Post # 1
My fiance and I need to register for a natural family planning course and I’m overwhelmed. What is the difference between the Creighton Model System, Billings Ovulation Method and Sympto-Thermal Method? There are like four choices and from the websites for each, I can not really differentiate them and which one would be best for us once we are married.
Also, I have reproductive health problems (uterine fibroids, endometriosis, irregular periods and extremely heavy bleeding) and currently take Lybrel (no periods) for health reasons. Will these courses be “friendly” to my issues? My sister told me that some of the NFP courses require you to chart your period, temperature or mucus.
Post # 3
I’m not completely sure about all the methods you listed, but I’ve heard great things about the Sympto-Thermal method as far as reliability. I also heard that it doesn’t matter if you’re irregular because it helps you to chart three different symptoms at a time. Hope that helps a little! 🙂
Post # 4
I have taken a course in the Sympto Thermal method. It requires that you chart your period, temperature, and mucus. It has been very easy to learn and after going through a couple of cycles (i’m on my fifth now) feel like I have a pretty good idea of how to use it.
The changes in your temperature and mucus over your cycle is due to the changes in the levels of hormones before you ovulate, around the time that you ovulate, and then after you ovulate. If you are still taking the birth control then I would think that it will mess with the levels of the hormones and would make it impossible for you to chart. Are you planning on continuing to take the birth control?
If you stop taking the birth control then I do not see any reason why you couldn’t use this method even though it may be a little off in the beginning until the hormones are out of your system.
I am not an expert and can’t really say anything about the other methods. I hope this helps.
Post # 5
Also I just noticed that you are in DC. I found my course through the Archdiocese, but they didn’t teach it. It was done by the Couple to Couple League. I highly reccommend them.
Post # 6
The basics of these NFP methods can be described like this:
Billings Method – The Billings method relies on users to monitor their cervical mucus and changes or senesations in the vulva to determine ovulation/fertility. The idea is that cervical mucus actually changes in color and consistency during ovulation. Also, the user learns how to distinguish sensations in her vulva during her cycle.
Creighton Method – Creighton users predict ovulation or fertility by observing and charting cervical mucus and bleeding patterns. The Creighton method is actually based off of the Billings method, so these two types of NFP are very similar.
Sympto-Thermal Method – This method uses observations of cervical mucus, body temperature fluxuations, and the cervical position to determine ovulation. The basic idea is that charting all three of these symptoms will help the user determine when she is ovulating. The Sympto-Thermal method is becoming more popular with mainstream America because it is also a very effective tool in achieving pregnancy. With all the methods, after identifying ovulation, the user should avoid intercourse during the “fertile window” to avoid pregnancy.
I chose to go with the Sympto-Thermal method because I think it more reliable than Billings or Creighton. Plus, there is a lot of information out there right now about suing the method (http://www.fertilityfriend.com and the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility are very helpful resources). Your best bet to find which method is right for you is to ask your church, friends, and family what methods they recommend and why. Good luck!
Post # 7
For what it’s worth, I was trained on Creighton. But since I like to have the most info as possible, I basically use STM. Creighton does not use temp taking. I believe Creighton’s charting of mucus is more conservative than STM, but don’t quote me. Maybe someone else can chime in.
And honestly, I don’t think you’ll find a NFP method that won’t require you to chart at least some of these things you mentioned, simply because those are the tools you need to use to determine your fertile periods. Good lcuk.
Post # 8
First off, your health comes first…& the Church is very much in support of you being healthy. If you have a medical health reason for taking BC, please continue to take it, but ask your doctor if there are any other methods available to treat your condition. I’m no doctor & I’m not familiar with the issues you’ve mentioned (maybe DG could chime in?), but sometimes there are other methods of treating your condition than BC…&, as long as your also maintaining your health, you’d then be able to use the tools that NFP requires for charting your fertility cycle.
I’ve been trained in Billings Ovulation & right now (an abstaining bride to be) I’m using it to become more familiar with my fertility signs. I think I may use STM once we get serious about getting pregnant, as many of my friends used it with successful results. They’re all pretty similar, from what I’ve read & learned from friends. Good Luck!
Post # 9
With your health issues, I would go with the Creighton model. Creighton is not just NFP. It is the Creighton Fertility Care System. Its also nicer because its not one set of classes and that’s it. You get a private instructor who you can meet with whenever you want for up to a year. You can also be referred over to a Creighton medical advisor. After you’ve charted a number of your periods, you can submit your chart for a consultation or bring it along if you have a Creighton/Napro technology physician in your area.
Creighton is actually pretty much a medical version of the Billings Method. It uses only cervical mucus observations.
Before I moved, I went to a Creighton physician in my area because I wanted to avoid doctors automatically wanting to put me on the birth control pill to deal with just about every feminine reproductive issue there is. I did not want to be on the pill. So basically Creighton goes beyond NFP because it really looks for alternative treatments to feminine issues.
I have not heard of Creighton being sued or being less reliable.
With all that said, you may want to discuss it first with your fiance. My own fiance’ felt like I was primarily the one who made the decision on what method to use and felt a bit out of the loop. He’s not entirely sure it is the best method. So I’d say the best advice is to make a decision and go with it. They have the same basic principles because they’re all based on identifying your fertility signs. So long as its a method of looking for signs and not a calendar method, I’d say you’re good.
Post # 10
@ twoangels – The “suing” in my post is a typo. I meant to write “using.” 🙂