Switching NFP Methods


#1

Has anyone made the switch from Billings NFP to Sympto-Thermal NFP? I used Billings for years but found it frustrating as I have few dry days in any given cycle, making the mucus sign difficult to interpret.

I recently got Couple to Couple League’s Home Study Course which I’ve gone over thoroughly. I’m hoping with Sympto-Thermal NFP I’ll have more confidence interpreting my fertility signs and need fewer days for abstinence while avoiding pregnancy. Has anyone had this kind of positive experience?


#2

You might also look at Creighton, which is derived from Billings. They have a specific instruction for this type of situation (you will hear references to “Yellow Stamps”).

Sorry, no info on switching, I use Creighton.


#3

I went the other way. I was self-taught FAM (Fertility Awareness Method), which is a variant of STM. I then went to Creighton, because it is so much simpler, and still extremely accurate. Billings really doesn’t talk about dry days? Creighton does. Hmmm.


#4

I think you misunderstood. Billings does discuss “dry days”. The OP is stating she doesn’t have dry days.

That would be a “yellow stamp” situation in Creighton.


#5

Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my post. Billings certainly mentions dry days, I personally don’t experience very many.

The more dry days you have to chart with Billings, the simpler it is to interpret your fertility in any given cycle.

Cervical fluid (particularly when you have to chart some almost every day) CAN make things more ambiguous, especially when it is the only sign being observed. For example, if you are sure you’re well past peak day and suddenly observe fertile-type mucus, it can cause you to panic. Charting temps. could assure you that you are indeed past ovulation and not to worry.

Because no one I know uses Sympto-Thermal NFP, I wonder if there are real people out there using it with relative confidence. My friends are Billings users and we’ve all had unplanned (beautiful) babies. I can’t speak for anyone else but I would never knowingly break a Billings rule while trying to avoid pregnancy. Obviously I broke some unknowingly.

Any input is most appreciated.


#6

We’ve used STM taught by CCL for 6 years now (going on it). While we would certainly welcome any “unplanned” babies…we haven’t had any. We have had 100% success each way we have gone…achieve or avoid and have 3 beautiful girls to show for it. Never switched ;though…just always used STM. I like the cross-checks with temps and I also do the cervical checks in addition to mucous.


#7

I highly recommend going to an NFP only doctor. The fact that you don’t have many dry days could be symptomatic of a health issue. (It could be just something simple).

I didn’t have any dry days, and creighton helped me distinguish mucuus so I could tell when I was ovulating. The doctor saw the chart, and found that I had a cervical aversion. (I can’t explain what it is). I had a procedure called a “cryo”… (freezing of the cervix, and wasn’t that painful). and now, its just regular ovulation!


#8

I use the Symto-Thermal method as taught by the Couple to Couple league. If I used a mucus only method, I don’t know what I would have done when my son started on solid foods, because two months after he started solids, my mucus pattern changed dramatically. It would have been very frustrating for me if I didn’t also have my temps charted, and known how to interpret my cervix symptoms.

Since you’re doing the home study course, do you have counselors to whom you can go for help if you have any questions?


#9

I just looked over my CCL course kit and it seems you can call the office and they either take questions or refer you to a teaching couple in your area. (I’m in eastern Canada, doubtful they’ve got anyone here.) In addition, you send in your charts for them to analyze.

I really envy you Americans, especially living close to major cities where you’ve got great NFP resources available. It would be so nice to spend time with a good STM teaching couple. Maybe I’ll get in touch with CCL and ask them if anybody travels.

If only Mormons used NFP…I talk to lots of them!


#10

On the bright side though, we’re living in the internet age, so you’re really never as desolate as you think you might be! And in the big city, people are very very busy, and often don’t have time for each other. I have a great couple to whom I can go for help, but they do lead a busy, hectic life with work, family, church and volunteering, and I’ve had to remind them of my questions that are unanswered in the past.

I was real suprised at the lack of representation of CCL up in Canada when last I looked for a friend. CCL depends a good deal on volunteer teaching couples, so once you’re up and running with it, you may want to look into becoming a teacher yourself. I’ve been thinking about offering to at least be a promoter, as my husband would not be the least interested in teaching with me.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I don’t know a whole lot, but I have the same book you do, and sometimes it helps just to talk things out with someone else who’s practicing STM. Do you have a scanner? Sometimes I scan my charts to a file and e-mail them to my instructors.


#11

There are a couple of teachers listed on the CCL website in Canada:

ccli.org/learn/tcsearch.php

You could also call your Diocesan Family Life office-- they should have local teaching resources.


#12

I believe our Family Life office only promotes Billings, but I’m going to double check that one.

There don’t seem to be any CCL teachers east of Ontario in Canada. I clicked on the CCL link (thanks 1ke) and found out a little about promoters. I think we need some in my area if only to give couples another option.

BeeSweet, you’re right on every point except the thought of myself teaching STM was pretty funny (four unplanned babies would be a poor track record for a teaching couple). Like you, I love the thought of becoming a CCL promoter someday but I’ll have to gain a little experience with the method first. You sound so nice I would love to send you a PM about NFP as long as it’s really easy to do. I’m terrible with technology.

Authors always tell you they’ve got a highly effective method of family planning but I put more stock in what motivated users are saying. It gives me hope to hear couples are using NFP methods that are consistently reliable over a number of years.

If I really believed in an NFP method I would have more peace and I would feel comfortable reccomending it to others. I think I could talk any couple into periodic abstinence as long as the method was truly effective.


#13

If you click on my user name, a menu will pull down where you can send me a private message. It’s super easy.


#14

Wow, glad my wife & I aren’t the only ones. Our child is absolutely wonderful and a great blessing. We’re not sure what sign we missed, but we conceived during the so-called basic infertile period. Do other methods offer any different guidance on what to look for during the time after the period ends but before the buildup to ovulation becomes apparent?


#15

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