Frequently Asked Questions about the Creighton Model FertilityCare System
There’s no such thing as learning too early. The sooner you start, the more confident you will be come wedding day. When possible, we encourage couples to start at least three months before their wedding date.
An ideal time to attend an Introductory Session is during the last month of pregnancy. This way you can get started soon after baby is born. It is typically easier for a couple to attend a class while pregnant than while caring for a newborn. By attending an Intro Session in the last month of pregnancy, the information will still be fresh in your minds after your child is born and you can start charting.
Take the next Introductory Session that fits into your schedule. If you are exclusively breastfeeding (i.e. your baby has not had any formula supplementation, even in the hospital), then the first 56 days postpartum can be considered infertile. However, we encourage women to start charting as soon as lochia (postpartum bleeding) subsides or decreases to a light amount of bleeding. This is typically about 3-4 weeks after birth. By charting soon after birth, you will gain confidence in observing and charting before your fertility returns. Some women will ovulate before their first menstrual period, while others won’t ovulate until after their first period. Either way, the Creighton Model will allow you to anticipate the return of your fertility during the unpredictable postpartum time.
Of course! There’s no such thing as learning too early! You can learn now to have a greater knowledge of your body and to monitor your reproductive health. If you become engaged later, we can meet again with your fiance to get him involved and to discuss how the Creighton Model can be used for family planning purposes.
How can Creighton be used?
Please see our Women’s Health page for a detailed explanation.
The Creighton Model has a proven method effectiveness rate of 99.5% with a typical use effectiveness rate of 96.8%. In other words, if we teach you perfectly and you learn and use it perfectly, the method itself is 99.5% effective. For more information on the effectiveness study, check out this entry that was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Reproductive Medicine in 1998.
Couples of normal fertility have a 76% chance of achieving pregnancy in the first cycle of using fertile days for intercourse. This number increases to 90% by the third cycle, and 98% in the sixth cycle.
For couples struggling with infertility/subfertility, up to 40% will achieve a pregnancy using the Creighton Model and fertility-focused intercourse and up to 80% will achieve a pregnancy using the Creighton Model and NaProTechnology medical treatment. It is important to recognize that these success rates vary depending on the underlying cause of infertility, and that the success rates after medical treatment are the rates of success within 18 months of treatment. The Creighton Model does not offer a “quick fix.” It will require your time, energy, and patience but hopefully you will see it as an important investment in your future and long-term health. For more information on the success rates of NaProTechnology based on the underlying issue, including a comparison to IVF success rates, visit the national home page of NaProTechnology.
If we are using the Creighton Model FertilityCare System to avoid pregnancy, how many days will we be required to abstain from intercourse each cycle?
This varies from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle. However, for a woman in regular cycles, a typical number of days of abstinence is 6 to 9 days around the time of ovulation, in addition to the heavy or moderate days of menstrual bleeding. This time of abstinence can be difficult, but it can also be a rewarding challenge. We encourage couples to have regular discussions about how they are using this time of abstinence to express love and connect in other ways, through spiritual, intellectual, emotional, creative, and non-arousing physical intimacy.
Follow ups: What to expect
Babies are more than welcome! Please feel free to feed your baby as necessary during sessions. However, please find childcare for toddlers and older children. Our offices are not necessarily “kid-friendly” and children may be distract from your ability to quickly learn the system. If you are having trouble finding childcare, you should consider coming alone and leaving your husband to care for the children, or you can discuss with your practitioner the possibility of conducting follow-up sessions via webcam during your child’s naptime or after bedtime.
If you are engaged or married, it is strongly encouraged that you attend the Introductory Session as a couple. Ideally you can attend follow-up sessions as a couple as well, but we understand that this is not always possible with schedules, childcare, etc. As they say, “two heads are better than one” and couples that can attend together often learn the method and gain confidence in its use more quickly than women that attend alone.
If you are dating, it is up to you if you would like to attend sessions as a couple. Discussing reproductive health, fertility, and menstrual cycles brings a level of intimacy to the relationship that you may decide is better reserved for engagement/marriage. However, you are always welcome to bring your boyfriend or another support person to sessions if you wish.
Introductory Sessions typically last 90 minutes. Follow-up sessions typically last about 60-90 minutes. The first follow-up session is typically longer than subsequent follow-ups. After the fourth follow-up, sessions may last only 30-45 minutes.
Natural Family Planning
The Creighton Model FertilityCare System does not condone the use of condoms during the time of fertility as a means to avoid pregnancy. Condoms and other barrier methods can interfere with the ability to make accurate observations of the biomarkers of fertility. Condoms and other barrier methods are also not especially effective means of avoiding pregnancy, particularly if they are only used during the known time of fertility. While the time of abstinence can be difficult for couples that are using the Creighton Model to avoid pregnancy, we hope that you will find it to be a rewarding challenge. The time of abstinence is an opportunity for couples to speak other “love languages” and express intimacy in spiritual, intellectual, emotional, creative, and non-arousing physical ways. The time of abstinence can also build excitement and renew romance for couples. If you or your spouse are finding this time to be too difficult, please talk with your Practitioner who can offer you some practical suggestions.
The Creighton Model is an ovulation method or a “mucus only” method. It involves the standardized tracking of the primary biomarkers of fertility, namely cervical mucus. It does not involve taking one’s temperature, doing internal examinations of the cervix, or using costly hormone monitors. The biomarkers are observed only during one’s regular bathroom visits – before and after using the toilet or bathing. Your FertilityCare Practitioner will instruct you in exactly how to observe, describe, and chart the biomarkers using a standardized and detailed recording system. You will be able to interpret the fertility of any given day based on your observations, regardless of cycle regularity. This is a prospective method – there is no predicting future fertility based on past cycles. You will also be able to monitor your own reproductive health and, if necessary, share this information with a doctor who is trained in this method and can use your chart as a helpful diagnostic and treatment tool for infertility or other menstrual health issues (PMS, unusual bleeding, painful periods, etc.).
NaProTechnology stands for Natural Procreative Technology. It is a new women’s health science that monitors and maintains a woman’s reproductive and gynecological health. It was developed using the Creighton Model FertiliyCare System and provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system. A NaProTechnology medical consultant will never do any tests or treatments that suppress, override, or “jump over” the reproductive system. NaProTechnology finds and, when possible, fixes the underlying causes of infertility or other menstrual health concerns. It is restorative medicine.
The FertilityCare Center of South Central Wisconsin has two medical consultants trained in medical NaProTechnology. Dr. Mike Kloess is a family practice doctor in Madison, WI and Dr. Ann Lucas is a family practice doctor with OB in Darlington, WI. Because neither are trained in surgical NaProTechnology, they will refer to OB-Gyn NaPro surgeons located out of state if surgical treatment is deemed necessary.
You should continue to see your own doctor as long as you are comfortable with him/her. Your use of the Creighton Model System will empower you to be a more active patient in your doctor’s office and give you valuable information to share with him/her. Should you have a reason to seek NaProTechnology treatment (for infertility or other menstrual health concerns), you may consult with one of our NaProTechnology medical professionals about those specific issues while still working with your own doctor for your primary care. Your FertilityCare Practitioner can explain this further and make recommendations based on your situation and location. Of course if it works with your current health insurance situation and you would like to switch to Dr. Kloess or Dr. Lucas as your primary care provider, you are more than welcome! If you are looking for a primary care doctor in your insurance network that is open to and supportive of your use of the Creighton Model, please ask your FertilityCare Practitioner if they have any recommendations.