Frequently Asked Questions

best one1. Is the Billings Ovulation Method® like the Rhythm or Calender Method?

Not at all.  Rhythm or Calender methods estimate when a woman might be fertile, based on the number of days between her periods.    This estimation can be unreliable as the timing of the fertile phase can vary from cycle to cycle.    The Billings Ovulation Method™ teaches a woman to recognize whether she is fertile or infertile on a daily basis.

2. What are the advantages of Billings over other types of NFP? 

It has been subject to more scientific research than any other method of family planning.

There are no ongoing costs.

It can accommodate every season of reproductive life, including after the birth of a baby before the return of cycles.

It is waste free

Billings doesn’t require a woman to alter her hygiene routine in any way

It is simple to use on a daily basis (only 4 rules to remember)

Billings utilizes the most up to date protocols for isolating a Basic Infertile Pattern with accuracy (this affords the potential for less abstinence than other systems require)

3. Can I ovulate twice in a cycle?

Yes, but if two (or more) eggs are released – it all happens within a 24 hour timespan.

4. I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.  Can this method help me conceive?

Charting with the Billings Ovulation Method will greatly enhance your chance of identifying the optimum time for conception in your cycle.   Your chart can also reveal clues about any underlying problems which may be hindering conception.  Your chart can be used as a diagnostic tool for identifying and correcting abnormalities.   In this way, healthful reproductive function can be restored so that you may conceive naturally.

5. Can I learn this method from a book, a website, or my friend who uses Billings?

Many women have taught themselves and manage fairly well as long as cycles follow a consistent pattern.  At some point, all women will experience times of irregularity which can be confusing without adequate training in the method.   An Accredited Teacher is fully trained to help you achieve and maintain confidence with the method in any circumstance.   We strongly encourage learning from an Accredited Instructor.  The assistance you receive will be confidential and individualized.

6. I want to use NFP, but it would be medically dangerous for me to get pregnant again. Can you accommodate my situation?

Yes.  Clients with serious need to avoid pregnancy are educated and supported by a Senior Accredited Teacher with advanced training.  NFP management for High Risk situations is a service that we offer. 

Breastfeed7. Can I use this method if my cycles are irregular?  If I’m breastfeeding? Peri-menopausal?

Yes! Regularity is not a requirement for this method, as it teaches you to recognize whether you are fertile or infertile each day.

8. When should I start charting again after the birth of my baby?

Begin charting as soon as your bleeding stops after birth.  This will enable you to establish your Basic Infertile Pattern, which may be different from what it was before you had your baby.   It is also a good time to contact your Accredited Instructor for a post partum refresher & follow ups.

9. How many days of abstinence are required if my cycles are regular and we wish to avoid pregnancy?

Results from the World Health Organization trial of the Method indicate that approximately half of the days in a 28-day cycle are generally available for intercourse.   In shorter cycles, fewer than half the days may be available and in longer cycles, considerably more days are available.  However, the amount of abstinence required for avoiding pregnancy can vary from couple to couple and from cycle to cycle!

10. Can we used condoms with the Billings Ovulation Method™?

Condoms or other barriers are not compatible with this method, as they can compromise the accuracy of a woman’s cervical mucus observations.  Compromised accuracy can result in compromised effectiveness.   All barrier methods have a failure rate, so using them on days of fertility may result in a pregnancy.   Only abstinence from genital contact on fertile days can ensure that you will not become pregnant.

11. I can tell when the appearance of my mucus changes, but will I be able to detect changes in sensation?

The collective experience of teachers worldwide is that the vast majority of women can be trained to recognize the changes in sensation at the vulva.    In fact, the studies show that most women can produce a chart with a recognizable sensation pattern after only one month of charting.   It may take more time to feel confident in the method, but that is why consistent follow up with an Instructor is encouraged.

12. Can intercourse trigger ovulation?

No. Hormonal studies on humans have shown that there is a complex physiological process over several days leading up to ovulation.  Intercourse has never been shown to hasten this process, as in some other species.

13. Is the amount of mucus important?  I seem to have very little mucus. Can I use this method?allgenerations

It only takes a microscopic amount of mucus in order for a woman to notice a change in her sensation.  Some women find that after they start paying attention and keeping a daily record, they realize that they have more mucus days during the cycle than they had originally thought.   Some women produce only a trace amount of mucus, but can be taught to recognize changes in sensation and have no trouble using this method.   If you are completely dry throughout the cycle without any sensation changes or visible mucus at all, there may be a reproductive problem.

14. Can medications affect the mucus?

Yes,  some medications can.   Your Accredited Instructor will ask about any medications you are taking and let you know how they may affect your cervical mucus patterns.

15. I am not sexually active, but I am interested in charting my fertility.  Is there any benefit in that?

Family planning is not the only reason to chart your signs of fertility, your cycles can reveal a lot about your overall hormonal and reproductive health.  Your menstrual cycle is the 5th Vital Sign.  From menarche to menopause, knowledge of your body is valuable!

Head Office

Natural Family Planning Association (Alberta)
PO Box 21035
Lloydminster, AB
T9V 2S1
[email protected]

Non Profit

We are a non-profit organization promoting and teaching the Billings Ovulation Method® throughout Alberta.

Online Support

Instruction available in person or online

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