Poll: How did you learn NFP?


A few different recent threads have inspired this poll. Is there a connection between success (either to avoid or achieve pregnancy) and satisfaction with NFP and how the couple or woman learned the method?

How did you learn NFP (regardless of method)? Please post if you answer the poll, to describe your long-term success with the method, to avoid/achieve pregnancy and/or to detect fertility or health problems. Also feel free to mention your satisfaction with the method of NFP you have chosen to use (are you confident in its use or is it shrouded in mystery?)



I'll answer first.

I have learned the Creighton Model, an instructor-based method. My DH and I attended an intro session before we were married and had monthly follow-ups until the wedding. After the wedding we have met with our instructor every 2-3 months (sometimes longer, sometimes shorter) for standard follow-ups that are part of the Creighton Model System.

We are both very satisfied with our use of this method, especially because it has helped identify some of my health/fertility issues. My instructor is always able to help me make sense of my charts and offers ideas for why things are not looking "normal," and has been a great resource as I prepared for doctor's visits. Because of my health issues we have not been able to achieve pregnancy (not for lack of trying!), and we have successfully avoided pregnancy earlier in our marriage using this method.

Looking forward to seeing some other responses!


I taught myself using both Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The Art of Natural Family Planning.

A year or so later, DH and I took an NFP class together because he felt we could benefit from having some "professionals" to help interpret our charts.


Well I kind screwed up my poll answer. I was first told about NFP during our Engaged Encounter weekend. Then took a class to learn more but the class was several class sessions.

We had the option to call the instructor or come to another of her classes to learn more or solve problems. The method we used was the "Billing's Method"... so simple and easy for us!

I've been married 28 yrs and only had one "oops" baby out of 5. The oops was because we were not paying attention to my body after we'd had a fire at our home... everything and everyone was in disarray, not due to my body, but due to my own mind at the time (was still a new mother of an 8 month old baby at the time)


Back in the dark ages, I was taught by a sweet, elderly Sister of St. Agnes who was a nurse and worked with our diocese. I was mortified at the time to be learning from a religious!!! :eek: It was the Billings Method that I learned at first, and then later taught myself the sympto-thermal method, in which I had much more confidence.

Due to a variety of factors (confusing symptoms, etc.) there was a LOT of abstaining. While NFP "worked", I can't truly say that either of us was happy with it; there were many tense years. I had a very early menopause which, to be totally honest, came as a relief. (I had three early miscarriages, two wonderful daughters, and nutsy cycles for years.)


My husband and I were required to take NFP classes as part of our preparation for marriage so I learned the Creighton method with an instructor. I still chart myself but sometimes I wonder if I am reading the chart right.


We took sympto-thermal classes through our diocese - two 3hr classes and that was it! However, I also have an abnormal curiosity for understanding the method, so I've read several books on the subject as well...


Took the a class at a local parish in the STM method in 1997 (or 98 can't remember for sure). It was I think 4 or 6 weeks long (with a class once a week). I have very serious reasons to avoid since our only child was born -and no pregnancies have occurred while using NFP.


We use the Creighton Model, which has worked really well for us. We went to an intor session when we were engaged, and I started charting several months before the wedding. I have periodic follups with my wonderful practitioner, who really is a friend. We’ve been married almost 6 months, and so far no “surprise” babies. Though, it is hard every month, because I really do want to be a mom; we’re just trying to get everything sorted and make sure DH has a job next year (being a High School Band teacher in a state that is in a budget crisis and where the first thing to get axed in public education is the arts can be a bit scary).

I really like the Crieghton model, I feel very confident with it, and I don’t have to worry about taking my temperature or doing internal exams which aren’t always sanitary or convenient. The observations become second nature. If there’s anything I don’t understand, or anything I’m doing “wrong”, my practitioner is always there to help, and to make sure that whatever way we are using the method, it is successful. We’re also starting to work through some of my health issues, through a combination of studying my charts and progesterone level blood tests, so I’m hoping to be able to resolve some of my problems, and also prevent possible infertility or miscarriage–I don’t want to have to go through losing a baby if I can prevent it before I start trying for a child.

I would highly reccommend the Creighton Model, it’s very easy to learn and has lots of benefits. The follow ups are not a burden, but rather a huge help!


I ticked other because it's a mix from all three.

I started learning Billings quite a longtime before our marriage.
1st while talking with my best friend, even before we both were engaged, we shared the little information we had on the subject and tried to detect our Peak-like days.
Then 10 months before our wedding, DH and I went to a Billings information evening, I started to chart, and then I met several times (I'd say like 3) with an instructor in order to review my charts and ask whatever question I had. And I continued relying heavily on the Billings wesite whenever I needed it to compare the theory with my observations.
I've not met with her again since the wedding took place nearly 2 years ago (or maybe once ? Maybe one month after our wedding.... I don't remember) but that's more because I didn't feel the need to.
After a few months of marriage I discovered a German website and the associated forum of STM-users and I finally added temperatures to my Billings observations.

We're quite happy with NFP and feel very secure with it. I would say the most difficult parts are
- communicating about it (I sometimes would like to 'forget' mentionning we're in the fertile period)
- keeping in touch with my body during stressy times : that's mainly why I've added temperature in. As an unmarried student I was much better able to "listen" to my body than I am now as an overstressed working wife looking for new employment.

So yes, I'm partly self-taught, partly instructor-taught, partly friend-taught... But I DO agree that putting many efforts into a proper learning is a definite factor of success for NFP ! This is something I never fail to ephasize when meeting engaged couples.


I was very happy with NFP. Now beyond needing it. I read learned it through two books. Names of which I no longer remember. I successfully used it to get pregnant as well as avoiding pregnancy. I would not have my youngest son if not for NFP. For I would not have know when I was fertile.

I first used Billings but than switched to the thermo method. I liked it better.


I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility when I was 18 and charted on paper {not very seriously since I wasn’t sexually active}.

Then when we got engaged 6ish years later, we were required to take a NFP class but by then I knew a lot about it…and I actually found the class really boring.

Once we were married I started using FertilityFriend.com VIP to chart, because it was easy. I’ll do that again once this baby is born.

It was easy to self-teach. I really didn’t like the mandatory class. It was way too scientific and they were trying too hard…I think I just had bad teachers.


I voted for option #3 - instructor w/ followup. (Although, it was all done over the phone and Internet, not in person.) Creighton Method.

Also, I’m unmarried (and, of course, not sexually active), so I’m using it for health reasons only - I don’t know anything about using it to achieve/avoid pregnancy. (And, due to my health issues, I’m not terribly confident in my ability to determine my fertile/infertile periods. As far as I can tell…I haven’t had a fertile period since I started doing this several years ago, lol.) :stuck_out_tongue:

Yet, I’m quite satisfied with everything so far. (Those people out at the PPVI Institute in Omaha are quite nice!!) :thumbsup:


We started off self taught using Lady Comp, then moved on to CCL sympto-thermal, then took a class on Billings, and then ended up abandoning NFP. I never really learned the method; I helped take temperature and then my wife interpreted the signs. Due to various health issues she never identified a infertile or fertile period even with help from a professional and we really never had a serious enough reason to abstain for months upon months. :shrug: Surprisingly we were still able to have children and now various complications have taken over and our days of worrying about NFP are over with. Praise de lawd!! :extrahappy:


We learned through CCL, and had classes (3) over the course of several months to help troubleshoot things as we tried it out. We also have the option for follow up (either in person with a local instructor or over the internet) although we haven't really utilized that. Our physician is also somewhat familiar with STM. Until last month, my cycles were more or less readable.

It has worked great for a year and a half (although if you read my other thread, we may be early on in an "oops" pregnancy as a result of a fault on OUR part and not the Method's). We've been incredibly satisfied with it overall, and will be using it for the rest of my fertility. DH wakes me up to take my temp and does a LOT (probably most) of the charting and interpreting.


We went a totally different way! We go on BabyCenter.com and then go to their Ovulation Calculator tool online. We input the required info and it produces the days I will be most fertile. We avoid those days FULLY for intamacy.

It has worked for us greatly for years…and worked for conceiving (by being ‘active’ on the aforementioned days) as well! Easy, simply, healthy…and free.



We learned Creighton from a class with followup with our instructor (who is also a friend from church who lives down the street). We love it. It’s not always easy, but we’re big fans. I learned postpartum which I would definitely NOT recommend as it was difficult to interpret things, not really knowing what my signs during fertile cycling looked like, so we abstained a LOT.

I’m still a little bit surprised and really annoyed that I learned absolutely nothing about NFP during medical school. ( Except for, “NFP DOES NOT WORK!”–argh!)) It’s worked to avoid for 21 months so far, and hopefully soon it’ll work to achieve. Love it, love it, love it.


We bought The Art of Natural Family Planning and started reading away. We live in such a rural area that we thought it was our only option (there was a class an hour and a half away, but since my husband worked 72 hour shifts every other weekend he wouldn't have been able to make half of the classes).

When I first heard about NFP I was in college (and not Catholic) and was very skeptical. Now I'm one of those (probably annoying) enthusiastic people who think it's been great (because it helped us know when I was fertile again so we could start trying for #2!).


I used the book The Art of Natural Family Planning. When I ordered it I also got charts and a thermometer so I was ready to go. We didn’t want to drive into the city for classes and the book had all the info I needed. 6 years and so far so good.


From my mother in law.

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