NFP: Understanding Your Fertility

Natural Family Planning education with a focus on the Marquette Method with mom and nurse Christy Garbus MSN, RN

Why Natural Family Planning?

How well do you actually understand your reproductive system?

I know I did not until I started to learn about NFP! It is easy to learn how to work with your body naturally utilizing observations of cervical mucus, temperature, and/or urinary hormones.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is exactly that- Natural! It is a holistic practice of family planning that teaches women and couples how to observe and interpret natural signs of fertility throughout a woman’s reproductive cycle. Utilizing this information, couples can choose to act in ways to both attain or avoid pregnancy, practicing abstinence during fertile periods when pregnancy is not desired. Women in general can use this information to monitor and understand their reproductive health.

  • According to the CDC, NFP methods have a failure rate of 2-23%, making them "at least as effective as the Pill, patch, ring, or injectable birth control methods" (4).
  • Studies have shown the Marquette Method typical use pregnancy rates to be as low as two per year per 100 women (5).
  • NFP methods are "consistently viewed as being beneficial to couples’ self-knowledge, their relationship, and satisfaction with frequency of sexual intercourse" (7).

Why the Marquette Method?

The Marquette Method (MM) is an NFP method that utilizes technology to track urinary hormone metabolites (Estrogen and Luteinizing Hormone). It gives a daily, objective reading of low (not fertile), high (fertile), or peak (ovulating), to help identify one's fertile window.

  • Can be used in conjunction with other methods of NFP, but is 98% effective in avoiding pregnancy independent of other methods. Out of 100 women unintended pregnancy rate over 12 cycles is 2/100 (3).
  • Utilizes technology: Clear Blue Fertility Monitor
    • App or online charting available
  • Special protocols designed for postpartum and breastfeeding women to help identify ovulation before return of menses
  • User friendly: Urinate on test stick every morning for results

Isn't NFP a Catholic Thing?

NFP is not just for Catholics! Why not utilize a family planning strategy with no medical side effects, that increases intimacy in relationships, strengthens the marital bond, and increases reproductive knowledge? While NFP helps couples achieve pregnancy, it is also known as an effective method for avoiding!

Why is it part of Catholic teaching?

  • According to the USCCB, “NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child” (6).
  • By maintaining this dignity and openness to life, “NFP does not separate the unitive and procreative nature of marital love” which is in line with Catholic teaching (2).
  • Natural family planning uses periods of abstinence instead of any form of contraception. “These methods [NFP] respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom” (1).

See more from the Catechism of the Catholic Church section 3.3 "The Love of Husband and Wife": http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

Meet Your MM Teacher!

My name is Christy Garbus and I offer Natural Family Planning (NFP) education in person in Littleton, CO as well as remotely through online video conferencing. I have been practicing as a nurse since 2014, and in 2019 earned my Masters in Nursing Education (MSN) from Regis University. I find great joy in teaching NFP and combining my love for education with my desire to integrate faith and medicine.

My husband and I have been practicing NFP from the start of our marriage and believe it to be a beautiful practice that has strengthened our love and communication. We have used both the Creighton mucus method and, after our first child, transitioned to the Marquette Method (MM). We have great confidence in our use of NFP and have used it to both achieve and avoid pregnancy.

Coming from a medical background, I appreciate the integration of science and new technology the MM offers, and chose to learn more so I could educate myself and those around me. I fell in love with the philosophy and church teachings behind NFP practice and am fascinated and in awe of the amazing workings of the female reproductive system. We are truly "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).

In my free time, I love enjoying Colorado with my beautiful family. My loving, supportive husband is a geologist. We are blessed with our son Hudson, and daughter Claire. I look forward to working with you and helping you navigate the amazing potential NFP has to offer you, your spouse, and your family.

Visit the Contact tab for scheduling information, pricing, and my contact information.

"Christy's Marquette Method course was great! I feel so much more knowledgeable and empowered about how my cycle works with spacing children after talking with Christy and seeing her presentation. She was professional yet personal and warm. She is so smart and shares her knowledge well and you understand exactly what she is teaching you. She answered all our questions very well and explained things so that both me and my non-medical background husband could understand the concepts. I would highly recommend learning about the Marquette Method from Christy!" -Client Review

References

(1) Catechism of the Catholic Church Part Three. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

(2) Fehring, R.J. (n.d.). Fertility health-natural methods of family planning. [Powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from https://cps.ce.mu.edu/content/nursing/fertilityhealth/MODULE1_FH%20%5BCompatibility%20Mode%5D.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=tXipHBpzOlb9cpcbpg7dAlixD&ou=218745

(3) Fehring, R. J. & Schneider, M. (2017). Effectiveness of a natural family planning service program. The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(1):43–49. doi:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000296

(4) Migeon, G. (2019). It's official: fertility awareness methods can be at least as effective as the pill. Retrieved from https://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/its-official-fertility-awareness-methods-can-be-at-least-as-effective-as-th/22526

(5) Peragallo Urrutia, R., Polis, C. B., Jensen, E. T., Greene, M. E., Kennedy, E., & Stanford, J. B. (2018). Effectiveness of Fertility Awareness-Based Methods for Pregnancy Prevention: A Systematic Review. Obstetrics And Gynecology, 132(3), 591–604. https://doi-org.dml.regis.edu/10.1097/AOG.0000000000002784

(6) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2019). Natural Family Planning. Retrieved from http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-planning/

(7) Unseld, M., Rötzer, E., Weigl, R., Masel, E. K., & Manhart, M. D. (2017). Use of natural family planning (NFP) and its effect on couple relationships and sexual satisfaction: A multi-country survey of NFP users from US and europe. Frontiers in public health, 5, 42. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00042