‘FertilityCare’ is a program of integrated health education in the area of fertility, using the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.
FertilityCare increases a couple’s awareness of and appreciation for their fertility, enabling them to be active participants in caring for their particular fertility situation or women’s health issue.
The Creighton Model FertilityCare System teaches a woman or couple to accurately identify the time of ovulation in each of their own cycles. The naturally-occurring times of fertility and infertility in each cycle can be pin-pointed with ease using this method, and couples can use this information to achieve or avoid a pregnancy. The system is also very useful for arranging medical investigations such as blood tests and ultrasound scans to correspond with the time of the woman’s ovulation in the cycle. A medical interpretation of the woman’s chart can itself give valuable clues in the diagnosis of fertility and women’s health problems.
For family planning purposes, the Creighton Model FertilityCare System is 99.5% method-effective and 96.8% use-effective for avoiding pregnancy. (TW Hilgers, JB Stanford; ‘Creighton Model NaProEducation Technology for avoiding pregnancy: use effectiveness’; J Reprod Med 1998; 43: 495-502) These statistics are equal to those described with the use of the oral contraceptive pill, and greater than those attributed to barrier methods of contraception.
The real benefits of this method for family planning, however, lie in the areas of the woman’s health and the couple’s relationship. As a natural method of family planning, there are none of the physical side-effects commonly associated with the contraceptive pill or other contraceptives. In fact, the FertilityCare charts can actively assist in the early detection and prevention of gynaecological problems. In the hands of a trained medical consultant, the charts can also be used in the investigation and treatment of many medical conditions.
This system brings a new fertility awareness to couples, encouraging new levels of understanding and communication between man and woman. The responsibility for family planning becomes truly shared, and the couple together determines their times of fertility and infertility within the cycle. One of the great strengths of the natural methods of family planning is the fact that the fertile time of the cycle requires a time of genital abstinence if it is the couple’s intention to avoid pregnancy. Couples report new depths of ‘non-genital’ expression of their love during the fertile times, together with a ‘honeymoon effect’ of renewed appreciation for intercourse when the time comes.