Natural Family Planning: Achieving Pregnancy

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a general term for fertility awareness-based methods of family planning that are science-based, accurate, natural, healthy and effective.

The Catholic FertilityCare™ Center of WNY provides instruction in the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System (CrMS) of Natural Family Planning. When using this system, a woman observes changes in her cervical mucus and menstrual patterns to determine when she is fertile and infertile. Couples wishing to conceive engage in intercourse when they are fertile.

Learn How the Creighton Model Helped Corinn & Eric Soro Achieve Pregnancy

How Does Natural Family Planning Work?

Some couples experience a longer time than they expect trying to achieve a pregnancy. Charting a woman's cycle can reveal minor irregularities in cycle patterns. Difficulty in achieving a pregnancy does not automatically indicate infertility, but if there is infertility or subfertility, we offer a cost- and time-effective approach to diagnosing and treating infertility.

Learning the Creighton Model begins with an introductory session, followed by individual instruction.

During the first year of use, couples attend 8 follow-up sessions in which they receive personal instruction and their fertility chart is reviewed. After the first year, follow-up sessions are needed only every 6 to 12 months. Couples experiencing irregularities, infertility or breastfeeding issues that may need more management can be seen as often as needed.

Why Choose CrMS?

There Are No Side Effects

Because CrMS is entirely natural, there are no side effects or health risks. Many women who previously used contraceptives report feeling better and more in control of their bodies within a short time of CrMS use.

Watch the video below to hear how one woman's pursuit of healthy living led her and her husband to CrMS.

It's Effective and Reliable

When using the CrMS™, a woman observes changes in her cervical mucus and menstrual patterns to determine when she is fertile. Compared to artificial conception aids, CrMS is safer and more effective.

In couples of normal fertility, 76% using fertility-focused intercourse achieve pregnancy in the first cycle of trying; 90% by the third cycle and 98% by the sixth cycle.*

CrMS™ practitioners are allied health professionals who can interpret many types of reproductive situations and abnormalities and refer patients to the appropriate doctor or specialist if needed. 

*Reference: Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 37:864, 1992. Hilgers, TW, Daly, KD, Prebil, AM and Hilger, SK. “Cumulative Pregnancy Rates in Patients with Apparently Normal Fertility and Fertility Focused Intercourse.”

It's Appropriate for Women at All Stages of Life

The CrMS can be used by women who have regular or irregular cycles and who are breastfeeding, post-pill and/or pre-menopausal. It can be used at any stage of a woman's reproductive life. Among methods of Natural Family Planning, the CrMS™ is the most versatile in addressing the variables that occur in every woman’s cycle.

Watch the video below to learn how Natural Family Planning provided relief from postpartum depression for a new mom.

It Strengthens the Bond Between Spouses

Both spouses in a marriage must be involved for CrMS to be successful. They must be willing to track when they are fertile and to time their intercourse accordingly. In many cases, Natural Family Planning strengthens the bond between husband and wife.

Natural Family Planning vs. Artificial Reproduction

Natural Family Planning is safe, effective and affordable. It allows couples to take an active role in achieving pregnancy by identifying their fertility and timing intercourse to achieve their goals. The knowledge of optimum fertility places the couple in control of the timing of conception. The FertilityCare™ Chart becomes an excellent diagnostic tool for physicians to correctly time tests and monitor a woman's health.

Method  What It Does Risks
Creighton Model Tracks changes in a woman's body to determine when couple is fertile and infertile None
Artificial Insemination Inserts sperm directly into a woman's cervix, fallopian tubes, or uterus Some risk of infection or multiple gestations (twins, triplets, etc.)**
In Vitro Fertilization Combines egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and inserts embryo in uterus Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (a serious medical condition involving enlargement of the ovaries), multiple gestations (twins, triplets, etc.)**
Infertility Medication Releases hormones that either trigger ovulation or regulate it  Vary by medication; Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (a serious medical condition involving enlargement of the ovaries), multiple gestations (twins, triplets, etc.)**

** Sometimes resulting in selective reduction and/or frozen embryos

Diagnosing & Treating Infertility

There are many reasons for difficulty in achieving a pregnancy. Through the use of CrMS, some infertility patterns can be recognized, causes identified and treatment options recommended. When a couple’s chart is reviewed as part of the individual follow-up sessions, a practitioner will be able to identify any abnormalities and recommend a course of action.

Getting Started

Learning the CrMS™ begins with an introductory session that explains scientific foundations, methodology, applications to various reproductive categories and how to track your cycles. 

Introductory classes are generally 90 minutes long and offered monthly at Sisters of Charity Hospital and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. Classes are also available by appointment at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital.

Please view our introductory sessions or call (716) 862-1944 to register or make an appointment.

Individualized Teaching

Learning continues with a series of follow-up teaching appointments that includes professional, personal instruction on the use of the system and a complete chart review. At each private follow-up session, the FertilityCare™ Practitioner tailors the system to your specific needs.

These sessions are recommended five times during the first three months of use and an additional three times over the remainder of a year. Subsequent follow-ups are recommended every six to twelve months as needed.

Individual follow-up sessions are usually an hour or less, although the first session can be up to one and a half hours long.

Your professional FertilityCare™ Practitioner is also available for consultation between sessions should any questions arise.


Preliminary expenses for being educated in CrMS vary from place to place but compare favorably with any form of artificial contraception or artificial reproductive technology. The materials provided for charting and tracking cycle patterns are inexpensive and provide invaluable recorded information throughout a woman’s childbearing and pre-menopausal years.

Cost information may be obtained by emailing us.

Soro Family Testimonial

When we first met with an IVF doctor, he told us I was “a dime a dozen” and he “knew the formula for me to get pregnant”. With each round of treatments, my body refused to react, and the medical response was “more medication injections and try again...” After many tearfully failed attempts, we felt this just wasn’t the method for us. In the midst of our struggle, we witnessed society’s insensitivity to tease people about having a baby. If only they knew how hard we were trying and the amount of times we hid our tears. Infertility followed us everywhere.

When we found the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, we were immediately impressed with the way this method worked in listening so intently to my body.

Our doctors and FertilityCare Practitioner walked with us in every way to help us discover what my body was and wasn’t doing on its own. We felt we had a team around us who were personally invested in us starting a family. We still can’t believe how blessed we are today to have our sweet baby girl and be a Creighton Model success story; a dream we once doubted would ever become a reality.

Eric, Corinn & Jade

More Information 

For more information about Catholic Health’s family planning services, click here to email the Catholic FertilityCare Centers of WNY or call (716) 862-1944.