Billings Method


I have been using the Billings Method since March 2007. My brother in law and his wife just got married and are using the symptothermal method. That’s fine with me, but what is upsetting me is that they keep telling my husband that we need to use the method that they are using and that the Billings Method is not as reliable. They also say that in their classes they have been shown charts that show them that the billings method has been unreliable, and in some cases, the only thing that would have saved them from a pregnancy is the tempreture. I am pregnant and happy about it, but it was a result of my husband and I ignoring the fact that I was unwell at the time, and instead of seeing the doctor we let it go. So it’s not something to blame the Billings Method for.
Does anyone else use the Billings Method here?


I use Billings, but I haven’t studied any other method so I really can’t compare. Knowing myself, there is no way I would remember to take my temp. at the same time every day. I also have irregular sleeping (at least recently) since my son has been sick so I think temps. would be thrown off.

I find it’s whatever works best for the couple. NFP’ers should be supportive of each other no matter what method is used. It’s hard enough without debating about which method is better.


Thank you. I agree, I do not debate it with anyone which is a part of the reason why I am rather upset and feel that I have to defend my choice.
I am probably overly emotional since I am pregnant.
Thanks again.


I used the Sympto-Thermal method before I got pregnant. I didn’t trust my judgment on mucus so I really depended a lot on the temperature. But that’s just me. Some women can get manage just by looking at their CM. I can’t. I still have LOTS of learning to do. If you feel confident in the method you use and are happy with it then that’s all that matters. Armywife is correct, all NFP’ers need to support each other!

Your BIL is probably saying your method is not as reliable because the STM has more cross-checking than Billings and Creighton. That’s just my guess.


I use Creighton, which was derived from Billings.

If you are happy with your method-- ignore-- and tell her that such discussions are now off limits henceforth.


**Just curious…

Could some one briefly explain the Billings and Creighton Methods to me? What are they based on. I am only familiar with Sympto Thermal.

My Opinion…I could care less what method of NFP a person is using…so long as its NFP! :thumbsup: Your relative should be thankful you are using NFP and not birth control. Who cares which method. :shrug:


**I much prefer sympto thermal over Billings but support your choice to practice whatever form of NFP you choose!

Maybe your BIL and wife have more serious reasons to avoid than you do so their perspective is different? I know that’s how it is for me.

How about next time the subject comes up you try to explain that you are happy with your method and are glad they are happy with theirs. Let them know that you don’t mind the possibility of getting pregnant even though you are trying to avoid (as your current pregnancy proves) so that they can see that it’s not a method failure, just a personal choice.

Couples new to NFP often get the following examples:

*you should meet so and so and his wife, they use NFP. They’re right over there with their 6 kids.

*my sister uses NFP and says it’s great. Very reliable! Yes, she’s the one with 4 kids.

Now that I understand more about NFP I realize that it’s as much about being open to life as it is about spacing/prevention. But as a young woman with serious reasons to avoid I didn’t see any examples of NFP “working” until I came to this forum (thanks Rayne!)

Your BIL and wife just need time to mature and grow in their marriage and faith. You can be a great example to them. So as long as they are not rude obnoxious horrible people, try to be patient with them.




I think it’s human nature to think we’re right and want others to do things the way we do :wink: . Especially if they’re newly married and excited about STM, they want to share that excitement.

Be patient with them and happy they’re using NFP. When they get too pushy for you, tell them Billings works for your body and you’re glad STM works for them. Praise God we have options.


Thanks! :thumbsup:


I learned about the Billings Method in my pre-martial class. I haven’t used any NFP yet but this method would be one of the contenders for my choice mostly because it is the first one I heard of.

I have an NFP book from the Couples to Couples league… I don’t know what Method that is though… I am surprised there are even so many methods! My friend uses the Creighton Model and swear by it…


CCL teaches the Sympto-Thermal Method.


Thank you so much to everyone. I am just happy for anyone who chooses the NFP method of their choice. Next time they say something about what I am using I will just tell them that the topic is not open for discussion for me.
Thanks again.


Actually, they may be somewhat correct. I believe I read statistics that mucus-only methods do not have as high of an effectiveness rate as the sympto-thermal methods.

But that doesn’t mean that mucus only methods have an unacceptable effectivness rate.

Maybe you should dig up some of the studies and statistics and go over them and discuss them with this couple next time it comes up. You can take the opportunity to make it clear to them that your comfortable with your method and even though it may not be as effective as their method, it’s still effective enough.

Hey, at least your not having a disagreement over the effectiveness of abc and nfp. I’d give anything to have a real-life couple to argue about this with. I don’t know anybody irl who uses nfp. :frowning:



The best method is the one that the couple will actually use.

In the case of a woman/couple where lifestyle craziness makes it impractical to take regular, acurate temperatures and observe other signs, then a mucus only method probably makes more sense.

In the case of a couple where they want/need multiple indications to cross check against each other then the sympto-thermal method makes sense.


I teach and use Creighton. Still, unless a particular situation warrants it (ie. needing medical assistance, infertility, not trusting current method), I do not try to get people to switch. If a couple is happy and comfortable with what they use. The important thing is for a couple to not feel the need to resort to contraception or Artificial Reproductive Technologies (for infertility).


Sympto-thermal: observe muccus, cervix placement with internal observation, and temp

Billings: observe muccus

Creighton: derived from billings, but more medical research, and standardized teaching, with teacher checkup

Marquette: mostly like Creighton with a fertility monitor (pee on a stick every night)

Observing mucous can be tricky at first…but when that is all one has to go on, one learns to be extremely astute in observations. I had health issues that made learning difficult at first, but once I learned the different types, I was set. Creighton is attached to Napro technology…Mucous observations can give lots of warnings about different potential health issues. I take my charts to my doc and he can see my probs.
Creighton is adamant about the need for scientific observation. ALWAYS…all the time….EVERY time. No exceptions

Sympto- is good for those who want to cross check different indicators. I know of some sympto users (and have read in the book about this too) who lax on observing a particular indicator at some portions of the cycle. This scientifically, can no longer be a reliable indicator then. If one knows their cycle and when to use the temp, it may work, but it is no longer a scientific observation. In order to use the temp indicator accurately, the woman must have regular sleep and take the temp at the same time every day. The temp indicator can also have variables from illness. Some women are uncomfortable with internal observations.

There is a major philosophical difference between Creighton and sympto. Creighton method is very clear that a particular day is either fertile or infertile. There are no “iffy” days…there are no “maybe “ days there is no “conservative“ avoiding… If you choose intercourse on a “fertile” day, you have abandoned the method for avoiding pregnancy, and employed the method to achieve pregnancy. If in research, even one woman conceived on a particular day (peak plus 3, for example), then they would pass that on to students…it is possible that you could conceive, so consider it fertile.

Sympto has “conservative use” . There are certain days in a cycle when very few women have achieved pregnancy on that day, so if you are not being “conservative”, but “kind of avoiding” then those days would be “safer”. (please bear with the language…I’m just trying to explain the ideas here). I know of at least one couple who used an “iffy” day …. They got pregnant. They resented NFP. It was a different psychological place that they came from because of “chancing it”.

That being said, if you’re happy with the method, fantastic. I’m single, and I love Creighton because it has really helped me with health issues.

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