Fertility & Natural Family Planning

Understanding natural fertility, infertility, and related moral and social issues.

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Weekly Reads: NFP, The Culture of Use, & Nuns and Fertility

There is No Wealth But Life: 3 Things I Secretly Hate about NFP & Obama, Hope and NFP

National Catholic Register: Cosmo’s Girl Helen Gurley Brown Epitomized the ‘Culture of Use’

From Empty Pews to Empty Cradles: Fertility Decline Among European Catholics


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How Can You Help Promote NFP?

Share via social networking!  You never know what something so simple may spark.  The ladies at Living the Sacrament have provided Facebook cover photos to spread awareness.



Creighton Intro Session in Phoenix

Thursday, August 11th at 6 pm I will be presenting an introductory session to share the basics of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.  The session will be held in downtown Phoenix at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.  Please pass this information on to anyone who may be interested.  If you, or anyone you know, would like to attend or have any questions, please email FertilityCareAZ@gmail.com.

If you would like to attend the intro session as part of the full course of teaching sessions, please register online with the Phoenix Diocese NFP Office.


What Makes Creighton Unique? NaPro Technology

Dr. Hilger's new book

“Infertility is a symptom of underlying disease. The diseases that cause infertility have a “two-pronged” effect. They not only hinder the functioning of fertility, but they also cause both short and long-term health problems. The persistent unwillingness to address infertility problems from this point of view or perspective is one of the major flaws in the current approach to the treatment of infertility.”  – FertilityCare Centers of America

What is NaPro Technology?

Short for “Natural Procreative Technology,” NaPro is “a new women’s health science that monitors and maintian’s a woman’s reproductive and gynocological health.  It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system.”  More information can be found here.

What You Should Know About NaPro

  1. NaPro Medical Consultants are doctors who are specifically trained to read Creighton charts.
  2. The goal of treating patients with NaPro is to identify and treat underlying causes of reproductive health issues.
  3. NaPro provides physicians with clearly defined protocols for surgeries and other invasive treatments and procedures; often typical fertility “treatments” can cause further harm to the reproductive system.
  4. In addition to leading the way in infertility treatment, NaPro can effectively diagnose and addresses a variety of other issues, including repetitive miscarriage, PMS, irregular bleeding, infections and many other reproductive issues.

NaPro Considerations

  • Diagnosis and treatment may come slowly for some couples because of the potential complexity of identifying underlying issues.  For others, it may be a simple fix.  One couple I know achieved pregnancy with a month of receiving NaPro treatment after having tried for years.
  • The same variance that exists among different professionals within any field also exists amongst NaPro Medical Consultants.  Some patients choose to go directly to Dr. Hilgers in Omaha for treatment for this and other reasons.  Read more here.
  • While sub-fertility is often misunderstood as infertility, true infertility does exist. Even after receiving NaPro treatment, there remains a percentage of couples who will not go on to conceive.
  • Before pursuing treatment with a NaPro Medical Consultant, clients must learn the Creighton system of charting and have 2 complete months of charting completed (a period of abstinence is typically requiring during this learning phase).
  • Charting cycles with any method of NFP, or FAM, can provide additional, concrete insight into a woman’s reproductive health.


Choosing a Method: Ovulation

The Basic Idea of Ovulation Methods

Ovulation methods are based on carefully tracking external cervical mucus throughout the day.  Generally speaking, days of no mucus or of non-fertile mucus are considered infertile.  Days where any fertile mucus is seen are considered fertile.  There are usually days of dry/non-fertile mucus following menstruation and then a cycle of fertile mucus.  Immediately following the last day of fertile mucus (peak day), there are typically about 3 days that are still considered to be fertile.  If no fertile mucus is apparent after peak day, infertility is assumed until the next cycle.

Benefits of Ovulation Methods

  • There are no internal cervical exams (can be a benefit or a challenge- especially if a woman was previously using a sympto-thermal method)
  • The system can help detect cervical issues based on certain mucus types and/or patterns.
  • No temping is required.  This makes these methods easier to implement for people who travel a lot or have irregular sleep patterns (mothers of babies, those who work night shifts, etc.).  The lack of temping also means that illness/fever won’t throw off you chart, nor will a few (or more) alcoholic drinks from the previous night.


  • Learning ovulation methods from instructors can be more expensive (but you get one on one attention- which, for most, is a definite benefit!)
  • Initially, many women have trouble getting into the mucus observation routine
  • There are no internal cervical exams (can be a benefit or a challenge- especially if a woman was previously using a sympto-thermal method)

Supplies Needed

You typically need a chart and stamps to record observations when using ovulation methods.  For couples who have learned the Billings Method, they currently have an online chart available.

Where to Learn

Upcoming Post: I will talk about what makes the Creighton FertilityCare System unique!

Disclaimer: This post provides only a general overview of the method.  It is strongly recommended that methods are learned directly from an instructor, particularly when being used with the intention of avoiding pregnancy.