(Closed) NFP: Choosing a method

posted 10 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

First of all, yay for a NFP bee!  I’m about to start my research into this as well… I think it may depend on also your cycle, if it’s pretty on schedule or all over the place.  I want to say I think Sympto-Thermal is one of the most accurate?  Not sure yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

There’s a few people on here using NFP and who are really knowledgeable about it.  Hope they answer soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 4
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Ditto on the hoping more experienced ‘bees answer.  I REALLY want to do NFP – so over other forms of contraception & really motivated to follow Church teachings on this…but FH needs some convincing.  A few church friends have recommended the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility for more info (mostly so I can show FH it’s not JUST a religious thing), but it might help you choose.  I’ve seen a couple of ‘bees recommend it.

Good luck!  I’ll be following this thread to get tips too!  Thanks for posting!

Post # 5
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Yay for more NFP users!  My husband and I started a few months ago, and it was definitely the best choice for us.  ๐Ÿ™‚

The method I used was the Sympto-Thermal method.  The basic theory behind the method is that you are monitoring your body for signs of ovulation (tempature changes, changes in consistency of cervical mucus, etc…).  After doing it for a little while, I think a lot of people learn their body-specific signs of ovulation, too (for example, I always got really hungry and ate more during my fertile period, which I think is kinda specific to my body).  The great thing about the Sympto-Thermal method is that it is completely individualized.  Your cycle might be longer or shorter than the average, maybe you ovulate early or late one month, but none of that matters because you’re going off of your body’s specific signs instead of following a calendar made for the “average” person.  

There are several good ways to learn this method.  Like ms. pascua said, the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a really great resource.  It has pictures, sample charts, etc… and is very easy to understand.  If your church/community offers it, you might also look into taking a course.  My church doesn’t offer any NFP courses so this wasn’t an option for us.  My other suggestion is the website http://www.fertilityfriend.com.  This is a free, online charting system with tutorials, a Q&A section, and other great resources.  I thought fertilityfriend was much easier to use and to see ovulation on than traditional paper charting.

My other suggestion is to use a barrier method during sex for the first few months of using NFP or start charting 3-4 months before starting sex.  This is so you can get used to the method and get really comfortable about knowing when to abstain/when to use condoms for your fertile periods.  Especially if you are waiting to have sex until after the wedding, I think it’s important to start charting months before the wedding.  Right before the wedding and right after are kinda stressful times; your body might be out of whack for a little while, and you could misread/misunderstand the ovulation signs during those months if you are inexperienced in charting.

Good luck!  NFP has been awesome for my husband and me; I hope all of you bees out there trying it for the first time have just as positive of an experience!

Post # 7
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Good for you!  It sounds like you’re starting to prepare early, which will definitely count in how successful you are.  Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I had my first class this week for Sympto-Thermal. My feeling was that if I do the class now, then it is one less thing I have to panic about right before the wedding.

Post # 9
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@kate: Oooh!  Please tell us how it went.  I’m kinda nervous about going to a class about this…I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

Trying to convince FH to go to next month’s informational meeting…*hope*

Post # 10
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

where do you find out about classes for these things??

Post # 11
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Both myself and my Fiance both enjoyed it. We attended a class taught by the Couple to Couple League, but it was advertised through our Archdiocese’s website. We were one of four couples there so it really seemed more personal. I’ve been reading “Taking Control of Your Fertility” so I was sort or familiar with what they were talking about, but it was nice to have them walk us through the process. The materials they have are pretty self explanitory so I guess you don’t have to attend a class, but it is nice to be there in person so you can ask when you have questions and they can offer their personal experience to explain things.

Post # 12
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@ alisha: My church offers an info night about NFP about every quarter/season…the teacers are apparently parishioners who are certified.  I think you may also find certified teachers/teaching couples at this site: http://www.ccli.org/ . You can probably ask your OB/GYN, if your OB supports/understands NFP.  Good Luck!

Post # 13
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

All my friends praise Creighton over Sympto Thermo, though I have a few friends who are very happy with Sympto Thermo.  I’m starting my into class for Creighton next Monday.  It is a bit more expensive to learn, but it seems it starts with one long class.  Then you get a private instructor who goes over your chart with you bi-weekly for a month or two for a more personal indepth approach.  That is then reduced for a period of time till eventually the person is available to you on-call for up to a year after you began classes.  However, each meeting costs something, though I was told if we can’t afford it, they won’t refuse to train us.

There are also Creighton doctors who are trained in Napro-Technology that can look at your chart to help you with more problematic feminine issues.  Its more of total fertility care.  Granted, Creighton doctors aren’t everywhere, but the Institute tries to provide they best they can to help people with their individual cases. 

Creighton is pretty much a scientificized Billings method.  Its mostly based on mucus observations, but rather than trying to figure out if its “sticky”, “eggwhite/stretchy” or “dry”, you’re actually measuring how far the mucus stretches (in my understanding).  I haven’t taken the class yet though.

Symto Thermo is taught in about 4 or 5 classes and that’s about it.  It relys on mucus and basal body tempatures.  I self taught myself it a number of years ago from a book.  I understood the mucus part fairly well and now find it pretty noticiable even without charting.  But my tempature always seemed all over the place.  I think my thermeter was broken.  However, my understanding is that you need a consistant night sleep to get down to your basal body temperature.  You can’t have a fluxuating sleep schedule and you have to take your temperature at the same time every morning for it to be accurate.  I think there’s also a part with checking your cervix, but I was never comfortable with that, nor do I think I’d have the ability to really tell if its moved or changed.

I’m going with Creighton because I already know the basics of charting from a book, but wanted something more in depth.  Plus I know some of my friends had a lot of questions about charting after they were married and became sexually active.  Things also seem to get screwy for some when your nursing, though my mom said the nursing worked all by itself for her.  She never ovulated while nursing, never her period returning during it.  Other friends I have have said that it has returned and then is the most irregular cycle there is while they’re nursing. 

Post # 14
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I am another sympto-thermal method (STM) proponent. I have been using it successfully for real for a year now. I have discussed it perhaps ad nauseum around here ๐Ÿ™‚ but a lot of my old posts deal with it. This post has some longest-winded bits from me about how it works: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/alsonatural-family-planning-does-it-work

This study (from real scientists) also found that STM in particular was as effective as the pill when used properly: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221065200.htm

In choosing between Creighton, Billings, and STM, I liked that STM had the cross-check of the temperature sign, which I look at as harder to mess up. The mucus readings can seem so subjective at the beginning that having a thermometer give me some hard data really went a long way toward convincing me I was doing it right. The internal cervix readings that have been  mentioned before are now considered non-essential (and I don’t do them—they never made sense to me). 

As for the ease of taking the temperature sign, through my own negligence I have actually found that I do not have to be all that consistent with my sleep schedule and wake-up times for the temperature sign still to work (but I would recommend trying to do it right at the beginning). Plus nowadays I only take my temperature for about ten days in the middle of my cycle (but again, at the beginning you should try to do it every day, to get the hang of it). Actually I have found that I can sense when my temperature has risen before I even use the thermometer because I wake up all hot and convinced there are too many blankets on the bed!

I took a class that I found through the Couple to Couple League (http://www.ccli.org) and also have Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I actually liked the book from my CCLI class better because I thought the instructions and rules were clearer, but it does include chapters on Catholic theology, which can turn people off. The TCOYF book approaches nfp from a purely secular viewpoint. Actually I have read that most people who use nfp aren’t Catholic, they’re environmentalists or people who can’t otherwise tolerate hormones. You don’t have to think birth control is immoral in order to use and love nfp. It’s just another method out there and I’m so excited more people are receptive to it. Feel free to pm me with any questions too :).

Post # 15
Member
11 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I am using STM and the Marquette Method. 

Does anyone use the Marquette Method here on the bee boards?

Post # 16
Member
219 posts
Helper bee

@Newsgirl7:  

 

I am planning on it at this point, but haven’t started yet.  What do you mean you are using them both?  Are you happy with Marquette?  

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