To evaluate the cervical-vaginal mucin, CA125, as a measure of fertility and possible method for natural family planning (NFP). Cervical-vaginal fluid (CVF) swab samples have been previously used to measure CA125, ‘Qvaginal CA125 levels’, as a function of time of cycle relative to Day 0, the first day of positive urine LH (luteinizing hormone). Data from 15 women, 20 cycles were used with an algorithm to establish the Fertile Start Day (FSD) for the cycles. The FSD was determined as either the second consecutive day of ≥20% Qvaginal CA125 rise or the first day of ≥400% rise. The interval, (FSD to Day +3), was used as the theoretical window of fertility, and conception rates assuming abstinence during this predicted period of fertility were computed using published day-specific probabilities of conception (PoC
). The mean FSD was Day −4.8 ± 0.5 (SE), 95% CI (−5.9, −3.7). The estimated pregnancy failure rate (PFR) with abstinence during [FSD, +3] was 10.7% ± 2.0% (SE), 95% CI (6.9%, 14.8%); with exclusion of one cycle with very low levels of Qvaginal CA125, the estimated PFR was 9.8% ± 1.9%, 95% CI (6.3%, 13.8%). Furthermore, the day-specific Qvaginal CA125 values were normalized to the respective peak Qvaginal CA125 for each cycle, and a mean normalized day-specific Qvaginal CA125 plot was generated. The first derivative of the mean normalized day-specific Qvaginal CA125 plot showed a significant increase between Day −4.5 and Day −3.5, which correlated with the mean FSD. A Qvaginal CA125-based method holds promise as a means to identify the start of the fertile window and may prove useful in NFP, especially when combined with available home hormonal fertility awareness kits.
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