There is more than one method?

``...just because you have tried one natural method does not mean you have tried them all! And perhaps a different method would work better with your lifestyle and your body! After all, we are all unique so we shouldn’t expect that a method that works great for someone else will automatically work for me too.``

So maybe you are sitting there thinking, “this sounds great but can it really work for me?’

And our answer is yes! It doesn’t matter what you have been through in the past; hormonal contraception, painful menstruations, abnormal cycles, premenopausal, infertility, hyperfertility, long cycles, continuous mucus. Maybe you even tried a natural method before and it didn’t work for you. Some methods work great for some people and other methods work better for others! I just want you to know that just because you have tried one natural method does not mean you have tried them all! Perhaps a different method would work better with your lifestyle and your body! After all, we are all unique so we shouldn’t expect that a method that works great for someone else will automatically work for me too.

Our Story

Our NFP journey began with the sympto thermal method. We struggled with the method initially because we never felt confident with what was going on with our fertility. Although we successfully used it to avoid a pregnancy for a year and a half, after we began having kids things changed. We no longer felt confident identifying our fertile window.

When we began using the Creighton Model Method we understood why we were confused by sympto thermal. Sympto thermal uses three signs of fertility mucus observations throughout the day and taking your temperature. [The third symptom, is checking your cervix, but I’ve heard differing opinions on how helpful this is after childbirth. I’ve heard doctors say it is no longer accurate and clients who say this was their most obvious sign of fertility.] Every morning, at the same time, you take your basal body temperature (resting oral temperature). You make note if you see mucus throughout the day. The trouble for some people is that they do not wake up at the same time everyday, or they don’t get three consecutive hours of sleep before waking up, and some women do not notice a strong thermal shift (this was me). If you have mucus every day it can be difficult to narrow down this fertile window (also me). I have plenty of friends who have no problem with sympto thermal (and I do not at all blame the method) but it didn’t work for my body. And that, is okay!

So what is the difference from one method to the next?

Creighton is a mucus only method. You observe mucus throughout the day when you are already going to the bathroom. I often get asked isn’t Creighton less reliable because you are only using mucus observations? The answer is no. Sympto Thermal and Creighton are actually very close in their effectiveness to avoid a pregnancy. (Creighton’s use effectiveness is 96.8% effective and Sympto Thermal’s is between 92.5-99% effective.) Creighton Method is just as reliable because the mucus observations are so well defined that when someone says tacky we know exactly what that means. It is due to this high degree of standardization that NaPro Technology, a new reproductive science that works cooperatively with a woman’s reproductive and gynecological cycle, was born out of the Creighton Model.

Another difference between these two methods is that some methods are post ovulatory, they let you know when ovulation has passed. Other methods are prospective methods we determine each day’s fertility as it happens. Prospective methods can be easier to use when you go a long time in between cycles (which can happen while breastfeeding, in long cycles, or during premenopause). Creighton Model is prospective, so that was another reason I felt more confident in my observations while breastfeeding.

Keep in mind that even though you may have tried NFP before and it ‘didn’t work for you’ switching methods could possibly be the solution you are hoping for! 

I want to reiterate Creighton Model is what has worked best for my body through these crazy years of breastfeeding and returning to cycles. But Creighton is not always the best fit for everyone! Some people do not want all the medical information, and degree of detail, that Creighton provides. Others do not like meeting one-on-one (one-on-two) with a Creighton practitioner they would rather be in a group class. That is why we have different methods! But we need to remember we can still come together and support each other regardless of the method. Natural methods are, unfortunately, still only a small piece of the pie in terms of what couples use to avoid/achieve pregnancy. So let’s cast off method favoritism and be thankful that we can walk together through the joys and sorrows of using NFP.

For information on other methods, or to find a teacher near you, check out the sites below.

Couple to Couple League

Marquette Method

Billings Ovulation Method

Femm

Creighton Model -also see our Divine Mercy FertilityCare page

And not sure which one might fit you best? Click on over to iusenfp.com and take their test to help you find what method could be best for you!

What is your story? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below or better yet email me!

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1 Comment
  • Thank you for creating this website! When we are already so counter-cultural there is no need to further alienate ourselves by being picky about which nfp-users we associate with, and learning more about all the different methods can only help us along our journey.

    We started with Family of Americas (mucus-only) and gradually made our way to sympto-thermal (STM). We really like the checks and balances of using multiple indicators, although we have also experienced the frustration that can come in the postpartum period. Overall we are happy with STM.

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