Which method are you using and why?

We started out using the Creighton model, which is mucus only; however, many of my friends who were using this method of NFP have switched over to symptothermal after the birth of their first child, since many women have mucus patches but do not ovulate, so they found that taking temperatures helped, particularly in determining if ovulation was occuring or not.

What are your experiences with various methods?

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I've been using the FAM as stated in the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This method focuses on the three primary fertility signs, waking temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position. I've had great success with this method both in pregnancy achievement and birth control. I also breastfed my babies "on request" until they were about 15 months old and did not see any fertility signs until about 12 months post-partum. In fact, I didn't even resume charting until I started to see a change in cervical fluid. (And my charts were all over the place until ovulation. Temps up and down, patches here and there, etc.) I truly love this method, but it's the only one I've ever tried. It has worked perfectly for me, and my husband even likes to look at my charts too! I often brag about this book, and I have recommended this to many of my friends and family.
We've been using FAM/NFP for almost three years since we read the book, "Natural Birth Control Made Simple." Especially when we were getting the hang of things, we observed and charted as many symptoms as we possibly could. We observed temperature, cervical mucus, cervical position, mood, etc. Now we can get away with using mucus primarily and taking temps only when fertile mucus is present to determine ovulation. We charted to avoid for 9 months before getting pregnant with our first son and have been charting to avoid for 15 months now since he was born. I've been ovulating for only 5 months and am still nursing on demand. Hoping to TTC again soon! :) The website associated with the book I read is here: http://www.hunterhouse.com/shopexd.asp?id=385 and the chart from the book is here: http://www.hunterhouse.com/adminhh/fso/misc/nbcFertilitychart.pdf
Hi Ericka, Tracking your basal body temperature while paying attention to your fertile mucus can be helpful, but still tricky. You need to know the difference between fertile mucus and other types of mucus, as well as the optimal amount. Also, tracking your temperature through out the month can be helpful, but even if you have an ovulatory spike, what your temperature is doing before and after the spike, as well as how long it takes to spike, can mean different things and may indicate what might be keeping you from ovulating or getting pregnant. I would suggest seeing an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist. Acupuncture has great success in aiding fertility; I have seen it personally many times. Even if you don't want to get needled, I would suggest bringing a couple month's worth of temperature charts in to an acupuncturist/herbalist just to get the herbs.

Check out the book "The Infertility Cure" by Randine Lewis; she has a lot of great suggestions in her book, examples of charts, self massage and acupressure, nutrition tips, etc..

Good Luck, and hope this helps!
Jen
We use couple to couple league sympto-thermal. I like it well enough but I feel like if I ever needed to switch to a mucus-only method that I would still feel confident in being able to determine peak. My peaks and dry-ups are pretty clear, even though I sometimes have really long cycles. We've never used any other method though.
Creighton Model is what I have been using since I got engaged to my hubby (April 2007). This model was a godsend because through my charting our practitioner thought I might have a progesterone defficiency. I had bloodwork done and it was sent to Omaha, NE where the Pope Paul VI Institute and Dr. Thomas Hilgers is. I found out I needed to be on HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatropin) after ovulation or "post peak". I was on the HCG for 4 cycles after we got married and conceived in May of 2008.

When I first got pregant, the ultrasound showed some quite large fibroids. I never knew I had them at all. Apparently these are hereditary and grow with lots of estrogen in the body. These didn't cause any complications but I'm sure that's why I was eventually put on progesterone.

During the pregancy, I had my progesterone levels tested every other week seeing how when you have low progesterone before getting pregnant, that usually carries on into pregnancy. I found out that I'd have to be on progesterone injections 2 times a week due to low levels. Low progesterone causes miscarriages. My husband was a really good shot giver and I had them all the way to week 37 seeing how that's when a baby is full term. My OBGYN was very good about allowing me to take the progesterone and she said that I'd probably be on it whenever I get pregnant again.

I will say that it's not easy charting at times with a 4 month old as I'm feeding him when I have to go potty, but I try to make every attempt at recording my observations so that we have no unexpected surprises. You have to be focused on whatever model you use because then you can reap the benefits of the communication with your spouse to decide if you'd like to achieve or not.

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