Overview of NFP Methods

Which Method is Best?

You may be tempted to ask yourself, "Which method is the best?" The answer is that no method is the "best" for everyone. Because each of the methods is vastly different and each woman's body and personality are vastly different, it is impossible to direct everyone into the same method. There are basic criteria that you can consider when choosing a method of NFP. The most important consideration is whether or not the woman has any underlying medical conditions. Some methods simply will not work if a woman has specific underlying medical conditions. The most common example of this is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Women with this condition often have excess amounts of the hormone estrogen in their bodies and limited amounts of progesterone in their bodies. If a woman with this condition uses the Sympto-Thermal or Marquette Methods, then there is a very high likelihood that the method they are using will not show any change in fertility. If the woman is using Sympto-Thermal then she will likely have continuous mucus and no Basal Body Temperature shift. This will make it appear as though she is always fertile (which she is not). If a woman with this condition uses the Marquette Method, then the urine sticks and mucus observations will likely show continuous fertility (which is impossible). Couples who find themselves in these situations tend to have a great deal of frustration, anxiety and eventually come to believe that NFP doesn't work. There are other examples like this that can be applied to other methods so it is important that if you have an underlying gynecological, thyroid, or autoimmune disorder, you consult with someone who can guide you through these challenges. Please contact Jenny Ingles for help with this.

The second point that must be considered is the reason you want to use NFP, even if that reason is going to change in the future.  If there are no underlying medical conditions and you and your spouse just want to plan your family, then any method they choose will likely work for you.  However, if the woman has serious medical conditions in which pregnancy could result in death, then choosing a method with a higher effectiveness rate at avoiding pregnancy may be more prudent. If tyou are facing infertility, then the only method that has been studied and is effective at treating infertility is the Creighton Model. If you are looking for the "easiest" method to use, then you willl need to ask yourself more questions  asked because what is "easy" for one woman to track is not "easy" for another. For example, some women find it very easy to take their temperature at roughly the same time each day while women with erratic work schedules may find that impossible.

The third point that must be considered is you and your husband's personalities and how strongly you can adhere to what is required to use the method.  For example, the Creighton Method requires an observational routine that some women simply will not participate in. The Sympto-Thermal Method requires that the woman wake up at roughly the same time every day to check her temperature and some women are not willing to do that on weekends or holidays. These are points that you and your spouse need to discern.

This overview is designed to help you answer some of these basic questions. The methods are in alphabetical order and are bullet-pointed for easy assessment. At the bottom of the page, there is a chart with the methods lined up side-by-side for quick comparison. If you need further assistance, contact Jenny Ingles to assess your specific situation.

But before jumping into method specifics, the following aspects are important to note:

  • All the presented below:
    • are 99% Effective in avoiding pregnancy (Theoretical Use)
    • Have an App
    • Can be learned Online (Virtually or Self-Paced)
  • Mucus is classified as standardized when it is defined in a manner where the viscosity, clarity and lubricative qualities can be quantified for diagnostic and therapeutic use

 

The Billings Ovulation Method

  • Tracks and Measures Cervical Mucus
  • 93% Actual Use Effectiveness Rate in avoiding pregnancy
  • 88% Actual Use Postpartum Effectiveness Rate in avoiding pregnancy
  • Cervical Mucus Observations not standardized
  • Can be used if the woman has PCOS
  • Can NOT be used:
    • If the woman has certain gynecological conditions
    • For infertility not associated with PCOS

The Creighton Model FertilityCare System

  • Tracks and Measures Cervical Mucus
  • 96.8% Actual Use Effectiveness Rate in avoiding pregnancy
  • 96.8% Actual Use Postpartum Effectiveness Rate in avoiding pregnancy when taught postpartum instructions by a qualified teacher
  • Cervical Mucus Observations are standardized
  • Spanish Instruction available in-person and virtual
  • Can be used regardless of medical conditions the couple may have
  • Employs NaPRO TECHNOLOGY for treating gynecological conditions and infertility
    • Up to 80% Effective in achieving pregnancy in infertility couples

The Marquette Method

  • Hormones of Estrogen and Luteinizing Hormone are detected in urine as primary bio-marker
  • Uses cervical mucus as secondary bio-marker
  • 90-94% Actual Use Effectiveness Rate for avoiding pregnancy
  • 90% Actual Use Postpartum Effectiveness Rate for avoiding pregnancy
  • Cervical Mucus Observations not standardized
  • Can NOT be used:
    • If the woman has PCOS, Estrogen Dominance or similar gynecological conditions
    • For treating infertility
  • Additional cost for monitor
  • Ongoing cost for monitor strips

The Sypto-Thermal Method

  • Basal Body Temp (BBT) and Cervical Mucus are Primary Biomarkers
  • Cervical Position as a Secondary Biomarker
  • 93% Actual Use Effectiveness Rate in avoiding pregnancy
  • 88% Actual Use Effectiveness Rate in avoiding pregnancy when BBT is not used
  • Postpartum Effectiveness Rate for avoiding pregnancy has not been studied – Marquette Integration recommended or Creighton Method recommended
  • Method for classifying mucus is not standardized
  • Spanish Instruction available in-person and virtual
  • Can NOT be used:
    • If the woman has irregular waking/sleeping patterns*
    • If the woman has PCOS, Estrogen Dominance or similar gynecological conditions*
    • For treating infertility
  • May experience longer periods of abstinence if the woman has long cycles and continuous mucus – Seek assistance from a trained teacher

The chart below is intended to help couples find an NFP method that fits their needs. If you have questions, then please contact Jenny Ingles for more information.

 

Billings Ovulation Method

Creighton Model FertilityCare

Marquette Method

Sympto-Thermal Method

Theoretical Effectiveness Rate

99.5%

99.5%

99%

>99%

Actual Use Effectiveness Rate

93%

96.8-98%

92-98%

88-93%

Postpartum Effectiveness Rate

88%

96.8%

90%

No Data

Can be used to Avoid Pregnancy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can be used to Achieve Pregnancy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of Biomarkers used

1

1

1-2

2-3

Can be used with irregular cycle lengths

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can be used with PCOS

Yes

Yes

No≠

No†

Can be used to treat Infertility

No**

Yes

No

No

Can be used to treat gynecological conditions

No

Yes

No

No

Can be used in Perimenopause

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can be used with Breastfeeding

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes‡

Can be used by women who have irregular waking times

Yes

Yes

Yes

No†

Can be learned Online

Self-paced or with Instructor (in person or Online)

With Instructor (in person or Online)

With Instructor (in person or Online)

Self-paced or with Instructors (in person or Online)

Average length of time before system mastery

6 Hoursʬ

7 Hoursʬ

6 Hoursʬ

6 Hoursʬ

Charting App available

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Used by NaProTECHNOLOGY

No

Yes

No

No

 

⁰ Effectiveness Rate of Avoiding Pregnancy

† Causes inaccuracies in Basal Body Temperature which reduces the Effectiveness Rate at avoiding pregnancy to 88%  

≠ PCOS is associated with Estrogen Dominance which causes inaccuracies in Estrogen Hormone strips

** Infertility associated with PCOS can be treated using this Method; however, other causes of infertility cannot

‡ This method can be used during Breastfeeding; however, no studies regarding the effectiveness at avoiding pregnancy have been conducted

ʬ Teaching hours are broken up over the course of multiple sessions.  Some couples require more teaching hours in order to gain system mastery