Creighton! How to begin? *Updated

November 12, 2009

OK, so I think I might break down and finally learn to chart Creighton (I think I can hear several of you saying “finally!” all the way from here). Given that, I need some advice on practitioners and pricing. There are two people listed on the FertilityCare website for the DC area. One (Conkling) is inconveniently located (for me), and he refused to answer my email asking how much it costs. (his reply: “prices are all standard.”) I’ve heard it’s at least $75/session for him. The other is more convenient, more responsive via email but almost as expensive. She charges $500 for 8 follow-ups, so they whole shebang would cost about $550 for the first year. I personally don’t think I need 8 follow-ups in one year, but I don’t know if that is negotiable.Β  I also called the diocese (thanks, G!) and these were the only two providers they mentioned.Β  But I am wondering if y’all have any other suggestions?

Is this basically what it costs to learn Creighton? Are there easier or cheaper ways to do it? I’ve heard stories of $100 Creighton training; is that just fiction?

The whole Creighton method is not foreign to me. I’ve been charting my mucus for years, and I know what 10KL is even if I’ve never used that particular abbreviation on a chart. It seems like there should be a condensed training: “Creighton for SymptoThermal Charters.”

I know many of you are huge Creighton advocates, so you are probably just wondering what has taken me so long.

This is why I have been hesitant, in a nutshell: I read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” learned sympto-thermal charting and have been doing it for over 3 years. It tells me a lot, and it includes more information than any of my doctors bother to look at anyway. So why spend time and money learning a new system — even if it is wonderful? Further, my doctor, who is Catholic, told me not to bother. He said my current charts tell me all I need to know. “Why waste another three months of your life?” he said.
And, frankly, the thought of all those white baby stickers in the midst of my infertility seems depressing.

However, I am considering going to a new doctor who requires Creighton charts. So, if I’m going that path, I’ve got to learn. And I want to do it as quickly as possible, because I already feel like I lost a year of my life. $500 person has an introductory class tonight, which is nice timing, since I am likely on the verge of a new cycle. But the thought of shelling out that much money, especially in the midst of all these other medical expenses, just makes me sick.

**UPDATE: I went to the training tonight. I can’t say I learned anything, but there was another girl there on the verge of getting married who was at her wits end trying to make sense of it all. She was sweet. My husband and I wistfully remembered how confused we were by charting 3 years ago and how stressful it all seemed. So many rules, so much confusion (at least with TCoYF) Haha! We were so conservative; little did we know it would not matter. sad.

Re:prices. The going rate for follow-up sessions in the DC area (from the only two people the Diocese and the fertility care website list) are $75 per session. According to what many of you wrote in the comments, other follow-ups can be $25-$40. I would love to find something more in that range.

I heart DC. Not so much.

I’m willing to shell out money to do the first few follow-ups in person, if that’s important. But I just can’t pay that much on top of other medical expenses, saving for adoption, etc … especially when I already have a charting system I prefer (sorry, I am sure I will LOVE Creighton soon. Especially when I become pregnant NEXT MONTH. Those baby stickers are going to do it for me! I know it ! They are like little white cartoon prophets.)



  1. Mine was way cheaper than that. I couldn’t have done it if it cost that much!! I remember paying $20 here and there but books were included in that price.

    I agree, you already have a lot of knowledge going into this and I’m sure you’d feel like you were being taught a lot of what you already know. I might be a little down on Creighton though, since it wasn’t the big savior I was hoping it would be for me. I chart but it does me no good. Can I ask what dr. you might be going to that uses it? Is it Dr. S in PA, or is there another dr. in your area? I’m always looking for someone new!

  2. I would shop around. πŸ™‚ I don’t know how busy TCIE is, but she is my practitioner. It is recommended to have all of those follow ups you will see why once you start the training. It’s technical.

    I promise you sympto thermal has NOTHING on Creighton NOTHING at all!!! It’s not something you can explain until you learn it. I used to chart sympto thermal where my charts were “picture” perfect. I charted Creighton and found that things weren’t as picture perfect as I had once believed. πŸ™‚

    The reason it is so expensive is because they go through a whole year of training and are fertility care practitioners. It can be turned into your insurance for reimbursement. πŸ™‚

  3. Praise be to God! Was this your anniversary gift to me???? wink!

  4. yes, I knew you and Mrs. Blondie would rejoice.

  5. πŸ˜‰ Why drive the metro when you can be chauffered? πŸ™‚ That is how I view Creighton compared to the rest. πŸ™‚

  6. Woo-hoo! My practitioner is also TCIE, and FJIEJ is also a practitioner. Good luck and I hope that it helps.

  7. Wow, that is expensive! I would never have been able to do it if I had to pay that much!! I remember paying $20 here and there, but that also covered the cost of books and materials.

    I’m not so high on Creighton like everyone else is, but that’s probably because it didn’t end up being the big answer I hoped it be would for me. I has never really revealed anything that gave us any answers.

    By the way, is the new doctor Dr. S in PA? Or did you find another NaPro doctor in your area? I’m just curious because if you found someone new I might have to try them πŸ™‚

  8. Hi! I am very glad you are going this route. I come from the Billings and ST methods and this is much more complete and provides far more information than the other methods, both for you and the doctors. I just trained in Omaha to become a practitioner (I am doing my internship right now) and can tell you from what I saw its amazing and the training that the practitioner has to do to become one is like booth camp. There is a long distance option with the Omaha FertilityCare center. I am doing it this way since I have no practitioners nearby. It costs 30 USD per session and in their site they say that they will not charge you if you cannot pay. Their teaching is very, very through and my experience long distance has been great.

  9. yes, Dr. S! I’ll reply on your blog too. I asked for references from PPVI and the only other person I found was Dr. Bob Conkling in Virginia. He also teaches Creighton. But I asked all the other infertility bloggers in our area and they had not heard of anyone going to him for infertility.

  10. Wow!! I could have written this post. I’m about to start CrMS now, too. And I also spent years using TCOYF. The book is literally in two pieces because the spine wore out I used it so much! But because of that, I also feel pretty comfortable checking, charting, etc..

    There’s only one practitioner in my state and she’s all the way on the other side — way too far. I met her once last year, so I have the materials. But they arrived after I got a BFP so I haven’t had a chance to use them for over 9 months. How’s that for CrMS results? LOL…

    So now it’s just a matter of actually doing it. I e-mailed TCIE for help πŸ™‚

  11. I wish you the best as you take this next step. I live in the Chicago area, and we paid $25 for materials & intro session, and then $25 for each follow up with my practitioner. That was just this past year. Good luck!

  12. My advice is to call PPVI directly and ask for an updated list of Practitioners and Practitioner Interns (who are well-managed and Supervised, you may actually get BETTER attention from an Intern) in your area. The website at fertilitycare.org is not up to date.
    I would offer to take you on, but honestly, I have been SWAMPED lately with CrMS clients. Between that, taking on more hrs at the Dr’s office, clinicals for my sonography program and full-time school… I have to take a break from new clients for a while.

    I would go to the Intro tonight with the other guy, though. There’s no obligation to sign up for the follow-ups, but at least you’ll have the Intro under your belt and when you find another Practitioner you can start charting right away.

    What he told you (rather rudely) is true, though. The majority of Practitioners charge $40 per session, and some ask for the full amt of 8 follow-ups up front. All of the follow-ups build upon the last ones, and it is best to stick to the schedule for optimal learning. As a sympto-thermal pro, you’ll be more aware of these bio-markers anyway, but as Sew pointed out, it is way different than anything else. I have clients who switched over from Billings (which is almost EXACTLY the same as CrMS in terms of how/when to check, etc.), but her Billings charts were unmanageable.

    Don’t worry about the white baby stickers, either. I was anovulatory in the beginning of our marriage, and had a TON of unopposed estrogen… meaning, white babies every day, all day. After 2 weeks, I was on yellow stamps. White babies are reserved for only those days that have TRUE potential for fertility.

    HTH. I’m excited you are going this route! I definately think Dr S can help you. He was a godsend for me.

  13. That is so expensive! I would probably try someone long-distance if I were you. We had done sympto-thermal for a few years, so didn’t really learn much in the intro session either. Our teacher kind of went easy on us since she knew we had experience with STM and were pretty competent at we were doing. The only reason we learned Creighton was so that we could get into the doctors, and for that alone, it was worth it. I am enjoying not having to take my temps every day!

  14. Just seeing this now…can you call me tomorrow at my office at 717-909-9414? We can chat if you are interested in learning CrMS. I have a lot of long distance clients and can teach you if you are still interested. You can also email me from my blog.

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