Who is a Creighton Model practitioner and why you might need one
Note: This blog post is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before making any medical decisions. See our disclaimers page for more information.
I might just have one of the longest job titles in history. My official title is “Creighton Model FertilityCare Practitioner.” Quite a mouthful.
Over the years I’ve worked on my elevator speech to try to explain in a few sentences exactly what I do, but sadly, it never seems to fit in 280 characters.
Every now and then someone will call me up to inquire about what exactly I can do to help them with their fertility problems. It’s hard to correct them when they refer to me as “Dr. Edghill,” but alas, I am not a doctor. I could probably fake it pretty good for a while and I wouldn’t mind having the kind of job where people actually wait for an hour just to see me, but no, that is not my job. I’m also not a nurse or a nurse practitioner (since we have practitioner in the name of our job title, this is another common assumption).
So just what does a Creighton Model practitioner do, and why might you want to seek one out?
Fertility Health Education
Put simply, we are health educators. We can also be called allied healthcare professionals.
Some areas of healthcare have a real need for patient education and coaching. A good comparison would be a diabetes educator. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your physician may send you to a diabetes educator, an allied health professional, to teach you how to inject yourself with insulin, to teach you how to count your carbohydrates so you take the proper amount of insulin, how to track your food and insulin intakes, and how to eat well so your blood sugars will stay managed. Your doctor doesn’t have the time needed to really sit down and educate you on all of this, so the diabetes educator fills an important role in helping you with your healthcare. They can also advocate for you, communicate with your doctor on your behalf, and play the role of accountability partner and coach.
A Creighton Model practitioner’s specialty field is female fertility. When a woman or couple seek us out, our first step is to teach the couple how to chart the woman’s fertility cycle. We teach a very specific method for doing this called The Creighton Model. Tracking the cycle is about more than just tracking the period. The woman makes daily observations about her fertility which can tell the couple when she is fertile or infertile and also can help us tell if she may have signs, or biomarkers, of fertility health problems. The chart is the first step in getting a good diagnosis.
Some couples may come to us to learn the system strictly for the purpose of family planning in a natural way. Perhaps the woman has had many side effects while on the pill, or she’s had to switch birth control methods many times because of her dissatisfaction with it. Perhaps the couple has some kind of religious or moral objections to using contraception. Or maybe they want to use a method that is natural for their bodies or less harmful to the environment.
Regardless of their motivations, we help the couple develop confidence in the natural signs of fertility and infertility, and make sure they are charting and interpreting everything correctly. We teach them about tricky cycle situations that can make their charting confusing, as in the case of stress changing the cycle. They learn to chart even the most complex patterns and feel confident they can use their knowledge to plan their family without hormones, condoms, or IUD’s. We can help any woman of childbearing age to be able to plan their family successfully even if their cycles are irregular or confusing.
We also help the couple to integrate this system into their marriage in a healthy way, from a relationship perspective. We help the man learn how to be involved, how to read the chart as well as his wife, and teach the couple how to communicate about the charting and their family planning goals and intentions.
Some couples come to us because we also work with a specific type of doctor who can help them. The doctors we collaborate with are trained in a method called NaPro Technology. NaPro doctors are different because they practice fertility health medicine that is restorative. The typical approach to treating women’s reproductive health problems is to use a bandaid approach like the birth control pill. While on the pill, a woman is not really cycling, and whatever the underlying problem is that’s been causing her trouble, is still there, getting worse or lying dormant. In 99% of the cases, if she comes off the pill, she’ll go right back to having the same problem. NaPro doctors try to find and truly fix whatever the problem is. If no NaPro doctor is available, we coach the woman in how to get the best possible care from her own physician, or we help her find resources like physicians who may be able to help her via telemedicine.
Charting is an important part of successful treatment with a restorative approach to reproductive healthcare. The chart helps the physician order certain tests that need to be timed to your unique cycle, helps you know when to take certain medications, and even some restorative reproductive health surgeries are timed to certain points in the cycle. The chart also helps us see if the treatments are working! The biomarkers on the chart should improve with the proper treatment. It can be so encouraging to see the chart begin to change for the better, with healthier looking fertility patterns and more normal cycles.
Where you can find us.
We work in communities all over the United States and in many countries around the world. Many of us have home offices, or offices in schools or churches. Some of us will come to you and do home visits! And many, many of us teach online so that we can offer this service to any couple with an internet connection. You can find a local practitioner here, but new ones are popping up all the time. There is also a Facebook group of users and practitioners with thousands of members. That group can help you find a practitioner that’s currently taking new clients, and you can also find support from other women and couples in your similar situation.
So that, in much more than 280 characters, is what a Creighton Model practitioner does!
Would you like to learn the Creighton Model System? We’d love to chat with you.