The Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning
BASICS OF THE MARQUETTE METHOD
With any method of NFP, the couple tracks signs that the woman's body naturally produces throughout the monthly menstrual cycle. This information is recorded and used to guide the couple in identifying the days when pregnancy is possible. These days are called the "fertile window." Once the fertile window has been identified, the couple can change their behaviors during that time to avoid or achieve pregnancy.
FINDING THE FERTILE WINDOW
The Marquette Method uses two main indicators to determine fertility: cervical mucus observations and urinary hormone measurements. One or both signs are tracked based on user preference, and then combined with a simple protocol to determine the fertile window. The Marquette Method has optional instructions for incorporating basal body temperature (BBT), urine luteinizing hormone (LH) tests, and urine progesterone tests to help be more precise in identifying fertility.
WHO CAN USE THE MARQUETTE METHOD
It's a myth that only women with regular cycles can use natural family planning! Since each cycle is tracked individually, even women with irregular cycles or women who are approaching menopause can determine the fertile window confidently. Additionally, the Marquette Method is the only method of NFP to demonstrate high effectiveness for breastfeeding women who were avoiding pregnancy during the postpartum time.
REASONS TO USE NFP
Aside from using the Marquette Method to effectively avoid or achieve pregnancy, there are additional benefits to tracking your cycle. Some common women's health issues, such as endometriosis, PCOS, and PMDD can be identified through tracking signs of fertility on a chart, and a Marquette Method healthcare professional can guide women on next steps to care for their health. Couples will also learn how to grow in communication and the mutual love for each other that is integral to NFP.
Research supports the Marquette Method as simple and effective for couples wishing to avoid pregnancy as demonstrated in several studies and among various populations.
Perfect use in regular cycles: up to 99%
Typical use in regular cycles¹:
Monitor protocol: 94-98%
Mucus protocol: 81-92%
Perfect use while breastfeeding: up to 98%
in the first 12 months postpartum²: 92%
among all breastfeeding women³: 84%
1: Fehring, & Schneider (2017) Effectiveness of a natural family planning service program.
2: Bouchard, Fehring, & Schneider (2013) Efficacy of a new postpartum transition protocol for avoiding pregnancy.
3: Fehring, Schneider, & Bouchard (2017) Effectiveness of an online Natural Family Planning Program for breastfeeding women.
Only healthcare professionals with a Bachelor's degree or higher are eligible to teach the Marquette Method. Through the teacher training program and practical experience, the instructors are equipped to work with women in many phases of life, such as breastfeeding women, women who are approaching menopause, women with irregular cycles, and more.
ABOUT THE MARQUETTE INSTITUTE FOR NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING
Find out more information about the Marquette University Institute for Natural Family Planning and the work and research they accomplish.