Natural Family Planning, NFP, has different planning models which you can use. These planning models are: Creighton model, Billings model and the symptothermal model.
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Anne Ebeling: Kirsten and Brad Williams had been all natural since 2003, that's when the couple started practicing Natural Family Planning. Kirsten: There is a something really, really important for all women to know that you don't have to relay on somebody else, you can relay on yourself, and there are huge health benefits to this. To not have a whole bunch of chemicals that are foreign bodies interfering with your body. Anne Ebeling: They now have two beautiful children and one on the way, but Christian and Brad have used NFP to avoid pregnancy as well as to conceive. Kirsten: Any medicine you take has always got side effects, and with this, there isn't, it's just you. And that makes for us -- that was the biggest difference. It takes effort from both of you and it takes participation from both of you. You really got to both want to do it. But, if it makes that much of a big deal in your life, you put in the effort. Anne Ebeling: As natural family planning coordinator for the Archdiocese of New York, Katia Peacher helps couple looking to learn about NFP. Katia Peacher: Natural family planning is a way of true family planning that monitors the biological markers in a woman's body. Her cyclic variations, so that a couple can always know when they are fertile or infertile. Anne Ebeling: There are three main natural family planning models used in the U.S. The Creighton model, the Billings Ovulation model and the Symptothermal model. The Symptothermal model uses temperature in addition to other markers of ovulation to track a woman's cycle. The Billings and Creighton models monitor fertility by looking at cervical fluid. Katia Peacher: It's not just counting days and guessing. It's monitoring the biomarkers that your body gives you that a woman's body produces every month. So it's not guessing, it's monitoring you, the signs of fertility. So you know when you are fertile and infertile. Anne Ebeling: Katia teaches the Creighton model. The same model practiced by Kirsten and Brad. Katia Peacher: It works. It's easy to learn and easy to interpret. Woman feel empowered when they know their cycle -- couples feel the confidence in the Creighton model system, because it tells you each day whether you are fertile or infertile. We work along side with doctors trained in NaPro technology which is a new reproductive science. It works naturally and cooperatively with the woman cycle. Anne Ebeling: With the Creighton model couples use a chart like this one to track fertility. A woman monitors her cervical fluid throughout the day, then at the end of the day she writes her observations and puts a corresponding sticker on the chart. A lot of times the woman will lay her observations to her partner and he will put the information on the chart. Kirsten: It's been amazing to watch your buddy from the inside, sort of appear on a page in front of you as you are writing things down, as you go through a day. And things that you didn't think were really all that relevant to what's happening on the inside actually show up. Anne Ebeling: Christine admits the first couple of weeks were challenging. Kirsten: The biggest challenge was confidence in myself. It's all explained to you so nice and clearly. And it's then taking it and making it your own, and having the confidence to say, yes, I know that this is the case and having your partner have that confidence in you. Anne Ebeling: But it gets easier with time. Kirsten: Once you get in to trusting yourself a little more and your partner then trusts you by putting it down on the page, and one cycle comes and the next cycle goes and then you are still not pregnant and it is working out. You do, you develop a trust in it. Anne Ebeling: And Christian says it's had a positive impact on her marriage. Kirsten: It gives him an insight into what's happening with me, which made a huge difference to little nuances in your relationship, but then getting riches your relationship in a way that you didn't,