Sympto-Thermal Method of NFP - Amber Feldpausch
I have been asked many times why I teach NFP, what brought Neil and I to this ministry, and specifically why do we teach the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM). For Neil, it was simple, his brother and sister-in-law already taught it and was well practiced and supported among his family. For myself, it has been an 18-year journey that affirms this calling from God.
I have experienced numerous set-backs with my cycle from the very first time I got it as a young teen. This eventually led to health and reproductive issues. Throughout the past 18 years I have done my fair share of research from doctors, speakers, blogs and studies. I knew, 18 years ago, that the pill wasn't an option. Practicing the Sympto-Thermal Method made it clear that I was not ovulating. This led me through numerous doctors, tests and surgeries which eventually corrected my cycle.
Though I began my NFP journey practicing the Sympto-Thermal Method, I did switch to the Creighton Model in order to receive reproductive care through the Pope Paul VI Institute.
Neil and I have taught the Sympto-Thermal Method through the Couple to Couple League (CCL) to over 250 couples in the past 12 years. I find this method to be the easiest to understand among "first-time" NFP couples and is less expensive than other methods. I also love teaching couple-to-couple. I think having Neil's experience part of our class is key to the many men we've taught. Practicing NFP is an important decision that needs to be discussed and chosen by both the man and the woman. Lastly, our class includes the important teachings of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. JPII’s explanation of the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding our bodies and intimacy brings the practice of NFP full circle.
Through my years of reviewing charts and speaking to women about their concerns related to both fertility and infertility I am increasingly convinced that charting is essential to reproductive health. So whether a woman uses NFP to postpone pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, or neither, the awareness of her reproductive system can be life changing.
Marquette Method of NFP - Ashley Klein
I am Ashley Klein, RN, BSN, and parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pewamo. As a Natural Family Planning, Marquette Method Instructor, I bring my services to local parishes, as well as across the United States and Internationally. My husband, Justin, and I were married in May 2017. In October 2017, I was found to have a 13cm teratoma mass attached to my ovary that was causing torsion and blood supply loss to my fertility organs. An emergency surgery was performed, and the mass was removed along with 2/3 of my ovary. Every physician told us I would need to be on birth control for life to prevent future teratoma mass development or to become pregnant which would prevent ovulation. We welcomed our first child, Louis, into the world a year later. Many meetings with Father Darrell Kempf and prayer have led us to the decision to not use birth control, and to use faith and hope that another teratoma will not arise, causing infertility. We know that using a successful method of NFP will allow us to track my cycles and determine when I am most fertile throughout my reproductive years, which led us to the Marquette Method.
We started the Marquette Method after having Louis when I was postpartum breastfeeding, and were amazed by the ease of use and confidence it brought our family. Frequent night nursing does not allow for accurate basal body temperature testing, and mucous only matches underlying fertility about ⅓ of the time when breastfeeding. With the Marquette Method, a morning urine test is used in conjunction with the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. It is so easy, so effortless, so reassuring! After falling in love with the Marquette Method, I enrolled in Marquette University to become an instructor. The program is 18 months long, but I was so passionate about the material that I was able to finish sooner. I have been actively teaching clients since 2019. Due to the personal experience with special circumstances that arise in women’s cycles, and the education from Marquette University, I have been able to flourish as an instructor. Justin and I have used the Marquette Method to prevent pregnancy, and to conceive our second child, Adelina, who was born July 2020.
Couples use the Clearblue fertility monitor to track the woman’s urinary hormone levels, estrogen and luteinizing hormone, throughout her cycle. The monitor readings are applied to the Marquette Method algorithm, which then identifies which days are fertile and infertile. The monitor does an excellent job of measuring the reproductive hormones, and because of this, the monitor-only approach is able to identify a precise fertile window. Knowing that the monitor is providing accurate information helps couples feel confident in the identification of their fertile window.
My goal is to provide married and engaged couples with the best method to achieve or prevent pregnancy, for their situation. The Marquette Method is 98.4% effective in preventing pregnancy, when used correctly by the clients. There are 3 protocols; postpartum breastfeeding, breastfeeding with cycle return, and regular cycle. The Marquette Method has special circumstance instructions for clients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, irregular cycles, hormonal imbalances, fertility difficulties, medical considerations such as chemotherapy and thyroid disease, and perimenopause.
As a practicing RN for 6 years at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan and as a Clinical Instructor for nursing students at LCC, I advocate for people of all different realms. I am trained in the Marquette Method, which is backed by evidence based, peer-reviewed research.
Typical vital signs observed by a primary care physician include blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. Fertility is the fifth vital sign, and should be monitored by a healthcare professional to provide optimal health for the rest of your life. Wherever you are at in your fertility journey, if you would like to have the health of your cycles reviewed and start an easy, effective method of NFP, taught by doctors and nurses, contact Ashley Klein via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.mmnfp.com/ashleyklein!
Creighton Method of NFP - Laura Abid
I am honored to be able to share with you about natural family planning- in particular, the Creighton method. It’s my favorite! I feel very passionately about it on a couple of different levels. As a busy mother of six, I need a method that is simple and effective. As a nurse, I want something that is scientifically based and can help the couples I am caring for be able to understand their bodies. This method not only meet my needs, but it exceeds my expectations on a regular basis!
What makes this method stand out from the rest? Number one is that it is highly recommended that the COUPLE uses the method. This means that the woman observes her fertility signs throughout the day and the husband documents her findings at the end of the day. This allows the couple to prayerfully consider, TOGETHER, how God is calling them to enjoy the gift of fertility in their marriage.
Another amazing quality of the Creighton Method is that it is scientifically based, and the documentation is standardized. It was developed by an OB/GYN named Dr. Thomas Hilgers. His initial goal was to standardize the Billings Method to make it acceptable in the medical community. Upon studying these new, standardized charts, he found that he was able to diagnose and treat certain health issues that were appearing in the charting such as low progesterone, risk for miscarriage, PCOS, endometriosis, PMS, etc. This method is taught on a one on one basis with an instructor that has had extensive training. This instructor- referred to as a Fertility Care Practitioner- is not only able to guide the couple in charting and observation techniques, but has been trained to detect health issues within the charting and refer the couple to a specially trained physician to work through these health issues.
The Creighton Model allows for so much more than just knowing when you can grow your family and when you can’t. It can tell you if your body is sick. It can help you to grow closer to your spouse. It can help you to fully appreciate God’s creation. It can be used at any time during a women’s reproductive life. I would highly recommend using the Creighton Model to anyone!