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  • Writer's pictureKaroline Heldt, CFCP

NFP Shopping

If you're looking for the right "fit" Natural Family Planning method... here's a bunch of information all in one place about Creighton Model System to help you make the best decision for YOU!

What does the term "Creighton Model System" (CrMS) or "Creighton Model FertilityCare" mean?

CrMS is a method of Natural Family Planning. Different methods use different signs, symptoms and/or devices to help you track and understand your times of fertility and infertility. At a very basic level, most (if not all) methods aim to help you identify times of fertility and infertility so that you can make choices about becoming pregnant or not. CrMS has amazing effectiveness rates for doing this.

Some methods give you even more information than just avoiding or acheiving pregnancy. This is where CrMS really shines. Tracking your fertility with CrMS gives you a ton of valuable health information about your reproductive system and more. It can be a tool in diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of health conditions, including infertility.

How much of my time will this take?

There will be an initial investment of time and effort, especially at the very beginning to learn the system well. The introductory session lasts about 75 minutes. Over the first year of learning there are 8 follow up sessions with your FertilityCare Practitioner (FCP). Each of these sessions last 40-60 minutes. A typical schedule involves meeting every 2 weeks for the first 2 months (4 sessions total) and then 4 more times over the remainder of the year. Some situations are more complicated and involve more meetings but this is the standard schedule.

Outside of that class/meeting time, you will need to read the introductory book (manual). It's not terribly long and most people don't have any trouble working through it in the first 2-4 weeks of learning.

Lastly, you have the daily time investment of making your observations and charting. Over the first couple of cycles, these can seem a little burdensome. But learners gain confidence so quickly that by the 3rd cycle, most people feel like it's second nature and taking up very little mental space. If I had to estimate how much cumulative time it daily takes to make your observations and chart once you have experience with the system, I would guess 2-3 minutes daily.

What is the charting actually like?

Lots of NFP systems are using apps or web based systems at this point. Isn't everything on our phones now? When you are first learning CrMS, you're required to begin with a paper chart. You write on it in pen and each day add a particular sticker ("stamp") to describe your fertility for the day. After the initial learning phase, you are able to transition into a web based version of CrMS charting. However, in my experience, most people become really comfortable with the paper charting and are content to continue with that. However, both are options depending on your preferences!

What are the meetings like?

Most FCPs within Groesbeck FertilityCare Center teach virtually over Zoom. The introductory session is a generalized class that may have more than 1 woman or couple attending. Beyond that, all of the follow up sessions are completely private with just your FCP and tailored to your needs and situation. At each follow up, you'll go over your observations and charting with your Practitioner in detail as well as learn other nuances to using the system. It's the perfect time to ask any and all questions!

How much does it cost?

At Groesbeck we have a wide variety of pricing options to help make the system accessible to everyone. This includes pay-as-you-go, annual subscriptions with a discount, sliding scale and even some scholarship options. Ask your FCP or contact our center for up to date pricing if you'd like more information. Just to emphasize - it's an important part of our Groesbeck mission that everyone woman who wants to learn and use the system is able to so please be honest with us about your situation and we will find a way to help you.

How long will I have to do this for?

Hopefully for your entire season of fertility! You are welcome to use it for as long or short as you would like but CrMS charting provides value for every season of fertility from the onset of puberty to menopause and everything in between. No matter where you find yourself in your fertility journey, we would love to help you.

At Groesbeck FertilityCare, we very much want to empower you to make the best, healthiest choices for your health, fertility, family and future. Hopefully this CrMS information breakdown helps you to decides whether or not it's the right method for you. Contact one of our practitioners today if you think it might be!

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