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”.
So at first glance, it seems the only different methods are by indicators, but when more involved in it, there are deeper differences. At first, creighton was difficult for me because I had health issues that made the one indicator bizarre…but that fact made me have to be more astute and observing. I had the issues taken care of, and it is so easy now. Creighton is the chart that those NFP docs use.