The fertility indicators and pre-menopause:

          – (Cervical Mucus, Temperature (BBT), Palpation of the Cervix)

Cervical mucus and pre-menopause:

Cervical mucus as a fertility indicator is less clear in pre-menopause as:

  • The normal oestrogenic build-up to peak mucus may not occur due to anovulatory cycles.
  • Even in the ovulatory cycle, mucus is not always discernible as fertile-type mucus is scant and occasionally absent making the mucus an unreliable symptom. Parameters are used to assess the Mucus Symptom?
  • With natural aging of the cervix the S crypts decline in number so that the quantity and the duration of the more-fertile mucus symptom is diminished. The S mucus may occur for one day or part of a day during the fertile phase and the woman may miss this symptom altogether.
  • The area in the vulva sensitive to the presence of mucus is also diminished making it more difficult to appreciate the mucus symptom.

Palpation of the cervix and pre-menopause:

The changes in the cervix itself are more objective and a more reliable fertility indicator in the pre-menopausal years.1

Temperature (BBT) and pre-menopause:

The thermal shift is the only positive sign of ovulation and of the definitively infertile phase of the cycle in pre-menopause. Therefore it is important to record temperature every day during the pre-menopause so that delayed ovulation and also the very early ovulation can be detected.

Special RULES apply in the pre-menopause situation in the symptothermal double-check method of natural family planning, and the woman must be taught these rules by a qualified NFP teacher.


  1. Flynn A, Brooks M; ‘The Manual of Natural Family Planning’; pages 74-80; 1996; ISBN 0 7225 3115 X