NFP issues...........again


Riddle me this???

DW and I have been using NFP (self-taught) for 8 months now in an effort to DELAY pregnancy. Guess what! Found out yesterday (4/7) that she’s pregnant???:eek:

A little background. This summer I will be 45 and DW will be 41. We currently have 6 kids ranging in age from 17 to 2. We have been meticulously attempting to use NFP to delay pregnancy b/c of OUR age and the fact that we are a single income SAHM family. Child #1 (daughter) will be going off to college this fall and I have been scrambling to find the resources to pay for this.

So here’s the part I am confused by. In the month of March DW started a new cycle on the 3rd. On day 6 of her cycle (3/8) she bid AF good-by around lunchtime. That night we engaged in the “marital embrace”. We did NOT engage in any marital act again until day 29. The chart showed no pattern of temp shift and DW said that there was NO mucous all month. Based on the mucous signs (or lack thereof) and lack of definitive temp shift we figured it “safe” on day 29. ??:confused:

By day 36, DW figured either she’s in the midst of peri-menopause and not ovulating this month or she’s pregnant. Guess what HPT came back positive almost instantly.

In retrospect I do recall DW mentioning to me that she has some “slippery moisture issues” on day 7 AND 8 but dismissed it as SF.??? Apparently not! Mucous on days 7 and 8? According to the literature that’s not supposed to happen.

In the 8 months that we’ve been charting her longest cycle was 32 days and the shortest was 18. They were back-to-back btw, and the 32-day cycle appeared to be anovulatory. Every other cycle has been normal with definitive temp shifts and of normal length (25-28 days).

So what am I to think of the NFP stats that say it’s OK to engage in the marital embrace up until day 7ish with no possibility of pregnancy?

I know this is a little lengthy and a bit of a rant mixed with some rambling…but my head is SPINNING.

What happened here? I need expert speculation. Thanks for listening/reading.


Sounds like she ovulated early.

Slippery CM is fertile CM whenever it comes :o


It is possible to ovulate near to or during menstruation, which is what it sounds like has happened. In the Creighton method, we are to treat any days of bleeding as fertile.

Congratulations on your little blessing! I too was a surprise given to my parents the same year my oldest sister started college. God must really think highly of you to give you so many lovely children.



I’m not an expert at all with NFP, but I use the Billings method. My workbook says that ovulation can occur early, even during the last days of menstruation so mucus wouldn’t be visible. Day 7 or 8 sound early…but it’s possible espcially if she did feel some discharge.

She could ask her OB to send her for some blood work to confirm.

If she is, God bless you and your family…God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.


I haven’t (personally) ever heard of this rule. :shrug:
What NFP course did you learn from?
Have you consulted with a teacher at all?
Are you going by dates exclusively up until day 7 and THEN watching for fertile signs?
I would not advise this at all… especially if she has such erratic cycles that vary so much from month to month. Watching for fertile signs is of GREAT importance if you are trying to avoid. I’ve always ignored all the “statistics” about timing my cycle… actual signs are much more reliable.

May God bless you and your growing family. Good luck!
(BTW - sending kids to college on loans isn’t the end of the world!.. I’m still paying mine back, and I’m okay with it! :slight_smile: )


Why would you assume that? I’ve had the occassional long cycle where day 29 would definitely be in the middle of my fertile phase. Without a temperature rise, I would wait. Is there some method/rule I’m unfamiliar with?

In any case, God bless you and help you with His plan for your family, whatever that is.


It is possible to be peri-menopausal & still ovulate. Cycles are erratic, as is ovulation. Peri-menopause can last up to 8 years, so a woman has to really be careful in her charting throughout.

It is definitely possible to have CM start during AF (period) or immediately after, due to AF length she might run into what is really fertile CM overlapping or because women can always ovulate early. If your wife is peri-menopausal (which is highly possible) then her ovulations may vary widely as can her cycles. Fertile CM can start during menses or immediately after. From what I have read women should be aware of their bodies throughout their entire cycle.

I am not peri-menpausal, my cycles last between 22-29 days & have had times when my fertile CM does start on day 7. I also don’t ever assume I have O’d or that it is enough time past O until I have all my cross checks lining up (for me that is CM & my monitor).

I have used Billings & the Marquette method. The methods I have used always teach you are to be aware of fertile signs throughout each cycle starting on day 1. On average days 1-6 are safe, but this is only an average of stats not specific to every woman, so I have always been taught to know my own body & not rely on a compliation of other people’s health info.

I don’t know if any of this necessarily helps you now with NFP but congrats on the pregnancy. Prayers for your growing family:gopray2:


Ditto this!!

congratulations on your unexpected blessing!! Good luck on the college issue. We have 3 years to figure THAT one out…OUCH!!


DW had cycle ranging from 21 days to 35 days and a short one would always follow a long one. From our measurements, she always ovulated 16 days before AF. No NFP program I know of except the old Rythm method says a particular number of days after (or before) menstration is guaranteed “safe”.


**First off, CONGRATULATIONS on your newest little blessing!!!

I don’t know what type of NFP you use, but hubby and I use sympto-thermal and we rarely ever make love before a thermal shift. With our medical reasons to avoid we find it too risky.

It definitely sounds like your were either improperly instructed or you misunderstood when/how ovulation can occur. Add irregular cycles and I’m surprised it took you 8 months to conceive. But I’m sure God has great plans for your newest little one and you will love him/her as much as the rest. He/she will keep you young:thumbsup:**


Congratulations on your baby, and I am sorry if this is stressful since you were wanting to avoid at this time.

The items you listed would NOT be considered “avoiding” behavior in Creighton. This is why I think Creighton is superior to STM.

Any day of bleeding is a fertile day. Any day with mucus is a fertile day.

If you have a serious reason to avoid after the baby, then I suggest you get with a Creighton practitioner on learning this method.


I would guess she ovulated early and it was probably risky to “come together” on Day 6…sperm can live for 5 days…so if she ovulated as early as Day 11 (which doesn’t seem that early to me) the sperm were still viable and…voila.


To the OP, congratulations on the little surprise God has gifted you both with!

However, I too wonder what method they were using. Given there was an 18 day cycle and she is premenopause, with the sympto-thermal method phase I would end on cycle day 3. I wonder if they taught themselves sympto-thermal haphazardly and just went off averages instead of looking at what they really had to deal with and determining what part of the cycle they were actually in. I recommend finding a teacher and possibly a new method for future use.

I don’t know much about creighton method, but their pattern of relations does not coincide with trying to avoid using sympto-thermal either 1ke.


I’m coming in here kind of late, but I agree with the above post. The Creighton model would never blanket-style say any days were “safe”.


I’m suprised no one’s mentioned questioned this (although I do realize that this is an old thread).

Is it possible that your wife never actually started a new cycle? Sometimes women can experience implantation spotting due to the fertilized egg burrowing into the lining. In this case, your wife could have been pregnant from the previous cycle and when she started spotting, it would have looked like she was starting a new cycle.

Just a thought.


I agree. Many people study temp patterns and mucous patterns and then attempt charting. This is not STM. This is some random form of fertility awareness. Creighton is not superior, just different.

** BusyDad**: Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see reference to cervix level. When my cycles are possibly anovulatory, my cervix is my most reliable sign. STM has three signs. If one has serious reason to avoid, STM advises waiting until all 3 signs show the infertile phase. Without a temp rise, you are still considered fertile. I can’t tell you how many times I have ovulated on day 29.

God bless you in your new addition! I would recommend learning Sympto-thermal method for cervix observations post-partum. Especially if your wife plans to breast-feed. It has been helpful for me in just understanding the hormonal changes regardless of trying to achieve/avoid conception.

PS. Following temp patterns can be extremely important when entering menopause. As someone who has struggled with infertility i can say that mucous can start appearing very early as the body tries to build up enough hormone to release an egg. It can sometimes take a long time to release. Long cycles are generally caused by a late ovulation. Menopause has some parallels to infertility.

God bless you!


Was this a home-study course with a textbook? I strongly recommend taking a structured NFP course from a teaching couple, like Couple to Couple League if you want to use STM, especially because you need to be really clear about the rules no matter what method of NFP. There are also postpartum and premenopause courses, too. Even though I have the reference book and course material I think actually going over it with teachers makes it a lot easier to understand and follow.

I just finished taking an NFP class (STM) and given your wife’s cycle lengths and using the more conservative rule about the beginning of the fertile phase, she easily could have started potential fertility at day 6 or even sooner.

My prayers are with you, your family and your new child. Pray for me, too. :wink:


Thanks for the VALUABLE info, support and insight.

I do feel as though some folks are misunderstanding our details. I am not in a position right at this very moment to post more specific detail but I would like the opportunity to do so later.:blush:

I do feel compelled to mention that the 32 day cycle followed by the 18 day cycle was 7 and 8 months ago when we first started charting. For the past 6 months her cycles HAVE been regular length and of predictable patterns…thus my confusion.

This may sound crazy right now but I will provide more detail later.

Please bear with me.


There is also always the possibility that the Good Lord has just simply reminded you that HE is in control…


Prayers for your family…
But again, I would NEVER trust patterns… that’s bordering on the “rhythm method” and it’s not reliable.

The newer sympto-thermal method (and creighton and billings) looks at SYMPTOMS (hence the name), not cycle lengths and patterns.

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