Q. What is the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System?

A. The Creighton Model FertilityCare TM System is unique. Developed from the Ovulation Method of NFP after years of scientific research and standardization, this system has proven itself to be an excellent method of NFP, as well as having medical applications to women’s health care. As a method of NFP, the system relies upon the observation of a natural sign — the discharge of cervical mucus — which is essential to human fertility. The method is based upon the fact that whenever a woman is fertile, she will experience a characteristic discharge of cervical mucus, which is obvious to her at the opening of the vagina. As ovulation approaches, this mucus discharge undergoes a progressive change, which can be easily observed and interpreted.

Q. Is this the rhythm method?

A. No. The past century has witnessed tremendous progress in many areas, including the field of Natural Family Planning. The old Calendar Rhythm Method of the 1930’s is obsolete in the face of modern medical research. Unfortunately, the medical community and the general population have had limited opportunity to learn of these advances. Promotion of methods of hormonal contraception by the pharmaceutical industry has overshadowed the field of family planning. Doctors in training receive practically no education in the field of modern Natural Family Planning. To gain this knowledge physicians must attend specialized medical education programs that are not yet widely available.

Q. What is modern Natural Family Planning?        

A. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a means through which a couple may either achieve or avoid pregnancy. It is based upon the couple’s own knowledge of their naturally occurring cyclic phases of fertility and infertility. Natural Family Planning is not contraception; it is true family planning. NFP provides the couple with the means to be able to freely express their reproductive potential. It will assist those couples who are of normal fertility to achieve pregnancy while being fully reliable as a means of avoiding pregnancy. It will also be of assistance to those couples who have experienced infertility.

Q. How does the system work?

A. Fertility is complex. Each cycle is unique involving a new egg each time. Cycles do not always follow exactly the same pattern. Prior to and during treatment, each cycle is evaluated individually for its effectiveness. Medication used to support and improve effectiveness is accurately timed to the unique events accompanying each cycle.

Q. What are the markers that women chart?

A. Hormonal fluctuations each cycle determine the length and nature of periods, the number of days to ovulation, the cervical mucus flow that anticipates fertility and the post-ovulatory lengths of cycles. This information, accurately charted, gives a valuable ‘handle’ on cycle events, enabling comparison with cycles of proven fertility.

Q. What is different about this approach?

A. Most fertility support assumes an average cycle of 28 days and egg release (ovulation) around the 14th day. Many women’s cycles are different. Cycles may vary from 21 days to 90 days or longer. Even in a regular 28 day cycle ovulation does not always occur around the 14th day. Charting unlocks your individual and unique pattern!

Q. What are the Advantages of the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System?

  • Medically Safe
  • Proven effective*
  • Morally acceptable
  • Easy to learn
  • Inexpensive
  • Applicable at any stage of a woman’s reproductive life:
    •  Regular
    • Irregular
    •  Postpartum
    • Premenopause
    •  Post-pill, Depo-Provera & Norplant
  • Precisely identifies the true days of fertility and infertility
  • A Valuable aid for infertility

*Journal of Reproductive Medicine, June 1998

Q. How effective is the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System?

  1. TO ACHIEVE A PREGNANCY: Conception will occur 76% of the time in the first cycle of using a defined day of fertility.
  2. TO AVOID A PREGNANCY: The FertilityCare™ System is over 99% effective in avoiding pregnancy when properly taught by a qualified teacher and then correctly applied.
  3. WITH INFERTILITY: From 20%-40% of couples will achieve pregnancy with the FertilityCare™ System only. Up to 80% will conceive with additional cooperative medical assistance.

Q. Why is NFP the Ideal Method of Family Planning?

A. The following make this an ideal method of family planning:

  • Shared Responsibility : Unlike contraceptives, both husband and wife share the use of this method. Couples learn to understand their combined fertility.
  • Improves Communication: A deeper communication is developed in the area of fertility and family planning. Couples experience that this deeper level of communication extends to other areas of their relationship as well.
  • A True Method of Family Planning: The same method can be used to both achieve and avoid pregnancy making it a true method of family planning.
  • Enhances One’s Sexuality: The couple learns that true human sexuality is spiritual, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional in its dimensions. The use of NFP assists the couple in developing a healthy balance to their sexual lives.
  • Loving Cooperation: The method helps build a more loving cooperation in the important matters of sexuality and family planning. Couples who practice NFP testify to the importance of periodically avoiding genital contact in the growth of their overall marriage relationship. Mutual respect deepens.

Q. What if I have irregular cycles?

A. The FertilityCare System is the perfect system to manage irregular cycles because it identifies fertility and infertility by actual physical signs, not by calendar calculations. Contrary to popular belief, very few cycles are 28 days. Variation in cycle length is caused by hormonal factors or physical and emotional stress. The FertilityCare System will help identify the cause and, if needed, NaProTechnology can provide the appropriate cooperative medical treatment.

Q. What is NaProTechnology?

A. Apart from being an excellent method of Natural Family Planning, the Creighton Model FertilityCareTMSystem is an outstanding method of monitoring gynecologic and reproductive health. Recent scientific advances have shown it to be of assistance in identifying sub-fertility states, ovarian cysts, hormone disorders, endometriosis and the possibility of miscarriage and high-risk pregnancy. It can also be very helpful in treating these conditions, and others, such as premenstrual syndrome. This new science is called Natural Procreative (NaPro) Technology and can be applied by trained NFP Medical Consultants.

Q. We’ve had several miscarriages, all investigations have been normal, can you help?

A. We have helped many couples in this situation. By ensuring good quality ovulation and adequate hormone levels before conception the chance of a successful pregnancy appears to be increased.

Q. How are Creighton Model Services Delivered?

A. Creighton Model FertilityCare service providers educate couples about their fertility. This is accomplished through a network of service programs developed and operated by specialists in Natural Family Planning/ FertilityCare education. These specialists, including NFP Practitioners and Medical Consultants, have received their education through a program whose professional curriculum was developed at the Creighton University Natural Family Planning Education and Research Center, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska. Providers are certified through the American Academy of Natural Family Planning.

     FertilityCare Practitioners are responsible for teaching clients how to use the system through an Introductory Session and subsequent Follow-Ups. Sessions are conducted in person, or, for clients outside of the Edson, Alberta area, sessions are conducted via Cisco WebEx.

     FertilityCare Medical Consultants provide the medical and surgical applications of NaProTechnology. At least two months of charting and learning with a Practitioner are required before a client can be referred to a Medical Consultant.

Q. What is the Introductory Session?

The introductory session is a power point presentation, which introduces the use of the Creighton Model System. It is a general presentation usually given to a small group of couples. An individual introductory session can be scheduled as the need arises. We also offer introductory sessions using Cisco WebEx if you live out of the Edson, Alberta.

Q. What is the Learning Schedule?

A. Adequate instruction is essential for gaining confidence in the FertilityCareTM System and obtaining the maximum effectiveness possible. The couple enters the program with an introductory session and continues in the program with a series of individualized follow-up teaching appointments.

     Follow-up sessions are designed to teach couples to be actual users of the Creighton Model System. Personal instruction on the use of the method, as well as complete chart review, are services provided at the individual follow-up sessions. Scheduled at regular intervals, attendance is essential so the couple may quickly develop confidence in the use of the method. After the introductory session, the follow-up sessions occur on the following basic schedule:

First follow-up………………… 2 weeks

Second follow-up…………….. 4 weeks

Third follow-up……………….. 6 weeks

Fourth follow-up……………… 8 weeks

Fifth follow-up………………… 3 months

Sixth follow-up……………….. 6 months

Seventh follow-up……………. 9 months

Eighth follow-up…………….. 12 months

Subsequent follow-ups are recommended every six to twelve months as needed. The professional FertilityCareTM provider is also available for consultation between sessions should any questions arise.

Q. After I attend an Introductory Session, what’s the next step?

A. At the end of the Introductory Session, the Practitioner will allow you the opportunity to purchase materials, review instructions and set up a Follow-Up session. If you have attended a Session in the past, and would like to sign up now, you can contact the Center, or the Practitioner directly. Typically, we ask that you attend another Introductory Session if it has been longer than 6 months since your original attendance.

Q. How much does the program cost?

A. The cost is only $30 per one-hour visit. So, with the Introductory Session and eight follow-ups, plus $60 for materials you’ll spend $330 for the first year’s instruction. After that, you’ll probably need only one or two follow-ups a year. And, the good news is if that is more than you can afford, we have a sliding scale. The bottom line is that we teach all who come regardless of the ability to pay.

Q. Is this a Catholic Method?

A. Science has determined that the ovaries are non-sectarian! It is true, however, that the major impetus for research and development of the system has been the encouragement of the Catholic Church. The word catholic itself means universal, and it is true that this system is universal, and can be utilized by every woman in the world, regardless of religious affiliation, for self-knowledge, achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy, and for medical applications.

Q. Why did my Doctor not tell me about this?

A. Our medical education for physicians is highly influenced by the pharmaceuticals. The FertilityCare System has nothing to sell. FertilityCare Medical Consultants take the time to find the cause of reproductive abnormalities. Since we are not machines with on/off switches, finding the cause and normalizing the abnormality takes some time. The alternative is a “quick fix” such as the birth control pill which can fix nothing, only mask symptoms.

Q. Are prescription medications used?

A. Yes. Once the client has undergone at least two months of charting with her practitioner a referral can be done to a Medical Consultant. The Medical Consultant assess the woman’s cycles. Medications used depend on the assessment of cycles and the identification of areas needing assistance. We use medication that has been used in fertility support for many years generally. Our unique approach times the medical support to the charted events of cycles.