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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Klinkhammer, CFCP

The Dreaded Question

It’s no secret that there are a lot of particular and personal questions a FertilityCare Practitioner asks a client during a follow-up. And it’s not because practitioners are nosey or don’t understand personal boundaries; on the contrary, a good practitioner is able to professionally inquire about personal topics in a thorough manner.  This intense attention-to-detail during a follow-up allows a practitioner to properly assess how well a woman or couple is learning the method and using it per their expressed intentions. If there are any concerns that comes up when assessing a client’s understanding of a topic or discrepancies occurring with the client’s intended use of the system (like intercourse occurring on days of fertility when both the husband and wife state their current attention is to avoid a pregnancy), then they can be addressed during the follow-up and discussed.

     There is one question in particular, however, that I have found tends to create a sort of “unique” reaction out of all the questions reviewed during a follow-up. It comes toward the end of the follow-up, right after the practitioner assesses the client’s satisfaction with the Creighton Model System and then their confidence in using the Creighton Model System. After reviewing a chart that needed minimal corrections, clients are usually in a great place after seeing how well they are doing charting and feeling confident in their use of the system. There are good Creighton vibes all around! But then, the practitioner asks the client the dreaded question: what is your receptivity to an unplanned pregnancy?

     If a client is looking to avoid a pregnancy, this can result in some bewildered looks, some, “wait, what?” responses and even clarification that they are currently using the system to avoid a pregnancy, not achieve a pregnancy. I agree with them that yes, they are currently using the system to avoid a pregnancy and reenforce that they are using the system well. They want to know why I am asking this question. We discuss the Creighton Model’s high rate of effectiveness for both achieving and avoiding pregnancies and I explain that while the effectiveness rate for avoiding a pregnancy is wonderful, it is still not 100%. I explain that this question is to help assess whether or not a woman would ever be in an abortion-vulnerable situation should she become unexpectedly pregnant. Most of the time once I add this clarification, most women and couples explain that no, they would never consider having an abortion.  

     But sometimes it can get dicey.  Maybe this is a discussion that has never occurred in a couple’s relationship before. Maybe the spouses are not in alignment with each other for whatever reason. Maybe there is some trauma in the past that makes having conversations like these difficult. As a FertilityCare Practitioner and a woman who just honestly cares, I am not here to judge someone by their past. I am here to initiate this potentially difficult conversation between the spouses to help lead them to the Truth about conception and the beginning of human life (“Spark of Life” slide from the Introductory Session anyone???). If a woman or couple feels like they need someone to either discuss past trauma or current concerns, I am happy to refer them to an expert in this area as a resource. And if a spouse or couple states that they would consider having an abortion, the conversation does not end at that follow-up. We revisit and discuss at each follow-up, keeping the dialogue open and encouraging the couple to continuing discussing this topic outside of the follow-up as well, even researching alternatives to abortion.

     Sometimes a FertilityCare Practitioner has to ask personal questions. Sometimes difficult conversations have to be initiated. But a FertilityCare Practitioner will always be there for their clients, including any new little “clients” conceived along the way, expectedly or unexpectedly. If you are looking for someone to support you and encourage you in your fertility goals, reach out to one of our FertilityCare Practitioners today.

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