[written by Megan McNamara ~ Certified Fertility Awareness Educator ~ @FAMtasticFertility]
IMPORTANT NOTE: These are GUIDELINES / TIPS *ONLY* and this information is NOT A SUBSTITUTE for a certified Fertility Awareness instructor or published book about the Fertility Awareness Method.
Who Cares About Vaginal Sensation? It’s a primary fertility sign, so it’s important! It gives you more information about your cycle and fertility.
To determine vaginal sensation externally using toilet paper, wipe with toilet paper that’s folded flat into a rectangle from front to back – more specifically, downward from the clitoris, over the vaginal opening and “scooping in” a little bit, and continuing on to wipe over the perineum (the area of skin between the vagina and anus), stopping before the anus. You might also think of it as wiping from ‘top to bottom’. The point of this is that the toilet paper’s texture “grabs” cervical fluid (CF) at the vaginal opening and then by wiping it over the perineum, you can feel and determine the sensation. When learning, close your eyes and focus only on the sensation. Do not second-guess yourself about what you felt when you actually look at the toilet paper. Keep your eyes closed, decide on the sensation for sure, and then look. When in doubt or if you have not checked consistently throughout the day, assume you are at peak fertility with a lubricative sensation. Check during each bathroom visit before & after urinating or a bowel movement. Check before & after showering, bathing, swimming, and exercising. It may seem excessive at first but will quickly become second nature. Consistency is key and it only takes mere seconds out of your day.
*Associated with the absence of CF.
*Feels: halting, scratching, dry.
*The TP may be wet from pee or sweat soaked into it, but there’s no actual CF sitting on top of the TP to lend another sensation.
*Associate with non-peak CF. CF may or may not be present. Sweat can also cause this sensation. It’s possible to have a dry day with a smooth sensation, due to sweat. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and assume you’re fertile.
*Feels: smooth, gliding, lotion-like, very slightly grainy, like rubber cement, slightly tacky, but NOT outrightly slippery over the perineum.
*Associated with peak-type CF.
*Feels: super slippery, lubricative, slip-slide-y, wet, gushing, flowing, a quick slip when wiping, “Woah! Slippery!!”
Bonus Points! Feeling & Noticing During Your Day
EXERCISES TO HELP YOU LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SENSATIONS
wipe the plain, completely dry TP against the inside of your wrist with moderate pressure. It should feel dry, halting, maybe even a tad rough and scratchy.
Put a pea or dime-sized amount of hand lotion on the toilet paper and gently rub it in for a couple of seconds – wipe that across the same spot on your wrist with eyes closed. It should feel smooth, lotion-y, gliding, maybe very slightly grainy, but NOT outrightly slippery. Dry off your wrist completely for the next trial.
Take some melted coconut oil, lube, flaxseed gel or literal raw eggwhites from a chicken egg, and put a nickel-sized amount on the TP. DO NOT rub it in. Slide that over your wrist with eyes closed – it should feel SUPER slippery, way more than before – lubricative, the feeling of “oh wow, that really IS slippery!”
Remember & Last Tips!
- CF checks & sensation checks are pretty much a combined, 2-for-1 situation. Check for sensation while conducting your routine CF checks, every time!
- When in doubt or if you skipped ANY checks during your whole day, assume you’re fertile.
- It takes practice! No one can master this new skill overnight. Be patient and practice this for a few cycles until you’ve mastered it.
- CF and BBT (basal body temperature) are the top two primary fertility signs. Vaginal sensation is also a primary sign, because it is part of a cervical fluid observation routine. Sensation is the direct result of the presence or absence of CF. It’s really valuable to observe, especially if you’re newly off of hormonal birth control and awaiting the return of “proper” CF – feeling sensation in the meantime can be very telling while actual CF may be scant.
- Is your charting app missing a spot for noting sensation? No problem – sensations can be added as custom data in Kindara (Dry, Smooth, Lubricative) and/or in the journal section of Kindara or many other apps