As we continue our Natural Family Planning: How to Get Started Series we are excited to welcome LTS member Batrice Adcock. Batrice is a Marquette Method Instructor as well Director of the NFP Program for Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte, NC. Thank you Beatrice!
The Marquette Model (MM) system of NFP integrates the: ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor (CBEFM), an algorithm and other well-known signs of fertility like mucus and temperature. Use of the CBEFM assists the couple to be more precise with identifying ovulation by measuring hormone levels in urine to estimate the beginning and end of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle. The information from the monitor in conjunction with charting observations of cervical mucus and basal body temperature provides an excellent way for women to monitor their fertility health. The MM was developed by professional nurses and physicians at Marquette University in the late 1990s. With correct use, this method is as effective as other fertility awareness–based methods of natural family planning.
In addition to monitoring the traditional signs of cervical mucus, vulvar sensations, and waking temperature, the monitor provides women the ability to assess female hormones for the purposes of trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy. The Marquette Model’s algorithm which helps women identify their fertile window can be used with one, two or all signs of biological indicators. The algorithm and monitor provide couples with objective indicators of fertility that are unique to the Marquette Method.
A woman may choose to chart any combination of the various signs of fertility integrated into the algorithm. For example, she may choose to chart all three signs, or simply just the monitor data.
At the end of the day, the most fertile sign(s) observed is recorded. If she is in regular cycles and charting online a fertile window will automatically be visible for the couple to know if they are fertile or infertile. They may include descriptive notes in the charting. Personalized instruction is important for achieving high effectiveness and confidence in determining the fertile and infertile times of the cycle.
MM Instructors are allied health professionals and are trained to assist clients with varied special circumstances, including breastfeeding, perimenopause, discontinuing hormonal birth control, etc. Medical and spiritual counseling referrals are made when appropriate.
There are different ways of learning the MM, including in-person or online in the comfort of your own home. Each involves instruction from a MM trained health professional as well as personalized follow-up.
Cost varies depending on the learning method and instructor preference. For example, in the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, NC, the MM is provided free of charge as a one day in-person full course or home course. There are MM teachers in the U.S and Canada. Find local instructors by contacting the Marquette Institute for Natural Family Planning.
STAY TUNED: The Marquette Institute for NFP will be releasing an App and newly designed website within a year. The App will be free for one month and, if it fits the user’s lifestyle will be available for purchase at $4.99. There will be different levels of service and packages available for users and teachers of the Marquette Method.
As with other methods of natural family planning, benefits of the MM include high effectiveness, shared responsibility between spouses, enhanced communication, no health risks, and environmental stewardship, among others. The MM provides users with several signs for crosschecking, yet can be simplified so that only one sign is monitored, depending on user preference. The greatest benefit is that users are encouraged to more fully learn and imitate the love of Christ through the practice of NFP—a love that is free, total, faithful, and fruitful!
The additional sign made available through the self-monitoring of female hormones gives women and couples greater confidence in crosschecking various signs of fertility using the algorithm. Again, the MM can be simplified, and users can choose to monitor only one sign—they have the option of using additional signs if desired. Online charting is available with professional instruction from health professionals trained in the MM. An app for the IPhone and Droid are in development and will soon be available for use. For more information, go to the Marquette Institute for Natural Family Planning website, which is available in English or Spanish:
This spotlight was written by:
Batrice Adcock, MSN, RN
MM instructor and Director of the NFP Program for Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte, NC.
Mary Schneider, MSN, FNP-BC, CLC
Assistant Director of the Marquette College of Nursing Institute for NFP, Milwaukee, WI