Considering Marquette Method of NFP, looking for feedback

Hello friends! My husband and I have long been practicing the NFP method taught by Couple to Couple League to space out pregnancies. My husband is interested in switching to the Marquette Method, because he likes the reliability of using the Clear Blue hormone checker thingy-mabobber doohickey deal. (I am certain that is the technical term.)

Anyhow, does anyone have a preference between one form of NFP over the other? Have you found one to be easier to keep track of than the other? I am looking for feedback and opinions. My husband and I will of course make our own informed decision, but I am interested to hear from anybody who uses this method. Thank you!

Until I got pregnant, we used the STM of NFP, which is the method that the Couple to Couple League teaches. We didn’t have a reason to avoid, so until the last couple of months, when we were actively trying, I charted pretty carefully, but didn’t really use the information. However, I would have been quite comfortable using it to avoid if we needed to.

That having been said, now that I am pregnant and because I’m planning on breastfeeding, I’m considering investing in the Clearblue monitor and switching to Marquette after baby comes, depending on how long we might avoid and for what reasons. If we had a really serious reason to avoid, I would prefer to use Marquette rather than the STM because my Phase I can vary in length somewhat, and because I usually have a good 7 days or so of quite fertile CM leading up to peak. Because it tests pre-ovulation hormone levels, the Marquette method can give the user a better idea of when ovulation will happen before it happens, while one can only roughly predict when ovulation will occur with the STM. If we had a serious reason to avoid and used the STM, we’d stick to Phase III and four days after two symptoms confirmed ovulation, which would limit us to perhaps 10-12 days per month if we used the first few days of Phase I.

For us, we’re not sure yet and probably won’t know until after baby comes how long we should actively avoid (if at all), so it’s a decision we’re waiting to make until then.

I’d be interested in hearing from experienced Marquette users how it works for them. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply. And congratulations on your pregnancy!! I am particularly curious about the Marquette method because I am breastfeeding our newborn, and we must avoid pregnancy at this time for a health reason. Thankfully it will be temporary. But I have read that Marquette may be more reliable for breastfeeding women as our cycles have either not returned, or have not yet regulated, and our signs can be difficult at times to read.

Thanks. :smiley:

In your situation, I’d almost certainly go with Marquette myself. Every woman is different, of course. I’ve heard from breastfeeding women whose cycles return and are like clockwork at 2 months, and I’ve also heard from breastfeeding women whose cycles don’t return until they’ve stopped nursing their two-year-old. One of my friends had copious amounts of nonstop textbook eggwhite CM until she stopped breastfeeding–no changes, no periods, no temperature shifts…nothing. Just so much eggwhite that they abstained, having a serious reason to do so, until she stopped breastfeeding at 6-8 months. Which, as you can imagine, was pretty hard on them both! I believe that the average, depending somewhat on frequency of breastfeeding and some other factors, is 6-12 months or so. I know that my cycle is very easily affected by a lot of things, and so my guess is that my cycles will be pretty wonky until I stop breastfeeding. The STM is, from what I understand, really hard to use until your cycles come back, and I’d never be quite willing to trust it for more than a couple of days in Phase I if I really needed to avoid. I do plan on taking a postpartum STM class in order to get a better handle on it and make a more informed decision as to which method to use, though. Because it measures those pre-ovulation hormones, Marquette is, I think, more reliable for breastfeeding women because it can tell if your cycles are coming back before you ovulate, rather than having your first sign be a period.

Thanks for starting the thread. I’ll be following it with interest, and hope that some Marquette users chime in soon!

I’m considering the Marquette method, too. I’m having trouble finding a teacher in my area. I tried contacting a few people but got no responses.

I haven’t used Marquette but am looking into it, so will watch this thread with interest. I am currently using (well, learning to use) Billings. Since I started while breastfeeding, I found it pretty much impossible. I’ve JUST gotten my cycle back, and now it is starting to make sense. However, since I am 45 it’s hard to know if my cycles are going to go back to being as regular as they were before I started having the babies. Technically I’m pre-menopausal, right? I wouldn’t mind having the monitor to help confirm that I am reading my fertility signs correctly.

Marquette user here!


It’s super easy, super awesome, and just… super!
You learn the method via the Marquette website
You can join the site, and then you will have access to Marquette University doctors and nurses, who can answer all of your questions.
Since you have been charting, you are already familiar with tracking CM, so that will be a boon to your practice! The monitor is quite lovely for giving you a def sign of peak. Even though I track my CM and use the monitor, I still take my temp every morning- STM drilled that into me, and it’s a habit now!

Lastly, if you are on Facebook, I suggest you join the NFP-Closed group. We are a very active community with long time practitioners, many instructors, lots of knowledgeable gals, an extensive document collection, and just all-around awesomeness!

Another Marquette User! I had three babies within four years, so after the birth of the 3rd I was really anxious for a bit of a break. I decided to use the method because of the objectivity of the monitor. My cycles typically return around a year postpartum because I breastfed quite regularly (almost ecological). After the 3rd, at about 13 months, I began to breastfeed a little less often, and I had a feeling my cycles would come back soon. Almost immediately, I got my first high on the monitor (after about four to five months of lows. I abstained, and after maybe about a week of highs, I got my first peak, and then my first period shortly after. I will say that when I got my first high, I cut the breastfeeding out to allow my cycle to return so that I wouldn’t have a long string of highs and lows. I LOVE this method. There have been several times I had a question, and I was answered on the online forum very promptly by the nurse and doctor who run it.
Hope you find that you love it as much as I did.


PS. My youngest child is now almost three years old and I am still using the monitor along with sympto-thermal to cross check with a temp.

I used Marquette while I was breastfeeding my last baby. I breastfeed for about a year and at 6 months postpartum I started getting H readings. Once you get a high reading, the monitor will always read high until it determines peak day or you physically reset it. I had a lot of these starts and stops. I generally don’t get my period until I wean at one year, so we were skeptical when I was getting highs at 6 months PP. we have been trained in Creighton as well, and I was not having any noticeable cervical mucus, so we did not abstain and would reset the monitor after 20 days (which is what I understood the website said to do). When I weaned at one year, we were more careful because I knew this would probably be the real thing. This time the highs were with cm and followed by a peak day. Instead of more carefully monitoring cm, we took the monitors last peak day as gospel, waited the three days as the website instructs, and used evening of fourth day. Well, that resulted in a new pregnancy with our baby boy due this March after a single postpartum cycle!! In retrospect, we should have combined monitor with cm observations. I don’t know for sure, but I still think we followed all the website instructions properly. I just think monitor NEEDS to be combined with other signs and you cannot use monitor only as website suggests if you want to avoid. I think we will probably use monitor with cervical mucus next time!!

Yes, definitely this. There is a “monitor-only” version of the method, but I can’t say I’d be comfortable relying on it. On a couple of occasions I’ve known the monitor was wrong because I was cross checking. I’ll add though that the monitor was wrong very likely because I was wrong- sometimes you’re a little bleary eyed in the morning and don’t hit the stick properly…or sometimes you just get a faulty stick and you can tell because of the way it looks. In that case I just assume it’s high and wait until the next day, and will use an OPK if I think it’s close enough.

It’s important to remember that the Clearblue monitor is designed to help women become pregnant, not the other way around. It works well to avoid, but the method itself has to be followed very carefully (for instance, just because it says “low” doesn’t mean it’s a non-fertile day).

We used it for two years and have found the method very reliable. It’s easy to learn and is especially useful for women who have a hard time with temps. I had tried STM previously and it just didn’t work for me.

The monitor itself is a little pricey. The sticks come in a box of 30 for about $35 on Amazon, and they typically last me about three months unless I have a weird cycle. Also, once the monitor reads “peak” it will ask for a test for a few more days but you don’t need to bother since it will always read “peak, peak, high, low”- saves sticks.

All in all, I really do like the added security the monitor gives me. Like anyone who uses NFP, you get pretty skilled at figuring out CM patterns, but the peace of mind when I look at the monitor and know I’m still doing it right makes me feel better.

I really appreciate the feedback. With the STM we use through Couple to Couple League, all signs that are experienced during postpartum are to be considered “more fertile”, even if they are in fact not more fertile. After experiencing any signs, you must have 4 consecutive days with no signs to be considered infertile. With my first child, following these rules closely caused an abstinence period of 6 months. My husband is (understandably) concerned that is happening again now with our new baby, and he really struggles with long-term abstinence. We are three months in and still abstaining. I am hopeful that the Marquette Method, paired with what we already use, will give him some ease of mind and allow us to reconnect.


I have read a little about Marquette.

And I have come down to one question. Okay, maybe two.

Which monitor do you use? I have heard about getting strips Amazon. I don’t mean to be thick. But can anyone link to a monitor and strips? So I know exactly what you are talking about. :blush:

This is the monitor- the manufactured use is actually to help achieve pregnancy:

I got mine a few years ago from Walmart, and it came with a box of test strips.

That explains a lot. :o

Every time I look at a monitor, it talks about achieving pregnancy. NOT something I want to do. So I keep looking.

Okay, another question. Well, maybe two.

I read somewhere on the forums that Marquette doesn’t work with long cycles. And when I say long, I mean in excess of 45 days. There is a statement on their web site.

The ClearBlue monitor is designed to monitor cycles up to 42 days in length. If you have cycles longer than 42 days, please consult with your NFP nurse for a special long cycle protocol. See instruction below for managing long cycles with cervical mucus monitoring.

Has anyone here used it for long cycles? If I decided to try the monitor, would I need to find an NFP nurse? :shrug:

I’m not really sure if there is a protocol for longer cycles- mine are usually less than that. However, when I’ve had the occasional long cycle I’ve been able to reset the monitor- it will ask you for 20 sticks and after that will stop reading them. You can reset it and start over if you cycle it to day 5, and it will ask for a test the next day.

So, I guess theoretically it could work but I’m not sure if it would be “recommended”, because every time you reset the monitor it loses your previous data which is really annoying and if you have to do it often could result in more extended periods of abstinence since it doesn’t “know” you. Once in awhile isn’t really a problem but if my cycles were normally long I’m not sure I’d use Marquette.

Thank you.

My cycles are regularly 50+ days.

I will have to mention it to my GYN, next time I see her.

They cannot market the monitor as birth control, because then there would be stuff that the FDA has to approve. It’s the same reason LadyComp and all the online charting apps have to put a disclaimer that it is not birth control and that they are not responsible for any resulting pregnancies.

Here is a direct link to the Marquette NFP website about using the method and monitor to TTP (try to postpone):

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