At home, outside of the clinic, a woman can monitor her vaginal discharge to help indicate when ovulation will happen and therefore indicate her most fertile time and the best time to plan intercourse. She can also monitor a basal body temperature (BBT) to indicate that ovulation has happened....(full article available by clicking 'read more'!)
(Note that BBT is commonly practiced and used by many acupuncturists, but note it is NOT recommended in conventional fertility medicine due to the increased stress on the female and the partner being more significant than the benefit of increased awareness of the cycle and fertile period).
Changes in vaginal discharge flag changes in fertility and can be monitored in 2 ways:
1 – Subjective sensations of moisture at the vulva
2 – Objective analysis of the discharge (on pants, toilet tissue and/or fingers)
Types of mucous (L, S, P = fertile mucous whereas G is secreted at infertile period of the cycle):
1. “G-type” mucous is secreted at infertile times. The vulva feels dry; the mucous feels thick and pasty.
2. “L-type” mucous is more liquid and is secreted as oestrogen levels rise. The vagina feels sticky and wet. L-mucous catches and filters abnormal or poor sperm.
3. As ovulation approaches, “S-type” mucous is secreted. Often compared to egg white, note the strings of S-mucous (sometimes mixed with L-mucous) with heightened elasticity. S-mucous provides rapid transport for sperm.
4. As ovulation becomes imminent, mucous loses it stretch as “P-mucous” rich is potassium is secreted. Note a very slippery, lubricative property of this mucous. The last day P-mucous is secreted is the day before or the day of ovulation as is the most fertile day. P-mucous appears to give a final assistance to sperm on their journey through the reproductive tract.
(Note some sources recommend intercourse 2 days prior to ovulation as sperm is most active within the first 48 hours in the reproductive tract, surviving up to 5 days)
How to evaluate mucous
1. Be aware of subjective sensations at the vulva. The last day of fertile mucous is the “peak day” ie the most fertile day and feels moist.
2. Collect mucous from the vaginal entrance if it is plentiful, otherwise gently retrieve from the cervix with clean fingers. Next test its elasticity between the fingers using the information from “Types of mucous” (above) to help identify which type.
Remember, examination of mucous helps to alert a woman to her most fertile days, as fertile mucous precedes ovulation.
Source: The Treatment of Infertility with Jane Lyttleton: Available from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Treatment-Infertility-Chinese-Medicine-Lyttleton/dp/044306640X