NFP users: how many days do you abstain when avoiding pregnancy?


Hello All!

I am having a terrible time getting in touch with my nfp practicioner to ask her this question, so I will post it here.

I like using the Creighton method but have been confused with differentiating between fertile and infertile mucus (yes, I am a yellow stamp user, but wish I didn’t need them). On the last cycle that I had, if DH and I decided to completely abstain, we would have waited for 11 days (this includes the three days after peak day). Does this sound normal to any of you? It seems a bit long to me. I would greaty appreciate any feedback from your own experiences.

I am thinking that I had some infertile mucus at the beginning of those 11 days that could have been charted as such (hence, the yellow stamps), but I thought at the time it was fertile.

I believe I recall my nfp pracitioner telling me that fertile mucus does not last more than five days. Is this accurate? If so, then if you add another three days after peak day, you have a total of eight days of abstaining when you have a serious reason to avoid. Does that sound right?

Hope this is not confusing! Again, I’d appreciate suggestions, feedback, responses from experience Creighton users! Thanks!:slight_smile:


A mucus cycle of less than 9 days is normal and we do not use YS at those times. So it is certainly possible to have 11 days of baby stickers.

If you are still new with the yellow stamps please continue working with your practitioner (work with her if you aren’t new as well;) ). This will come and it will work out.


I’m not familiar with the Creighton method, myself…

But my mucous patterns can vary from month to month… sometimes we abstain as little as 5-7 days, other months it’s more like 10-12 before I have my confirming temperature rise.

Although, we do use it conservatively… stopping at any sign of mucous, not just the “most fertile”…



I have a really newbie question, I haven’t read any indepth literature yet but do those abstaining days include the days of menstration or do people usually not abstain on those days?

Sorry for butting in :smiley: I don’t want to create a thread drift.


Eleven days total for peak + 3 is not out of the ordinary. Typically we have between 8-12 days of abstinence due to fertile time, not counting menstrual days which are also fertile and abstinence days.

No, it is not accurate to say that mucus lasts no more than 5 days. It can vary greatly from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle for one woman.

My shortest number of days of mucus is 4 and my longest is 9 in the 2 years I’ve been charting. However, I also had one cycle when I was under extreme durress/stress and ended up with 11 total days of fertile mucus, but with dry days in between, never actually got my “count 3” as mucus kept coming back. Seems my body was trying to ovulate and then stress kept shutting it down. So that month the entire month was basically considered fertile time.

You need to keep working with your practicioner to distinguish between mucus and discharge. It is really not accurate to say “fertile mucus” and “infertile mucus” as the only kind of mucus there is is “fertile”. Discharge on other days is not mucus but can confuse you if you have a lot of it. Also try to determine if you have some major stress going on that could be affecting your body as it tries to ovulate.


She is probably not referring to those days, but yes any day of menstruation is considered a fertile day because sometimes your body can start producing mucus right away (early ovulation). I’ve had this in about 3 cycles. Light and very light days can be considered infertile if you can determine that they are dry days-- no mucus present.


In Creighton, that’s the terminology they use. Fertile and non-fertile mucus.

11 days is normal for some women, OP. Remember that your fertile mucus is stretchy, clear or lubricative. Anything else is charted on it’s merits but is not fertile. Look on the back of your chart for quick definitions about what is fertile and what isn’t. Cloudy, sticky, tacky, pasty, wet, shiny…not fertile. Clear, stretchy, lubricative–fertile.

Are you asking the essential sameness question? If you have non-fertile mucus one day and your next is a day of change–you should be considering that day fertile. This is all on the back of your chart…


Ladies, thank you so much for the clarification! Since my first pregnancy began in September 2004, I had not had to do much charting and fell out of practice. Baby #2 was on the way after only one cycle when fertility returned! The cycle I described in my original post was the one during which we conceived. Now I know that it would have been completely normal to abstain for 11 days (even though we feel totally blessed to be expecting again).

Princess Abby, I am confused again regarding the mucus. Are you saying that any cloudy, stetchy, tacky, pasty, wet, or shiny mucus is considered infertile and you can have relations on these days when trying to avoid? My understanding is that mucus observations like that are considered fertile, but just aren’t considered “peak-type” mucus. According to the back of the chart, the mucus becomes peak-type when it is clear, stretchy, or lubricative. But when any of the above mucus is observed, you should abstain when trying to avoid, right?

1ke, thanks also for your response. My nfp practicioner once said that fertile mucus does not last longer than 5 days because sperm cannot survive in the vaginal tract for more than 5 days. Maybe she was referring to peak-type mucus only?

Thanks again everyone for your input! I hope I haven’t caused further confusion to anyone. Despite some of the challenges, the method is still worth doing!:slight_smile:


You are correct, sperm can live 5, and even possibly 6, days with the presence of mucus. But that in no way correlates to the number of days a woman might produce mucus. A woman can produce mucus for more than 5 days.


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