Marquette Method FAQ

How much does the Marquette Method cost? What do I need to buy to get started?

To practice the Marquette Method you will need to purchase a Clearblue Fertility Monitor and test sticks. Two models of the Clearblue fertility monitor are available; for the purposes of the Marquette Method you can use either the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor or the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. They retail for about $150-$200 CAD ($100 USD).

You can also choose to buy a used monitor to save money. Used monitors are a reliable alternative; if the monitor detects that it is not functioning properly, it will display an error message. Used monitors are often sold on buy and sell sites such as Kijiji, Craigslist, and ebay. If you do purchase a used monitor, you will need to reset it to it’s factory settings prior to first use. Your instructor can guide you through this process.

In addition to the one-time purchase of a monitor, couples in regular cycles will also need 10-15 disposable test sticks per cycle. For women in regular cycles this will cost approximately $16-24 per month. Women in the postpartum phase of their fertility test every day or every second day, depending on the protocol you choose. If testing everyday, test sticks will cost approximately $48 per month. Testing every second day will cost about $24 per month.

Shop around for the test sticks for the best price, the price can vary greatly. They tend to be much cheaper at Costco Online and Amazon than at pharmacies. Boxes of sticks come with an expiry date, and sticks must be used within six months after the expiry date.

Should I buy the monitor and test strips before taking my Marquette Method classes?
You may, if you like, purchase the fertility monitor and test strips before your class. Depending on the fertile phase you are currently in, one model of monitor may be easier to use than the other. If you are unsure of which monitor to buy, you can wait until you take your Marquette Method classes and speak to your instructor about the monitor options. Your instructor will bring sample fertility monitors to your first teaching session and will demonstrate their use.
We can’t afford the monitor and the test sticks. Can you practice the Marquette Method without them?

We understand that the upfront costs of starting the Marquette Method can be prohibitive, especially since there is no option to “trial” the method before making a large financial commitment. To address this problem, we offer Vitae Fertility clients an option to rent (or rent-to-own) a monitor when they begin instruction with us. A deposit is required and the couple would still need to purchase test sticks.

Another economical option is to purchase a used monitor. Buy and sell sites such as eBay and Kijiji frequently have used monitors available. Your instructor can help you reset the monitor back to its factory settings. Because many couples buy the monitor to help them conceive, and then conceive quickly, the resale market is quite robust for gently-used machines.

The Marquette Method relies on the use of hormone monitoring to track the luteinizing hormone levels throughout your cycles. Once the peak day of fertility is identified, an algorithm will be applied to determine the end of your fertile window. If you are unable to afford the cost of the Clearblue fertility monitor and the monthly cost of the test strips, the method can be applied using less expensive Wondfo Ovulation Strips. The use of Wondfo Ovulation Strips could potentially indicate a need for more abstinence than following the method using the Clearblue fertility monitor, but some couples may choose this option as a means to save money.

The researchers at Marquette University have also developed an alternative mucus + algorithm protocol that does not employ the monitor. It is less effective than the protocol that uses the fertility monitor and requires more abstinence, but there are no ongoing monthly costs. This “mucus + algorithm” method of Marquette is 98% with correct use and 80-84% effective with typical use.

Can’t I just learn and practice the method on my own?

Many couples choose to learn and practice the method without the help of an instructor, but their success with the method can vary considerably. The doctors and nurses that become Marquette Method instructors have undergone extensive training in regards to fertility, hormones, and how to apply the Marquette Method to a client’s individual needs.

Couples, even those who are very careful commonly realize, after starting to work with an instructor, that they have unknowingly been following the protocols incorrectly. Any deviation from the Marquette Method can result in lower efficacy rates or unnecessary abstinence. A Marquette Method instructor, through personalized instruction, hands-on examples and activities, and double-checking your charts, can ensure that you understand the method fully and are using it correctly.

Couples using the Marquette Method often come across circumstances that are not covered by the instructions available online, such as what to do in long cycles or if their monitor routinely fails to detect peak. A Marquette Method instructor who knows the ins and outs of the method can advise on what to do when your personal circumstances get complicated.

Can a couple use barrier methods during their fertile window when using the Marquette Method?
A couple can, of course, use condoms or other barrier methods during their fertile window, but they should expect efficacy rates that correspond to the barrier method used. For example, condoms are only 82-98% effective; the Marquette Method (with abstinence during the fertile window) is 93-99% effective.
What is the difference between Natural Family Planning (NFP) and Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABM)?
NFP and FABMs are very similar, in that they both use the observation of fertility bioindicators to identify when the fertile window occurs. The difference between NFP and FABMs is that NFP requires abstinence during the fertile window, and FABMs allow the couple to utilize barrier methods (such as condoms) during the fertile window.

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