Timing is of the essence: study shows infertile women how to get pregnant

6 December 2019


An Australian study published in “Human Fertility” demonstrated pregnancy rates of >50% in clinically infertile women, and 73% in non-infertile women, without the use of ART/IVF.

Marshell, Corkill, Whitty, Thomas, Turner (2019), Stratification of fertility potential according to cervical mucus symptoms: achieving pregnancy in fertile and infertile couples, examined patient data from 17 clinics across Australia for women seeking to achieve pregnancy. A total of 384 women were followed for up to two years after being instructed to monitor their cervical mucus and to time sexual intercourse according to the Billings Ovulation Method® in order to achieve pregnancy.

Major finding 1: pregnancy rates

The majority of the cohort had been clinically infertile for >12 months, with more than half of these achieving pregnancy, including 7 out of 20 women who were previously unsuccessful with ART/IVF. Over a quarter of the study group were >35 years old and these achieved a pregnancy rate of >50% as well. Overall, 92% of pregnancies were achieved within the first 12 months.

Major finding 2: importance of cervical mucus in achieving pregnancy

The nature of mucus observations of the woman during the fertile window, particularly the peak mucus symptom, allowed stratification of women into low or high pregnancy potential groups. A favourable mucus symptom corresponded to 76% pregnancy rate, and an unfavourable mucus symptom corresponded to a 44% pregnancy rate.


Up to 1 in 6 couples are affected by infertility. “This is basic women’s physiology,” says Dr Joseph Turner from the University of New England, “and every GP should be able to advise women on how to make their menstrual cycle work for them.” This method provides a rapid, reliable and cost-effective approach to a) achieving pregnancy and b) stratifying fertility potential so that informed decisions about delaying or bringing forward fertility investigations and management can be made to help couples achieve pregnancy sooner.

Billings LIFE, with its head office in Melbourne, has been teaching an effective, evidence-based fertility awareness method for achieving pregnancy, avoiding pregnancy, and monitoring women’s reproductive health for more than 50 years.

With thanks to Billings LIFE.


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