What is the Creighton Method? The Creighton Method is a method of fertility awareness that uses body symptoms—predominantly utilizing cervical mucus—to detect a woman's fertile window and to uncover many cycle-related health concerns. Creighton can be used to either avoid or achieve pregnancy. It can also be used as a health monitoring tool, regardless of relationship status. Creighton is therefore not a "birth control" option but, rather, a method of family planning.
Is the Creighton Method backed by research? Is it effective? ABSOLUTELY! Science is key with Creighton. Research began in 1976, and the method launched several years thereafter. The studies show that the effectiveness rate to avoid a pregnancy is 99.5% with perfect use and 96.8 to 98% effective with typical use. The effectiveness to achieve a pregnancy with couples of normal fertility is 98% by the 6th cycle and up to 80% for couples experiencing infertility when paired with medical treatment, such as Natural Procreative Technology (NaProTECHNOLOGY).
What makes the method unique? There are several aspects that make Creighton unique. The first is that it is standardized. This method is derived from the Billings Ovulation Method, but the founder of Creighton (Dr. Thomas Hilgers) standardized the method so that the entire charting experience, teaching experience, etc. was uniform across the board and across the world! This gives teachers and clients assurances that it is taught appropriately and accurately. The other thing that makes Creighton unique is its sister component of NaProTECHNOLOGY. NaProTECHNOLOGY is designed with Creighton charting in mind to amplify the health of the female procreative cycle and to give women REAL answers to REAL problems, and it seeks to RESTORE health and fertility.
What is the training to become a Creighton instructor? The training to become an instructor is quite extensive, and expectations for high-level quality and competency are at the forefront of the program. Practitioners need a degree (in any field) before becoming a practitioner, and they need to have experience charting before entering the Practitioner Program. There is an application and acceptance process, and then the education begins. It starts with a week of intensive learning called EP1, or Education Phase 1, where we dive deep into the biology and physiology of how the male and female bodies work, the history of NFP, the basics of teaching the method, and much more. This week of training is accompanied by multiple tests and classroom workshops.
After EP1 is concluded, we enter a six-month practicum, where we are paired with a supervisor to submit multiple assignments and projects, and we must teach at least six clients. Through this time, we submit our client information, charts, and follow-up forms to our supervisor regularly with more assignments, testing, etc. At the conclusion of the practicum, we gather once more for EPII, or Education Phase 2, and do more intensive learning about unusual cases, chronic discharge, pregnancy evaluations, etc. This phase includes more testing and assignments. High scores are required for passing all the tests and assignments to ensure quality with practitioners.
After EPII comes a second practicum with heavy supervision, and at the conclusion of another six months, we take a final exam and graduate out of our internship to become practitioners. The education continues from there with more requirements and documentation to become certified or to advance as an educator or supervisor for Creighton.
Who would the Creighton method suit best (e.g. breastfeeding, perimenopause, etc.)? Creighton is applicable for any circumstances within the reproductive years. I get many women who report strong satisfaction and success within regular cycles, breastfeeding/postpartum, most especially women with PCOS, and anyone with cycle irregularities, as we are often able to find the problem and alleviate it when pairing with NaProTECHNOLOGY.
Can you touch briefly on what NaPro is? This year rings in the 30th anniversary of NaProTECHNOLOGY. In the OBGYN field, many problems are "treated" with the birth control pill, which functions as a means of shutting down the reproductive system instead of fixing the problem at hand, leaving the problems masked, not solved. NaProTECHNOLOGY takes on a whole different approach. The goal with this method of practice is to look at the woman's cycle, hormones, and more to understand the problem fully and then to TREAT the problem with cooperative natural hormone therapy, supplements, procedures, etc. Because NaProTECHNOLOGY seeks to restore the body back to proper function, it becomes a powerful tool when used within infertility as well.
Can you tell us about what Creighton instruction would look like with you (cost, time commitment, etc.)? Creighton Instruction with me would look relatively similar to instruction with many other Creighton practitioners, due to our standardization of the follow-up schedule. The standardized schedule has us meeting frequently in the beginning (every 2 weeks) and then gradually stretching more and more increments of time between sessions to 1 month, then 3 months, then 6 months, etc. I predominantly teach out of a NaPro Family Planning clinic in Indianapolis, IN, and I have the unique ability to bill insurance for our sessions, so most often my clients learn free of charge, as insurance coverage is pretty strong for our sessions.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where can people find you and what do you offer? I grew up on a 200-acre dairy farm in rural Indiana and understood from a young age that birth control was not the ideal choice for family planning or health management. I met and married my dream guy in college and was highly motivated to avoid a pregnancy so I could finish my degree. After successfully avoiding pregnancy for 1 1/2 years and then having a successful pregnancy, I KNEW I needed to spread the word about this amazing method of family planning. Going through the program, I assumed I would do this as a side gig. Little did I know this would foster a passion in my soul to advance the mission of fertility awareness methods, advancing the wonders of NaProTECHNOLOGY, and that this would become my little apostolate that I have grown to love more and more. I have been teaching since 2015 and have gotten to connect with over 250 couples/women, and it is a joy and privilege to watch their fertility journey unfold. People can find me on Instagram @creightonmodel or email me at email@example.com or go to magnificatfamilymedicine.com or follow us on Instagram at @magnificatfamilymedicine to see more about the practice I work for. I am accepting new clients, and I offer 1:1 instruction for method customization and client success.
A special thank you to Tarina for asking me to share about Creighton! I am so grateful that I started a social media account so I could connect with other like-minded women from across the world! Tarina, thank you for thinking of me and allowing me to share about what I am so passionate about!
Comment below... have you used Creighton as a method of conceiving or avoiding a pregnancy? What appeals to you about a cervical mucus only method?