All methods of modern Natural Family Planning (NFP) rely on observation of changes in a woman’s body as it makes its way through the monthly menstrual cycle. These observations determine when sexual intercourse can/should take place – depending on whether one is trying to achieve or postpone pregnancy. Two of the primary signs are cervical fluids and basal body temperature. Commonly known formal methods include the Billings, Sympto-Thermal, and Creighton Methods. All of these methods rely on human observation and charting of one or more of these fertility signs.
The Marquette Method of NFP created by Marquette University Institute of Natural Family Planning makes use of modern technology in helping women determine their time of fertility. Use of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor can help take human error in charting out of the equation when using NFP.
The instruction manual for using the Marquette Method can be found online at http://nfp.marquette.edu/pdf/nfp_user_manual.pdf  . This manual offers a basic introduction to NFP and the reasons to use it as a family planning tool, a review of the basics of human reproduction, and instructions on how to use the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. This monitor offers “fast, accurate, objective, and very clear information about fertility.” While the Clearblue monitor and LH test kits were originally designed to help women achieve a pregnancy, they can also be used to help avoid a pregnancy as well. The Marquette Method User Manual includes instructions for how to use the Clearblue Monitor to do just that. It is recommended that users consult with a trained NFP instructor for help in learning to chart and track one’s fertility.
Whereas most methods of NFP are free (there may be some cost associated with training and/or ongoing consultation with an NFP professional), this method requires the cost of the fertility monitor and the ongoing cost of testing strips. For many people, human observation works very well in determining fertility. However, one can understand how a positive confirmation of a fertile period would be very helpful for those who have difficulty determining when fertility is occurring. The additional cost may very well be a worthwhile investment.
For more information on the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning, please visit http://nfp.marquette.edu/definition_nfp.php