Rules of the Billings Method

Early Day Rules (rules for the pre-ovulatory phase)

  • Rule 1 - avoid intercourse on days of heavy bleeding during menstruation.
    [Ovulation might occur quite early in the cycle and menstrual bleeding could obscure mucus.]

  • Rule 2 - Alternate evenings are available for intercourse when these days have been recognized as infertile. (Basic Infertile Pattern  (BIP) )
    [Evenings are recommended for intercourse during the BIP as the woman needs to be in an upright position for a few hours for cervical mucus to make its presence felt at the vulva. Seminal fluid on the day following intercourse could obscure the mucus.
    It is important to allow time for the seminal fluid to disappear and to confirm the BIP is still present by avoiding intercourse on consecutive evenings. ]

  • Rule 3 - Avoid intercourse on any day of discharge or bleeding which interrupts the Basic Infertile Pattern. Allow 3 days of the Basic Infertile Pattern afterwards before intercourse is resumed on the fourth evening. Rule 2 continues.
    [Waiting will enable the woman to either recognise the Peak in which case the Peak Rule is used; or, when the change is an interruption of the BIP caused by raised oestrogens, the hormonal level will return to a basic low level and the woman will recognise a return of the BIP. She counts 3 days to enable the hormones to stabilise before resuming intercourse applying Early Day Rule 2.]

The Peak Rule:
  • From the beginning of the fourth day following the Peak until the end of the cycle, intercourse is available every day at any time.
    [Ovulation occurs on the Peak Day or days 1 or 2 following the Peak. The egg will live for 12-24 hours unless fertilised. The third day after the Peak is to allow for the life time of the egg. From the fourth day after the Peak the woman is infertile until the end of the cycle and intercourse is available at any time.]

To Achieve a Pregnancy

Apply the Early Day Rules.

Postpone intercourse until the slippery sensation occurs.
Intercourse should occur over the time of the slippery sensation and for one or two days after.

For the Postponement of Pregnancy

(a) The Early Day Rules and
(b) The Peak Rule are applied.

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