Aleteia

Get to know the Creighton Model of natural family planning

COUPLE SITTING,HOLDING HANDS
Heidy Sequera I Unsplash
Share

An interview with a Creighton Instructor sheds light on this standardized method of NFP.

Years ago, as a newlywed, I was first introduced to something called the Creighton Model, a method of family planning based on fertility awareness. By using this method, a woman (or couple) gains knowledge of the woman’s cycle and fertility. With this knowledge, women everywhere are healing their bodies and rejecting the erroneous notion that they need a pill to be healthy and happy.

Using information gained from charting a woman’s symptoms, specialists can target specific hormones at certain times during her cycle and use things like napro-technology to treat her. Napro-technology is medical and surgical procedures that work together with the reproductive system. 

This method, along with other methods of natural family planning (NFP), is widely misrepresented due to misinformation. To help my understanding and to better explain it to others, I interviewed Creighton instructor Marianna Josephs. She is the head practitioner at the St. Raphael FertilityCare Center where she teaches the Creighton Method both virtually and in person.

SS: What drew you to becoming a Creighton instructor?

MJ: I have PCOS and was looking to manage my symptoms in a natural way, rather than the conventional route of using birth control. I found napro-technology. In order to get the benefits of doing napro I had to chart my cycle. 

I started charting and I loved it. It changed my life. I was able to get in with a really great doctor and manage my PCOS symptoms in a natural way, like I had wanted to do. I liked it so much that I found classes to become an instructor and I went for it. It was such a help to me and I wanted to give that option to other women. 

What are some common misconceptions of this method that you have run into?

I hear a lot that Family Planning is equivalent to the rhythm method. I hear that the Creighton Model doesn’t work, that it’s not accurate and doesn’t work to avoid pregnancy. I’m told that it must be too hard to abstain when trying to avoid pregnancy and that it must be too hard to know when a pregnancy can be achieved

How would someone begin following this method?

I suggest that you go to fertilitycare.org. Through that site, you can find the center that is closest to you and set up an intro session. The purpose of an intro session is to figure out if the Creighton method is right for you. 

Do you have any tips for keeping up with this method?

It’s an intense method because you need to be really on top of checking for the signs of your cycle every day. One way to help yourself remember is to use visual cues. It really depends on where you are struggling but most often, visual ques help to serve as a reminder.

What are some benefits that are offered by this method, aside from achieving or avoiding pregnancy?  

The biggest benefit that I tell people about is the medical benefit. This is the only system that offers a medical background. To address an issue in your reproductive cycle, you can use this system to get it evaluated and work on it in a natural way. I’ve seen everyone from teens with continuous bleeding problems to pre-menopausal women. I evaluated them using their charts and sent them right to a napro doctor. I can target the issues based on their charts, get specific hormones checked and send them to have specific treatments done based on what I’m seeing in their charts. 

How is the Creighton model different from other methods?

Creighton is standardized. The entire method is utilized the same way and is carried out in the same way all over the world.  This allows for quality control of the system to make sure that it is functioning as it should. Also, while other methods use multiple different bodily signs to determine where a woman is in her cycle, the Creighton model uses just one.

What is something you would tell someone who was curious about this method? 

I would invite them to an intro session so that they could learn more. If they don’t want to commit to it just yet, I would direct them to fertilitycare.org. This site has some great information for those who want to learn more about this method on their own.

Getting started practicing this model is simple. There is a lot of information to be had, both online and in person with an instructor. A woman’s fertility doesn’t have to be a mystery. Women are using the Creighton model to manage symptoms, get to know their cycles, plan their families and put themselves back in control of their own bodies. 

 

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.