Ceiba Study – Guest Post by Christy Porucznik, PhD
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a topic of interest to many different people. There are many different NFP methods based upon systemic observation of biomarkers – changes in cervical fluid and basal body temperature. There has been rigorous research on some of the methods.
The Creighton Model Fertility *Care* System is one Natural Family Planning Method that teaches couples to recognize and chart the signs of fertility and infertility in the womans cycle and to use that knowledge to either achieve or avoid a pregnancy. The method is natural, safe and effective, and it helps the couple understand their fertility. Trained practitioners at Fertility *Care* Centers teach the Creighton Model across the country and internationally.
One facet of all types of NFP that doesn’t translate well to research methods generally used for ‘contraceptives’ is the ability to use the method both to avoid a pregnancy and to achieve a pregnancy. In usual contraception research, women planning to avoid pregnancy for a year are recruited into the study, given the method to be researched, and every pregnancy is considered to be a failure of the method.
University of Utah researchers are conducting an IRB-approved international study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Creighton Model for users wanting to avoid pregnancy. While past studies have shown that the Creighton Model is a highly effective method, this study will use new ways to measure how well it works. This is important because the knowledge gained will improve comparisons between the Creighton Model and other family planning methods. The study will also explore intentions and behaviors of couples to avoid or achieve a pregnancy.
Recruiting is ongoing. At least 300 couples will be needed to conduct the study. If you or someone you know are searching for a different method of family planning and wish to avoid a pregnancy, you may be eligible for the study. Not only will you be learning about your own fertility, but you will be contributing to important research that will help future users of the Creighton Model.
If you are interested or you would like to learn more about the Creighton Model or the study, please visit
Call 801-231-6434 or
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find and like the study on Facebook (search CEIBA or Creighton Model Study).
This study is being funded by a grant through the Office of Population Affairs
(under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
and the Health Studies Fund through the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah.
This is a guest post from epidemiologist Christy Porucznik, PhD, Assistant Professor
in the Division of Public Health at the University of Utah.
Christy Porucznik completed graduate training in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003 and then moved to Utah as the Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned to the Utah Department of Health. She and her husband decided that they wanted to stay in Utah and Dr. Porucznik joined the public health faculty of the University of Utah in 2005. Dr. Porucznik has taught epidemiology and public health to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Her research interest is in the way that environmental exposures affect health. The PEAK DAY study is her first research related to fertility. Outside of the University of Utah, Christy is a member of the Utah Breastfeeding Coalition and an active volunteer with La Leche League of Salt Lake City. She and her husband also run a non-profit organization, Volunteers for Outdoor Utah, and spend as much time as possible hiking and rock climbing with their two-year-old daughter.
Listen to Jenny Hatch
My parents used Natural Family Planning when they had my brother and I, and it worked like a charm for them. As I got older and most of my friends began taking the pill, I always held off because I knew there were better options. When my husband and I got engaged, we began talking about the Creighton Model and went to our area facilitator to set up meetings. As a Catholic, I appreciate that it helps me and my husband understand and work with the natural cycles God gave me. As a hippie, I appreciate that I’m not putting any foreign chemicals or hormones in my body that don’t belong there. And as a broke grad student, I appreciate that it’s one of the cheapest (successful) options out there!
So far, using it has been difficult for my husband and me. For months, my cycles have been abnormal and haven’t developed any kind of pattern. While this has been frustrating, it has alerted me that I may need to seek medical attention to determine whether or not there’s something I should be worried about. We’re contacting a local doctor who’s familiar with the Creighton Model to go over my charts with me and run some tests. If I hadn’t been charting my cycles, I might never have known something was off until it was too late.
–Emily from South Carolina