In Sync

Dec. 15-21, 2005
In Sync
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Creighton Model FertilityCare System being Offered in the Diocese

Joan Nolan is simply teaching what she has practiced for the last 26 years. As a fertility care specialist at the fertility center at Holy Family Parish in Syracuse, she is teaching to several couples in the diocese the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, an advanced natural family planning procreative program.

The process of developing a plan to teach married couples a program of natural family planning has been in the works for the last eight years.

Eight years ago, Nolan, accompanied by a group of other Holy Family parishioners in Syracuse, approached Bishop James Moynihan to ask for his support in promoting a natural family planning program for the diocese. “The bishop wanted to get a Catholic vision of reproduction,” said Nolan. “He’s always been a proponent of natural family planning.”

Recently, a decision was made to teach the Creighton Model FertilityCare System to couples in the diocese. This system is a modification of NaPro Technology, a new reproductive and gynecologic science that has been developed at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction.

This new educational technology (which has been in development for over 20 years) allows a woman to monitor in an easy and objective way a variety of different biological markers (bio-markers) that reflect the occurrence of various hormone events during the course of the menstrual cycle. With this information, she is given an opportunity to monitor her procreative and gynecological health in a way capable of giving valid information that she and specially trained physicians can interpret. She can do this while naturally regulating her fertility.

The method and effectiveness of the system in planning pregnancy are equal to or better than any drug or device on the market. Because it is also a system that accurately monitors reproductive and gynecologic health, it can be used to assess chronic discharges, perform targeted hormone evaluation and treatment, identify ovarian cysts, evaluate the effects of stress, treat premenstrual syndrome, and evaluate and treat reproductive abnormalities such as infertility, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and prematurity.

It is the best system available for dating the beginning of pregnancy, encouraging the development of a multidimensional view of human sexuality in marriage and helping to establish marital bonding. FertilityCare is the foundation of the Creighton Model System. It is the ability of a couple to value, respect and understand their fertility. Many couples find that the love and respect each person holds for the other increases as their understanding and appreciation of their fertility increases. The couple accepts fertility as a normal and healthy process, which is a precious gift from God; a gift to be loved, respected, understood and used wisely. Last October, Nolan received her training to be a fertility education specialist at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha, Neb.

Before Nolan made her decision to enter the fertility field, several of her friends had urged her to seek out training because of her familiarity and success with natural family planning. “I feel like I was being called to do this,” said Nolan. “It’s my life. My goal is to keep marriage alive. This fertility system is a tremendous hope for couples and families.”

The learning schedule of the program starts with an introductory session and is followed by a series of eight individualized follow-up teaching appointments. The introductory session consists of a slide presentation that explains the use of the Creighton Model System. The follow-up sessions consist of the tracking and the reading of biological markers. These biological markers tell the couple when they are naturally fertile and not fertile. Meghan and Steve Gaffney are strong proponents of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System. The couple is expecting their first child in May. “It’s an excellent program,” remarked Meghan. “I felt confident with the Creighton method because of its reliability. The training is extensive and the program is effective and well-researched.”

The Gaffneys began their training for the method shortly after they were married in 2004. Before getting married, they had discussed natural family planning. “The concept of natural family planning is beautiful,” remarked Meghan. A family friend recommended the program to them. “As a woman, it was neat to be in tune with my body — to know when I was fertile and not fertile,” said Meghan. “It’s also been a tremendous blessing to our marriage — it’s brought us closer together.”

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