Knowledge gives assurance
With the Billings Ovulation Method® of natural family planning, free from manipulation by chemicals and devices, the woman learns to interpret her natural signs of fertility through all her changing circumstances from puberty to menopause.
This method of natural family planning engenders cooperation and respect between the woman and man. It develops love and concern for each other and for the child, thus enriching their relationship.
The Billings Ovulation Method® is easy to learn and is highly successful when used by a couple to achieve or avoid a pregnancy.
It is not necessary to predict the end of your fertility: the key to successful fertility management at this stage is to recognize the infertility that will eventually become established.
What is menopause?
Woman is unique in that her reproductive capacity ends in middle life. The loss of fertility happens over a number of years, a time known as the climacteric (change of life). Menopause is more strictly applied to the natural end of menstruation, but many use the term to describe the years around that event, when hormone levels are changing in certain ways. Menopause is a natural phenomenon.
What happens during menopause?
After menopause, very little progesterone is secreted and the level of oestrogen drops dramatically. So, ovulation ceases and the cervix reduces its mucus production. During the fertile period of a woman’s life, the mucus causes wetness and slipperiness at the vulva. This mucus is essential for the life and vitality of the sperm and is an indicator of a woman’s fertility.
What are the signs of approaching menopause?
The change of life may occupy 5 to 10 years, or it may happen more quickly. A woman may experience a number of symptoms, including: breast tenderness, dryness of vagina, urinary irritability, irregular bleeding, hot flushes, weight gain, anaemia, tiredness and irritability.
Many women are not inconvenienced by these symptoms.
Irregular cycles and bleeding
Menstrual periods may stop without obvious warning and not begin again. Or periods may cease for months at a time, only to be followed by several apparently normal, or short, cycles.
Irregular ovulations cause irregular bleeding There may be a shortening of the post-ovulatory phase from the normal 11 to 16 days indicating infertility.
Not all bleeding is true menstruation. Oestrogen levels may stimulate the lining of the uterus causing it to bleed, without ovulation preceding it.
Sometimes bleeding will accompany ovulation, therefore intercourse during bleeding occasionally results in pregnancy.
The amount of bleeding may vary considerably from very light with prolonged spotting to very heavy with clotting.
Heavy bleeding with clotting may be associated with fatigue, lack of energy, light-headedness or depression. Iron supplements may relieve some of these symptoms. It is wise to consult your doctor for a medical diagnosis of any unusual bleeding.
As a woman ages, the cervix fails to respond to raised oestrogen levels and does not produce that mucus which ensures fertility by transporting the sperm. The Billings Ovulation Method® helps a woman to understand these natural events so that she can recognise her declining fertility. By observing the mucus pattern, a woman can establish reliably:
- the signs of infertility
- the signs of possible fertility
Declining fertility may lead to some weight gain.
Emotional factors such as depression and lethargy may contribute to the tendency to overeat.
The Billings Ovulation Method® and Menopause
The Billings Ovulation Method® is based on observations of the mucus secretion that accompany fertility. By observing the presence or absence of mucus, a woman can identify fertile and infertile times. During the change of life, it is common for dry days to increase in number, and for whole cycles or months to pass during which no mucus is apparent. Any return of possible fertility will be readily recognized at the vulva by the sensation of mucus.
“You don’t need to give up love-making for lengthy periods”Dr. Lyn Billings
The Billings Ovulation Method® teachers can help you interpret your observations and explain guidelines to ensure avoidance of pregnancy if desired.
Do you have accurate information to help you manage menopause naturally? Find a Learning Center near you and connect with one of our accredited instructors.
“At 45, with my cycles becoming increasingly long and irregular, my life seemed to be turning into a monstrous game of roulette. Would a chance pregnancy result from an occasional act of love-making, I wondered anxiously. My doctor cheerfully told me that I couldn’t conceive even if I tried. But when I consulted another doctor he advised the Pill. When I heard about the Billings Ovulation Method I did not think I could use it because I had no apparent mucus pattern. I could recall seeing and feeling mucus perhaps two years ago, but certainly not in recent times. By keeping a careful record for the next two weeks and by being alert to my mucus after that, I knew I was not fertile. This infertile pattern has continued. This knowledge has given me a new peace of mind and saved me from needlessly going without sex.”Jennifer