Karoline Heldt, CFCP
When should I start charting?
Updated: Apr 18
A question we get often as practitioners is "when should I begin charting?" or "when I should I start learning Creighton?" The quick answer is: yesterday! Women of every age in their reproductive years can benefit from charting and a better understanding of their fertility. Remember, Creighton Model System (CrMS) is not strictly about achieving or avoiding pregnancy. There are health benefits, marital benefits, and even benefits to your overall sense of confidence and well-being to understanding your fertility.
For the single woman
The most common reason a single woman comes to CrMS is for assistance in diagnosis and treatment of a reproductive health condition. Learning to chart correctly and accurately is an essential component of this process. It is not uncommon for young women to have very difficult, heavy, debilitating painful periods. The "solution" offered to them is very often "the pill". Charting their cycles well will assist their NaproTechnology trained physician in diagnosing and correcting the underlying cause of their symptoms which could be as simple and straightforward as cooperative progesterone replacement or as in depth as surgical intervention and beyond.
In addition to managing reproductive health conditions, charting for the single woman can help her in managing the effects of stress on her cycle and better understanding, appreciating and caring for the way her fertility was designed to work. Having this understanding and appreciation can even help single women make healthier choices in their relationships and futures.
For the engaged couple
When it comes to marriage preparation, sooner is better! However, 4 months prior to your wedding would be an ideal time to attend an Introductory Session and get started charting! It takes the average couple 3 months of follow up sessions to feel confident in their understanding of the system, so scheduling a follow up the month before your wedding will only cause you and your fiancé lots of undue stress! If your wedding is still 6+ months out, its never too soon to get started. I have had engaged couples who start charting simply as part of their marriage preparation process uncover reproductive health issues they never knew existed. With enough time, many situations can be well-managed or at least well understood by the time your wedding day comes.
For the postpartum mother
For women previously using CrMS, the standard recommendation is to start charting again as soon as their post partum bleeding has stopped, or about 2-4 weeks after baby, depending on the situation. However, if you are new to Creighton, the immediate post partum period can be a very stressful time to learn this new skill. If time allows, taking an Introductory Session in your 3rd trimester and even trying a few weeks of charting at the end of your pregnancy can help you feel better prepared for observations and charting after baby arrives.
For the pre-menopausal woman
For a woman in her pre-menopausal years, charting can be an invaluable tool for avoiding pregnancy (if that is her desire) and identifying and managing health problems and symptoms that come in this season of life. Not all symptoms that are "common" are normal or healthy. Your FertilityCare Practitioner can help you navigate this season with confidence.
My favorite author CS Lewis says: "You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." The Groesbeck FertilityCare Practitioners want to empower you to take charge of your health and fertility and change your story for the better. Contact us for an Introductory Session. The time to start is today!