Guest post by Brittany Hess
Pills, the shot, implants, IUDs. I’m sure most women of child-bearing age have heard of or used at least one of these methods of birth control.
Some of you may be happy with how your method affected your body and prevented pregnancy, others might not. If you are someone who prefers a method that does not alter your hormones, I have some great news for you!
The Creighton Model is a natural family planning option.
Women’s menstrual and fertility cycles have been shrouded in mystery since the beginning of time. Most women still do not know about the workings of their cycles of fertility and infertility. Every woman has the right to know how her cycles function in order to understand the way her body works. (quoted from the Creighton website)
This method of birth control involves no interruptions to your body, just you making observations on your body’s natural biomarkers to determine your overall fertility. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of this method from my own experience.
1. No disruption of hormones
This is a big one for me. Any birth control method I have used in the past has made me feel sick, depressed, and not at all like myself. There are also a lot of health risks to using some birth controls. While they may not be very prevalent, they are there.
In general there is the risk of blood clots and some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer (although this one has been debated). With Intrauterine devices (IUDs), you have the risk of uterine perforation. Creighton has no side effects. YAY!!
NaProTechnology is a form of women’s health science that specializes in reproductive health and infertility. They use more natural ways to aid in identifying and correcting reproductive diseases and disorders.
3. Empowerment and Knowledge
Natural Family Planning empowers you as a woman and gives you knowledge of your body and your fertility. You will know when you ovulate, and unless you have other infertility issues (which your fertility care practitioner can help you identify), you will be able to make an informed decision month to month about achieving or preventing a pregnancy.
4. Improved Relationships.
The system is designed for couples and helps them grow closer using more than physical intimacy. It is encouraged that your significant other accompanies you to your meetings with your fertility care practitioner and becomes familiar with your chart and charting habits so that you together will know and understand your fertility.
With this knowledge you together will be able to decide how to use this system to achieve or prevent pregnancy. It’s all about teamwork!
You are able to enjoy intimacy in its full capacity. No withdrawal or barrier methods necessary.
It is a reliable method to avoid pregnancy. Per their website, the Creighton Model System is 99.5% effective with perfect use and 96.8% with typical use. Those numbers are pretty in line with birth control pills.
7. Simplicity of use.
This method is so easy to learn. It is a learning process but within a month or two of use I felt very confident. (Once I realized, “hey I didn’t get pregnant,” I really became comfortable, to be completely honest!)
Your family care practitioner will be there for you, answer your questions, assure you, and guide you through this. These Facebook groups were helpful to me:
FertilityCare Creighton and NaProTechnology User Support Group
You can go through an office and meet there with an instructor, or you can do meetings through the internet. (I use the latter and meet with my FCP through Skype.)
10. Aligns with certain religious beliefs.
This is a Catholic-based system, but you do not have to be Catholic or religious to use it.
This may not be a big one for some but there is an upfront cost and subsequent follow ups will have a “co-payment” of sorts. However, the longer you use the method, the less frequent the follow-ups will be.
2. Lack of Spontaneity.
If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, you are not able to become intimate whenever you want and are limited to the days and times where intimacy is allowed to continue avoiding pregnancy. Also, the first month you will need to abstain.
If you are someone that does well with routines and consistency, you will have no problems. If you are someone that has issues with these things, you may run into some issues with complacency or just forgetting to check and chart as you should.
4. Current OBGYN.
Most physicians do not readily accept natural family planning as a reliable method of birth control. I switched to a NaPro doctor who examines my chart with me at appointments and supports my decision to use this method.
I use the Creighton Model System myself and am using it for avoiding pregnancy at this time. It works for me and my family! I think women who want to better understand their bodies and fertility would benefit from this method.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and am not attempting to give medical advice. For more information on the Creighton Model System and NaPro physicians, please go here.
What method of family planning do you use?
Hi I’m Brittany! I am a wife to my hardworking best friend Jeremy and a stay at home mom to one precious little girl and 2 wonderful fur babies. I enjoy reading, discovering new things, and spending time with my family & friends. I do things a little differently and enjoy trying to have a more natural simple life. I love God and Jesus and believe through them I am saved, forgiven and loved beyond measure.
So, what if you have been charting for 2 years with Creighton and trying to get pregnant, been seeing a napro doctor for nearly 2 years as well? This doesn’t include the year before this past 2 years that I have tried on my own with ovulation kits that went off as positive. Been put through laproscopic 4 months ago to remove mild endo on the left side (don’t even know if I believe the doctor that it can prevent pregnancy, as I feel he just tries to explain the unexplained constantly). I ovulate and charts look fine, and don’t even get me started with how many medicated cycles I’ve had to ensure ovulation and progesterone occur, and most of the time they do. Hubs sperm count is normal, and there is still no freakin’ pregnancy, not even a hint of a line on a pregnancy test. We started trying to conceive when I was 33 years old (not over 35), now I’m 36 and in a state of anxiety and depression wondering if I will EVER be a mother. These stupid stick on charts have done ZILCH for me. You women that pop out babies left, right, center have no clue how lucky you really are.
This is great! I love that it sounds research-based and tested for reliability.
I’m using the Fertility Awareness Method based on the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It, too, uses charting and awareness of your body’s natural rhythms. It has pretty much the same pros and cons, except that there is the only cost of buying the book. It’s also fairly self-taught if you can’t find a trainer or class in your area, but it is extremely easy to follow and there are four simple, but explained rules that you must follow in order to not get pregnant. It doesn’t sound as supported by doctors or practitioners as the Creighton method, either.
Here’s the website, if you want to check it out!
I did this for a long time, too! (Then once we started having babies, they just kept coming. But it was successful for both prevention and conception.)
Awesome! So good to hear of people using it successfully. NFP is such a great method. 🙂
While I don’t use this model I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it’s out there!
I started taking the pill at age 17/18 . I switched once due to spotting. Then my sister began having fertility issues and dr’s linked it to prolonged use of the pill. At around age 22 I stopped taking the pill (my mom freaked out!) and it took over a year for my cycle to become regular. At age 25 I had an IUD inserted (and my mom freaked out) and this past spring I began tracking my cycle for fertility information using the MyDays app. Today (3 years later) I had my IUD removed and have begun tracking body temperature and cervical fluid with the FertilityFriend app. I LOVE these apps because after a few months it can determine how long your cycle is, when you’re ovulating (obviously approximately bc everyone is different) and high fertility days. I am keeping my fingers crossed that my cycle stays normal since having my IUD removed. I honestly wish someone had explained my cycle and fertility charting to me years ago!!! I would have been able to avoid hormone based birth control all together!
Ally | A Home Called Shalom
I love Creighton. Love, love, love it.
The cost is far less than getting my issues with infertility dealt with by guessing what could be wrong, and the support is so important for us.