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Breastfeeding protocol
for fertility monitor


Breastfeeding protocol
for mucus


NFP and long cycles

NFP and short cycles

Perimenopause

NFP after using
hormonal contraception


Stress

Vaginal Hygiene
and Vaginal Infections


Premensteual Syndrome (PMS)

Continuous Mucus
and Other Body Fluids


Management of
Continuous Mucus


Return to fertility
after child birth


Medical referral
for women's health problems


NFP and unusual bleeding





Continuous Mucus and Other Body Fluids

Continuous mucus can be one of the most frustrating situations (for both the NFP teacher and the woman user) in trying to interpret NFP charts that utilize cervical mucus as a fertility indicator.  Many women users of NFP will experience mucus patches (one or two days of mucus) or continuous mucus rather than a dry pattern. There are many reasons for the experience of mucus patches or continuous mucus. The following are some of the most common reasons for non-dry patterns of infertility and how to manage these situations.

Seminal Fluid
Seminal fluid is the fluid released from the man at the time of intercourse. Seminal fluid of course contains sperm and other fluids that nourish, protect and prepare them (the sperm) for possible fertilization of the ovum. After intercourse it is a common practice (and recommended for hygienic purposes) that a woman get up and void (urinate). However, she should not get up immediately after intercourse. This, obviously is a special intimate time that is important for bonding. After about 20-30 minutes after intercourse, the seminal fluid becomes very fluid.  At this time it is recommended that a woman rid herself of the seminal fluid that has remained in her vagina. To do this she should (after urinating) in alternating fashion 1) bear down (like she is having a bowel movement) and 2) do five or six Kegel’s exercises (i.e., tightening the muscles of the vagina and the muscles that stop or start urination). After she does 4-5 sets of bearing down and Kegel’s exercises she should wipe until all the seminal fluid is gone. The next day, whatever mucus or sensations are observed should be charted on their merits.  

Not all women wish to get up after intercourse, and she may choose to remain bonded with her husband or just fall asleep. If this is so, then if she is confident what she observes the next day is seminal fluid, she can ignore it. If she is not confident, then she should treat that day and the next three as fertile. If the woman or couple wishes to be more conservative with the practice of NFP in avoiding pregnancy, then they should either do the bearing down and Kegel’s exercises after intercourse or follow the three-day instructions.

Arousal Fluid
Arousal fluid is a fluid that is produced by the women in response to either physical or mental sexual stimulation. Some mothers who breast-feed their infants might also experience this fluid while breast-feeding. The fluid is produced by two glands, called Bartholin Glands, that are situated near the opening of the vagina. The physiological purpose of the fluid is to lubricate the vagina for the possibility of intercourse. The characteristics of arousal fluid are clear, wet, moist, and slippery. Unlike cervical fluid, however, arousal fluid dissipates quickly (i.e., within one hour).  The guidelines for arousal fluid with the use of NFP are as follows:

If you are sure that it is arousal fluid - wait for it to dissipate (i.e., to go away) and ignore it!
If you are unsure, observe and chart it on its merits.

Vaginal Fluids and Vaginal Hygiene
One of the reasons that a woman might have continuous mucus is due to poor vaginal hygiene. There are certain products, cloths, and behaviors (hygiene practices) that might cause a vaginal irritation and a continuous or patchy type of pasty/sticky and cloudy type of mucus. The mucus might also appear creamy like a white hand lotion.

Proper vaginal hygiene might prevent or eliminate some of these vaginal type discharges. Proper vaginal hygiene includes avoiding behaviors and products that might cause vaginal irritations. 

First of all, women should realize that the vagina is a self-cleansing structure and that there is no need to douche. Cleaning the vaginal area with mild soap and water is all that is necessary.  Products that might irritate the vagina (and that should be avoided) are scented toilet tissue, bath oils, fabric softeners that go in the drier, and scented tampon products.  Talcum powder, vaginal deodorants and bubble baths should also be avoided.

Women should also try to use cotton undergarments (rather than synthetics). Cotton absorbs moisture rather than trapping it. Tight jeans, nylon tights and tight pants can trap or increase perspiration and set up an environment for vaginal/vulval irritations.

How a woman manages her menstrual discharge is also important. Again she should avoid using scented tampons. Use of the least absorbent tampon for the amount of bleeding is encouraged. Women should not use tampons when the menstrual flow is very light. This practice might overly dry the vaginal area, damage the normal flora and cause a rebound irritation and discharge. Use of tampons on light and very light days also might confuse the ability to detect cervical mucus. Tampons should also not be left in for long periods of time and should be changed often.

Vaginal Infections
Vaginal infections might also be a source of continuous vaginal mucus secretions. If a woman NFP user or NFP Teacher observes a client with symptoms of a foul smelling, yellow/green, frothy mucus and/or intense vaginal itching she might suspect a vaginal infection and seek appropriate treatment. Any vaginal discharge from the vagina that is unusual in amount or odor, or causes symptoms of itching or burning should be reported. If not treated, vaginal infections could transmit to the cervix and cause a cervicitis, which in itself would cause a cervical secretion. Over use of antibiotics can cause vaginal infections by destroying the normal vaginal flora.

Normal Continuous Mucus
A woman might experience mucus patches or a continuous mucus discharge that is a result from a normal vaginal environment.  During the childbearing years, estrogen causes vaginal cells to proliferate and produce glycogen. The amount of normal discharge will vary considerably from among women and according to the stage of the menstrual cycle.

 

 



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