Nitty Gritty Question about NFP


For all who practice NFP, especially the ladies…

My hubby and I are newly married and are practicing the Sympto-Thermal method (I know there are other methods and I have no idea if they are all Sympto-Thermal – we were only taught one way in class). Even in the months I was charting before our wedding, I had trouble observing my mucus. I do see a pattern with it, but I have VERY rarely, if ever, observed the very clear and very stretchy mucus associated with the most fertile days. Mostly I just see a “wetness” or “moisture,” and it’s hard for me to get much of anything on the toilet paper. :frowning: So, most times it’s hard for me to tell when my first day of fertility begins or get a good grasp on differentiating between phases in my cycle. I’d mentioned this to my NFP teacher a while ago and she talked about giving me a list of foods that are supposed to increase cervical mucus.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what did you do about it or how did you handle it?

Thanks! :smiley:


I have the same problem. I go from sticky, to creamy, to wet, and then back to creamy for the rest. I am only dry for a few days after my menses. I have to check internally to get a really good idea what day it is because exterior observations were so hit or miss. I have never had egg-white. Just wet and watery, but not very stretchy. We are abstaining during the from about day 10 to 17 when I experience the change from sticky to creamy to wet. Once my temp is up for 3 days (usually day 17 for me) even if I still have creamy mucus we have been safe (no surprises in 2 years).

Have you considered sending your chart to nfp headquarters for them to look at?

I have heard robbetussin (sp?) helps, but I have no desire to take it all the time, but that is just me. Best wishes.


Would it be completely objectionable to do internal observations? I find it’s pretty hard to miss internally, but often don’t begin seeing mucus for a couple days externally.

I’m still waiting on the copy of Fertily, Cycles, and Nutrition I ordered. I mainly have the opposite problem of a weak temp pattern. Sorry that’s not much help.


External mucous checks are useless for me, and always have been.

Plus, I personally get a very good cervical position reading, so internal mucous checks have been ideal for me.

Try internal… and cross check with cervical position… it’ll makes things a LOT easier to read! :thumbsup:


Do you take antihistamines? This will reduce the amount of mucous you have making it harder to notice.

If you can go without the antihistamines for a couple of months (if that is the problem) then see if you see a pattern.

There are other drugs that reduce the production of mucous too but I don’t remember right now what they are. If one of the “side effects” of the drug is “dry mouth” then that could also cause less mucous.

Also, since you are using the Sympto-thermal method you have other signs to work with so you might not need to worry overly about this.

Brenda V.


I had the same problem for years until I finally started checking my cervix for mucous. It does show up there first, so it’s the safest way to practice NFP if you are trying to space your children or prevent conception for a time, or are trying to find your peak of fertility when trying to conceive. Another thing that might help you is to take fish oil capsules. The average American diet is low in these alpha omega oils that come from fish. These capsules are cheap and are available at any drug store. They greatly increase the quantity and quality of mucous. It’s easier to see the mucous when I am taking these capsules. I wish I’d started taking them back when I was younger! It’s good for your heart, too!


Interesting… I wonder if that’s why I have such obvious signs…
We’ve taken fish oil for years…


Hi Ruby,

I have scanty mucus as well. This makes it difficult to observe and can also make it difficult to conceive when one is ready for that. When we were trying to conceive, I took guiafinesin (Robitussin) for about a week starting a few days before my fertile time to increase my mucus. Now that I am postpartum, I have having difficulty reading my mucus because I think it doesn’t get much more than watery-wet.

I’d second the earlier recommendation for the book “Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition.” I should open it up again myself!

You might also want to do internal observations, both for mucus and for cervical position. However, if you have never had a baby, your cervix might not change position enough for you to notice. (1) If you do an internal check of the cervix, do it in the evening, not the morning. (2) If you do an internal check for mucus or cervix, only do it once per day. Checking internally more than once per day can disturb the accumulation of mucus, which will make observations more difficult.


This is the exact description of what I seem to have. I’ll try the fish oil capsules, definitely… but I don’t think I’d like to take the Robitussin. I don’t take any drugs at all, so nothing like that could be interfering.

I wasn’t taught how to do an internal observation for mucus or a cervical positon check – any links for help on this? I’m nervous about it… just reading “internal observation” made me light-headed, but I suppose it’s time to suck it up if need be. :o


Do not be afraid to call the teaching couple that taught you the method. They will be delighted to help you, and if you prefer to talk only to the woman, just say so. It’s a delicate subject, I know, and it used to make me a bit queasy at the thought of checking myself internally, but once you do it a couple of times, it’s no big deal! If you no longer live in the area where you took the NFP course, call a local teaching couple. That’s what they are there for. God bless you, and don’t get discouraged. You are doing the right things by finding out what will help you to practice NFP more effectively.


Our teaching couple did not provide any info on internal observations except that it was an option. The wife became visibly uncomfortable when I asked a question about it, and said if I needed more info on it, she would put me in touch with a different teaching couple.


Get a copy of Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition (from CCL) and follow the advice in there. It is the most helpful book!


I’ve had the same problem with mucus and I agree with others on the internal checks. Also, skip checking with toilet tissue. Check with your fingertip before you urinate.

Sort of off-topic…but I had problems detecting mucus until I went on the Atkins diet for awhile. After being on that diet for a month or so, I had more than enough mucus. I haven’t had any problems with it since, even after I stopped doing the diet.


I’m sure it’s something in my body chemistry and some minerals I am lacking. I will get the book and adjust some habits. Not sure I can handle the internal observation as I have never attempted anything “probing” in that way before, but if it does become necessary I’ll try it! In case I do before I can get the book delivered – what time of the day is best to do the one internal obs.?


In my personal experience I actually do better checking multiple times per day… because signs can change within a single day.

If you check in the morning and everything seems infertile, then by the evening you may not be showing infertile signs anymore…
I don’t trust a single check… but that’s just been my own personal experience.
I check morning, a few times during the day (just at bathroom breaks), and again before bed.


Not trying to get off topic too much, but why would a woman have a problem with internal observations? What could posibly make you quesy about your own body? Not trying to be rude or disrespectful, just dont understand this concept at all. God made our bodies wonderfully and those that have posted here, I assume are married and are obviously practicing NFP , which is reading your fertility signs and knowing your body as well as possible. Is this a modest thing? Do you look on it as dirty or sinful? I just dont get it. PLease please please do not be offended, that is not my intention, I just dont understand.


Maybe she just didn’t know what she was feeling for and didn’t feel comfortable instructing the students if she herself wasn’t using this observation in her own practice of NFP. Just a thought :slight_smile:

I’m quite rusty on NFP now–haven’t used it in over 3 years thanks to 2 pregnancies :stuck_out_tongue: but I remember hearing that sometimes real watery mucus is also considered egg-white, even if it’s not stretchy at all. But I may be remembering wrong. Anyone?


I’m not offended by this at all. I don’t feel queasy about my own body or the way it functions or is made. If anything, NFP has made me realize even more how incredible and beautiful our bodies are. I don’t feel queasy when I check my mucus just with toilet paper or anything – for some reason, the “internal” part makes me light-headed. Not “grossed out” – I’m not grossed out by anything having to do with NFP or my body or mucus, but I think it’s just feeling “faint” about sensations I’ve experienced when getting internal exams at my OB/GYN, for example. Although not terrible, they are not pleasant and I often felt light-headed after those exams, too. I have never attempted any examination of the sort on myself… nothing internal, ever. I can’t explain it except that it has nothing to do with feeling gross or dirty or sinful at all!


If you aren’t taking a women’s daily vitamin supplement, that would be a good place to start. Maybe you have a great healthy diet, but I’ve read that eating carrots and other foods with vitamin A can help. I read it in my Art of Natural Family Planning book, but it’s in our room and baby is sleeping right now. I do however clearly remember an instance where a woman did not have clear cm signs, but began eating more carrots and soon had clear signs. I know taking a daily vitamin has drastically improved my reproductive health.


Carrots, yum… I can do that :slight_smile: I am going to get some fish oil capsules today as well.

DH helped me do an internal observation last night. We could not get any mucus still but he said my cervix seemed high and felt a little hard to be very fertile (like the tip of your nose feels)… so it seems I was not as far into my fertility as I thought I was, most likely. My cycle is a bit thrown – the stress of our recent wedding had my last cycle about 40 days long and then my menses was very abnormal… I’m usually quite regular.

Hopefully as I get used to things we can get some mucus. Not sure why we were unable to get any.

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