Compare NFP methods?


So from what I can see there’s five or six different NFP methods. Has anybody already compared the differences?

I suppose I could learn them all and then decide which appears to work best, but I catch snippets in different threads so I just thought I’d ask first.



Sympto-thermal: observe muccus, cervix position 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”.

There is nothing wrong with learning more than one, however, sometimes terms cross over differently to describe different things, so making sure you use the right terms for the right method would be good.


Many thanks! :slight_smile:


I’m learning sympto, just started classes last week. When you speak of the days that are “safer”, are these the same days that are also described as “less fertile”? Because that is the terminology used in my class. I was told that even though these days are less fertile, you are STILL fertile and can still get pregnant. So if I was wanting to avoid pregnancy, I don’t think I would even chance it on a “less fertile” day. Are these “safer” days you speak of are the non-dry days when the mucous is tacky and cloudy?

Also when you use the term peak plus three – is that three days after the peak day?

So basically with Creighton, the days that in Sympto are called “less fertile” – Creighton pretty much makes it more black and white and says “fertile.”


Yes…“safer” is meaning that its not necessarily fertile, but there have been a few times that that day has conceived a child.

I know that wasn’t the best word…but my point is that there is kind of like a sliding scale in sympto…where as creighton its either yes or no. you proved my point by calling it “chancing it”.

peak + 3 is the 3 days after the peak. Remember, it was only an example. The actual instruction in Creighton is that fertility is considered until the END OF THE 4th DAY.


Yeah I have a friend, both her and her sister successfully do sympto, as did their parents. She pretty much told me the same thing, that, you know, even though you might be “less fertile” or “safer” a few days before peak fertility, sperm can hang around for a few days, I’ve heard up to a week.

Now I know that the only way to be 100% sure is abstinence and if it’s in God’s plan that someone is gonna have a baby, then they are gonna have a baby! – but given this information, it leads me to wonder if someone really wants to postpone pregnancy, if they perhaps should just wait until phase 3 for coitus.

Please, nobody freak out on me. I’m just learning here! :thumbsup:


The Marquette Model includes CM observations, BBT (if desired), and the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor (urine stick in the AM about 10 days per cycle).

I’ve taught Creighton and now teach Marquette Model, and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.


What does the the Marquette model offer over Crieghton?


Crosschecking with the monitor and/or BBT if desired.


This is really conservative and really effective. It’s what I do when I am most serious about avoiding pregnancy. It’s not my favourite approach but it certainly beats total abstinence.


What does this monitor in Marquette tell you? On what days do you check? Just curious. This must be a fairly new method.

I made my intro appt. with a Creighton instructor for next week, going to see if I prefer that over STM. Who’s excited?! :o


The CBFM measures estrone and LH. The estrone indicates the beginning of the fertile window and the LH is a marker for peak fertility. The monitor tells you if you are low fertility, High fertility, or Peak fertility, and it tells you when to check. You can learn more here. I like it to cross check since I am a yellow stamper.

Creighton is an excellent method… but so it CCL… BOM… and of course MM.


I’m taking CCL while I’m in the US but will be moving to England in the spring. Creighton instruction isn’t available in the UK but Billings is.

I would like to at least learn about these methods as well, or at least one of them, just to make comparisons. Any suggestions?


Can someone still learn MM if they don’t live near Marquette University, or are there only local classes available?


For someone like me unfamiliar with Phase I, II and III. How is this method any different from the rythm method?


Phases are different phases of each individual cycle, determined by symptoms and indicators the body is giving at the time.

None of these methods mentioned here depend on past cycle history to determine fertility, which is the rhythm method.

This is what makes it so effective…because it is determined by what is actually going on that can be seen at the time it is going on.


The rhythm method is a calendar only method. It counts on a woman regularity and that she ovulates about halfway through a cycle. These are both not likely.

All the NFP methods rely on observations of fertility–mucous, temperature, cervix position, or fertility monitors of hormones. You know what phase you are in depending on your “symptoms”

for further info on symptothermal method


Hi Littleburgy,
Creighton is available in the UK. This is the link for the contact details for Creighton teachers in England and Ireland.

Good luck with your move to England - hopefully there will be a teacher near you.



I am using Marquette Model - the College of Nursing there emailed me the documents, the instructions, and several charts, including the chart that allowed for BBT info. So you don’t really need to live close to the University, or even to an instructor. They have only asked me to send in my charts.

I started MM because I was breastfeeding, and using the monitor really gave me an added sense of security. I am not a big milk producer - my daughter was hungry, and I was always concerned that I wasn’t getting enough stimulation, so my greatest concern was that I would be caught unawares.

A personal note - I had never been very clear on my mucus signs, but using the monitor has given me great confidence! I see the consistency, and I am clearly judging my fertility correctly, based on agreement between my mucus and the monitor. (Incidentally, this has also given me confidence in the monitor!)



Hi Everybody! Thought I’d reopen an old thread since I have more questions on the exact same subject.

I called several teaching couples in my area from the Couple-to-Couple League website, including one specifically recommended by our parish and nobody has returned my calls or emails (it’s been about five months). So, I ordered the home-study from the CCL website. Fascinating book! But from what I’m discovering, I stink at charting (or doing anything regularly, really). I never wake up at the same time, my temps are all over the place, I often fall asleep before I can do an internal cervix check because I’m never home at the same time, I travel a lot, and my allergy medicine/decongestant tends to screw up my mucus interpretations.

So! Determined not to give up, I’m thinking I need a cross-check method. I read about the ClearPlan fertility monitor but I see that it only tells you that you have ovulated, which may be five days too late (for both avoiding and conception). I discovered a new monitor that can predict ovulation five to seven days in advance and the total “fertile window” with 99% accuracy as reported in clinical studies - sounds great, right? But before I cough up $400 bucks for this, I was wondering if any of you have used it? It’s called the OvaCue Fertility Monitor.

Whatcha think ladies? :smiley:

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