The Nourished Blog

Navigating Your 5-6 Day Fertile Window When You Have A “Weird” Cycle?!

Sometimes learning Fertility Awareness Method isn’t as easy as the popular phrase…

“You just need to learn your 5-6 day fertile window!”

Yes, it is true that you can only get pregnant the 5 days leading up to ovulation and the 24 hours after the egg is released.

But, not every woman’s cycle is going to give them the “perfect” crystal clear signals that those 5-6 fertile days are truly open or closed.

Remember, that cervical mucus is your main clue that opens up your fertile window and closes it after ovulation has passed and been confirmed.

If you have a picture-perfect cycle (nobody does lol) this MIGHT look like…

  1. Getting a 5-7 day period
  2. Experiencing a set of “dry days” after your period ends
  3. Seeing non-peak cervical mucus around days 10-12 of your cycle
  4. Seeing a switch from non-peak cervical mucus to peak cervical mucus days 13-15 of your cycle
  5. Then, going back to dry days for the remainder of your cycle until your next period

If your body works with such perfect clockwork every single month… I’m impressed! lol

But in essence, yes… this is how you would determine your 5-6 day fertile window leading up to ovulation.

Dry Days = not fertile

Cervical Mucus = fertile

But, what if you see cervical mucus literally ALL the time during your cycle?! 

Are you more fertile than this so-called 5-6 day fertile window? HELP!

The short answer to this question is – no.

No matter how much cervical mucus your body is producing during a cycle, you still will only ovulate ONE time. And you still will only be fertile the 5-6 days leading up to that.

But, this is where things can get “tricky.”

Even though you only ovulate once per cycle (yes, I promise – it’s science!), you cannot predict when that day is going to happen.

The only prediction you have is experiencing cervical mucus.

And if you’re a person that is seeing A TON of it all the time, then that can make applying Fertility Awareness Method for birth control frustrating AF.

Which is why it bothers me a little bit when I see people who are not trained in teaching FAM share to their communities that it is “as simple as knowing your 5-6 day window.”

(By the way I used to be guilty of this myself).

It can give women a false sense of how to apply the method accurately and it also might cause women to give up prematurely because they feel frustrated and lost with their body’s fertile clues. 

Before I talk about the birth control solutions for tons of cervical mucus… I want to talk about WHY this happens in some women’s cycles.

So why are you seeing cervical mucus all of the time?!

1. You have been on hormonal birth control for  many years

Your cervix responds to rising estrogen in the first half of your cycle and this is what triggers your body to produce both non-peak and peak cervical mucus. 

When you’re on hormonal birth control for many years, your cervix has to re-learn how to respond to your natural estrogen again. This process has been totally shut down!

So while the cervix figures things out (on average this can take up to 9 months) you fertility biomarkers may look totally whacky.

Be patient with yourself.

Your body is working things out and doing any amazing job!

2. You’re struggling with a hormone imbalance

If you’re diagnosed with PCOS or have been struggling with other hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance, this will trigger your body to produce lots of cervical mucus.

In the case of PCOS (or post pill pcos) your body is constantly trying to ovulate and you’re experiencing very long cycles. This means lots of CM all the time.

With estrogen dominance, your body has too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone and this is skewing the response from your cervix. In both of these cases, working on the foundations of hormone imbalance through a balanced diet and lifestyle will be very important.

3. You may be struggling with an infection

This is less common, but I have seen it happen. It is usually pretty clear if what you’re seeing is CM or an infection. If has a gray or green color, smells funky, etc… make sure to set up an appointment with your doctor to get checked out.

4. You’re actually seeing cell slough and not cervical mucus

Our cervix naturally sheds/cleanses throughout our cycle. With Fertility Awareness Method, you will learn the difference between cell slough and fertile quality mucus. A quick overview… cell slough is often dry, crumbly, does not stretch, and/or will dissipate quickly between your fingers. Fertile CM consists of moisture/water content, is stretchy, and balls up between your fingers.

If you’re falling into one of these four categories, how do you effectively apply 

Fertility Awareness Method?

First, you need to have a very clear understanding of cervical mucus so you can identify and understand your own.

Then, when you have been charting for at least 3-6 months you will be able to determine your typical “pattern.” Just because your pattern doesn’t follow the typical 5-6 day fertile window doesn’t mean you don’t have your own unique CM style 😉

If you’re working with an instructor, they can help you analyze your FAM chart and help you determine what days are truly fertile and which days may be your “dry basic infertile pattern.”

This will help you feel much more grounded in the method and will help you open up more safe days for unprotected sex!

Hopefully, this information is helpful to you 🙂 
If you’re looking to feel more grounded in using Fertility Awareness Method for birth control, check out my free FAM training here.

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Hi, I’m Nina! I’m a Certified Fertility Awareness Educator who teaches women how to transition off of birth control and prevent pregnancy hormone-free.

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