts pretty much show the cervix position with a sinusoidal pattern, always open/soft/high at ovulation; closed/firm/low at menses.

Why do I keep feeling soft and low at menses, and it seems firm and high when I think I’m ovulating? Maybe I’m just paranoid there’s something wrong with me.


#2

I can’t offer much help, but I can sympathize. I gave up on cervical observation, because mine always felt exactly the same. It was more confusing than anything else.

I found temping and charting mucus patterns to be much more useful, and I know that many women don’t even bother with temping, they just do mucus observation. The cervical position stuff is optional (thank goodness).


#3

[quote=vluvski]Does anyone have experience with cervical observations as part of NFP? My instructor has never done this so couldn’t help.

All the sample charts pretty much show the cervix position with a sinusoidal pattern, always open/soft/high at ovulation; closed/firm/low at menses.

Why do I keep feeling soft and low at menses, and it seems firm and high when I think I’m ovulating? Maybe I’m just paranoid there’s something wrong with me.
[/quote]

Is your teacher from the Sympto-Thermal method of NFP or another method? When you should actually be checking for cervical changes seems to be confusing to you. It sounds like you are checking during menses and ovulation. The checking takes place after menses, all through the ovulation phase, then into the post-ovulatory phase.

My sample charts do not show any checking of the cervix during menses. It is not necessary and is leading to confusion. I am not a teacher (just a promoter) of NFP but as a fellow experienced user I can offer advice. Please feel free to PM me.


#4

I have a question not quite related…

How many days on average in the “common” month are (what I will describe as) “safe” for sexual relations if you are spacing your family?


#5

Vluvski: Have you had any children yet? Our NFP teachers emphasized that nulliparous women may not be able to discern any changes in the cervix, but that after having the first baby, the cervix changes more dramatically within the cycle. My personal experience seconds that information.

Paceshock: My understanding is that Phase II is an average of 8-10 days long. So, nonfertile days will be about 20 days per month, but that includes the days of menstruation.


#6

[quote=Paceshock]I have a question not quite related…

How many days on average in the “common” month are (what I will describe as) “safe” for sexual relations if you are spacing your family?
[/quote]

Each woman’s cycle is unique, both in its entire duration and in days of fertility. Generalities are not very useful.


#7

I remember my sympto-thermal NFP teacher telling us not to start observing the cervix in the middle of the cycle because it would confuse us. She recommended waiting until right after menses (the beginning of your cycle, but not during menses, as a previous poster noted) to begin your observations. It took me a few cycles to get used to charting it. Many people can effectively use NFP by only looking at one or two signs. If the cervix sign isn’t working for you, concentrate on the other ones. Good luck :slight_smile:


#8

Another thing I thought of and wanted to add. When I first started charting cervix I was mostly just guessing at height and firmness. My teacher told me to just keep at it because I was in a learning time for my particular body. Since there are no absolutes about exactly how it is supposed to feel, those first months of charting help us to understand our own bodies.

I think that was why I like the cross-checking of sympto-thermal method. Once you learn it well, you can decide which signs are the strongest and most reliable for you personally. My cervix is now one of my best signs. I have background mucus during some months, so my temps and cervix are very reliable for me.

God bless you vluvski. I’ve been praying for you not to lose hope that you will soon be so comfortable with every aspect of NFP. It is such a gift. I hope all is well in “newlywed-land.”


#9

i never checked during my period. i only checked when i knew i was getting close to fertility. i would stop checking once i confirmed a temp rise and somtimes sooner because of ovulation pain i knew ovulation had occurred.

on a side note it took about three days for me to actually find what i was looking for the first time:o had to call mom and ask for some help


#10

Well, I don’t check during menses, only immediately before and after, since I’m still learning and need a sort of baseline to compare low-high, soft-firm, etc…

I’m not married yet, nor do I have any children. I just started classes last month though I read the book last summer and was monitoring (not charting) on and off until I started formal classes.

We are taking CCL classes, but the instructing couple doesn’t use and has never done cervical observations. I may just have to ask her for a referral to another couple.

Another thing, will thermostat changes effect basal temperature? I visited my grandmother who keeps the house at 63 at night, and saw two days during menses at 97.1 and 97.2. Those were the only two low days. I had plenty of blankets and didn’t feel cold. On day 4, my temp was up to 97.8 at my brother’s apt with thermostat at 75, and this morning at 97.7 with thermostate at 70. It seems too early for the shift, and I can’t do mucus observations very well during menses. I had posted earlier that it seems like I see fertile mucus at the very end of menses, but just background mucus the rest of the time.

There is no concern of my fiance and I quitting or giving up, but jeez luhweez I can’t figure myself out! Nothing seems to follow what I think should be happening.


#11

I’m having trouble with my cervical observations this month. we’ve only been doing NFP for three cycles now, and it seems like the other two were easier to determine. Poor DH, I’m starting to feel sorry for him because we are abstaining so long. First month it was 19 days, second month 16 days, and this month 18 days. My cycles are around 32-35 days. We have the most grave reasons to avoid pregnancy, but 3 weeks is a little much, and DH gets so moody. We can’t take classes because of his work schedule, so we’re (I’m) trying to do it on our own. He feels like everything was thrown at him and there’s nothing he can do. I guess he feels helpless.


#12

I have been doing NFP for almost two years. I did attemot the cervix but have always had difficulty with it. I think it is true that you have to learn your body. Now that I am familiar with it it seems so thoughtless and easy. I still chart, but they arent nearly as detailed as they used to be. I remember when I first began doing it before I was married I thought, there is no way I will figure this out. But I did with the NFP book and really trying to pay attention to my body. I think it was especially good to start before marriage, so when I did get married, I knew what I was doing. If your cycles are regular, everything will fall into place. Temps sometimes jump around, I found that when I am in Ohio (I live in MO) my temp is higher. My parents do keepo the house warmer so who knows. Also, I experience a higher stress level. I think any change in environment can really affect the cycle. Good Luck! I am glad you will not give up on it. I saw a commercial for the O Bith control Ring and I thought, poor women have to deal with that?! I feel so lucky to be living “naturally”, I just wish everyone could see how wonderful it is.


#13

[quote=RCCDefender]I’m having trouble with my cervical observations this month. we’ve only been doing NFP for three cycles now, and it seems like the other two were easier to determine. Poor DH, I’m starting to feel sorry for him because we are abstaining so long. First month it was 19 days, second month 16 days, and this month 18 days. My cycles are around 32-35 days. We have the most grave reasons to avoid pregnancy, but 3 weeks is a little much, and DH gets so moody. We can’t take classes because of his work schedule, so we’re (I’m) trying to do it on our own. He feels like everything was thrown at him and there’s nothing he can do. I guess he feels helpless.
[/quote]

My heart goes out to you RCCDefender. Just remind him, “This too shall pass.”

On the good note, I can offer some support and advice because I have some long, variable cycles. Since you are new to charting and have serious reasons for abstaining you are having to use very conservative rules. It will get so much easier the more charts you have under your belt. For example, you are probably having to use day 6 as your current end to phase 1? This is by clinical experience for average and short cycles. With more experience you will be able to extend this phase using dry days rule. My DH and I adhere carefully to phase 1 rules of “not in the morning, and not on consecutive days.” This makes using dry days rules easy. We are able to go to day 9 every month and sometimes day 10 before the end of phase 1.

We also have serious reason to abstain right now. (Sick baby and very high medical bills to pay off. Insurance pays 80%? Yeah, right. 80% of what THEY say its worth! Baby is getting better though, thank you Lord!) So we know the frustration for you. My husband remembers the 6 weeks of post-partum abstinence so 19 days is nothing to him anymore. We have had cycles recently that ended up with about 19 days of abstinence but they were because of illnesses for each of us. It is good to know we can abstain that long without getting nit-picky with each other. We never know what our future holds.

My prayers are with you and your husband during this learning period. NFP holds for you a great future in your marriage. Keep up the communication with each other and God, and all will be well!


#14

[quote=Bandgeek] I saw a commercial for the O Bith control Ring and I thought, poor women have to deal with that?! I feel so lucky to be living “naturally”, I just wish everyone could see how wonderful it is.
[/quote]

I agree. I always think the same thing! I found myself feeling sorry for the actress!

Speaking of cervixes: I was wondering how strange it would be to have a ring of plastic next to my cervix all month. “ick factor” was very high for me. I asked my husband what he thought of, as a man, having sex while something that was releasing artficial female hormones was that close to him. He just looked at me like I was crazy, and said “I don’t have to worry about that. I’ll leave that up to the idiots who use it.” It made me laugh.

The other one that made me laugh, but still sad was our child-birth prep class. Of the 15 couples, 30 people in the room, only 3 people knew about the cervix. The teacher asked how many people knew that the cervix thinned and opened before birth. Then she asked how many people knew the location of the cervix. For both questions only 3 of us raised our hands. Myself, my husband, and one other woman! So very sad to have no idea what your own body does.


#15

[quote=LittleDeb]Speaking of cervixes: I was wondering how strange it would be to have a ring of plastic next to my cervix all month. “ick factor” was very high for me. I asked my husband what he thought of, as a man, having sex while something that was releasing artficial female hormones was that close to him. He just looked at me like I was crazy, and said “I don’t have to worry about that. I’ll leave that up to the idiots who use it.” It made me laugh.
[/quote]

You’d be amazed at how many doctors are pushing those things on their patients now. The kickbacks must be amazing.

I work in a lab with a number of other young people, and in the past year, four of the women have been prescribed the birth-control ring. The docs don’t even push the pill anymore, in fact, one of my co-workers had to ask for the pill because the ring was making her ill (no, none of the women are Catholic). Another wasn’t even on birth control and her doctor pushed it on her to “regulate her cycles”. Her husband is apparently freaked out by the idea of that ring being inside of her for three weeks straight.

Now I think my own (natural and unmedicated, thanks very much) cycles are getting messed up again by all of the artificial hormones around me. Grrrr…:mad:


closed #16

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