How can we keep charting from feeling like a total burden on the woman???

Approaching NFP charting as a team

In this free mini course, Christina walks you through a number of ways husbands and wives can chart together, plus the most important role of men in charting!

KEEPING A CHART TOGETHER [FREE MINI COURSE] 

Feeling like the gatekeeper of your sex life?

How to get your husband involved in charting

In this free mini course, Christina walks you through a number of ways husbands and wives can chart together, plus the most important role of men in charting!

KEEPING A CHART TOGETHER [FREE MINI COURSE] 

Natural Family Planning education for couples

NFP is more than just family planning.

I know, I talk ALL over this website about how family planning is just one aspect of fertility awareness. But, it is a super important one! And if you are at a stage in life where you are trying to achieve or avoid, this is the place for you.

But, I want to encourage you that NFP is about far more than TTA or TTC. It's also about getting to know your body and your shared fertility as a couple...and how God has designed it for your holiness and union.

I'd love to teach you how. Pick your stage below!

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Green circle that says Green circle that says Green circle that says  

Natural Family Planning education for couples

NFP is more than just family planning.

I know, I talk ALL over this website about how family planning is just one aspect of fertility awareness. But, it is a super important one! And if you are at a stage in life where you are trying to achieve or avoid, this is the place for you.

But, I want to encourage you that NFP is about far more than TTA or TTC. It's also about getting to know your body and your shared fertility as a couple...and how God has designed it for your holiness and union.

The instructor team at Pearl & Thistle would love to teach you how!

  This is the place where women finally get the health info they deserve (and should have been given as preteens).

  This is where men actually get to be involved in the process of shared fertility.

And this is where couples are given the tools and resources to discern God's will for their family.

If you've looked around my site and thought, "Why did no one teach me all this before?!" then you are in the right place.

 

Boston Cross Check logo

I am a certified teacher of the Boston Cross Check method, which teaches couples ways to use the fertility markers listed below separately, or in various combinations, to suit their desired efficacy and planning needs. We use:

  • Basal Body Temperature (oral or with wearable Tempdrop device)
  • Hormone monitoring using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
  • Cervical fluid (with optional cervical checks)
  • Personal chart history
  • Basic cycle formulas

We also offer additional protocols with LH Tests and Proov Progesterone strips for clients who wish to incorporate those elements.

With the BCC method, you work closely with your instructor to learn all of these fertility signs and figure out which combination works best for your body, lifestyle, and fertility goals. That's one of my favorite things about it, how customized it is to each couple's unique situation and how it can easily flex with you as life changes.

WANT ME TO TEACH YOU?

WHY BOSTON CROSS CHECK?

So first, I don't engage in "method wars." I'm not going to say that one NFP method is better than another - each are wonderful options, and it's amazing that so many options exist for so many different scenarios!
 
What I will tell you is why I love Boston Cross Check for Natural Family Planning:
 
  • You will be taught LOTS of options for biomarkers. So we don't just rely on one biomarker; you can check basal body temperature, cervical mucus, ovulation, and more to be reeeeeeally sure you've identified your fertile window.  This is especially helpful if you are very strongly trying to achieve or avoid a pregnancy.
  • Because of all those biomarkers being tracked, it's considered a particularly conservative choice for NFP.
  • It's so individualized. Again, because we learn to track so many different biomarkers, we can adjust things to your personal goals for family planning and your unique lifestyle. You'll learn all the biomarkers we offer, but we'll work together to help you choose which ones work the best for you.
 And because of all of that, you get to know your body really, really well...which as a body literacy advocate, I'm a huge fan of. Because the more you know the design of your body, the more you can come to know the Creator who made it.
why learn NFP with me?

Because I'm low-key obsessed with cycle awareness and body literacy.

I mean, you don't want someone who's just kind of meh about it, right?
 
"Obsessed" is a fun way of saying I am really knowledgeable about this topic. In addition to being a certified Boston Cross Check instructor, I am also the founder of this ministry, which focuses on cycle awareness and NFP education for all ages and stages, and have spoken at events and been interviewed as an expert in this field.
 
I read body literacy books for fun. My day job is talking about periods. I've reviewed hundreds of charts.
 
And I've not only been teaching BCC for ten years - I've also used it myself that whole time, too.
 
As a fun bonus, if you are a fellow Catholic or Christian, I can totally wax eloquent on how our cycles can make us holier.

ABOUT BOSTON CROSS CHECK

I have been a certified teacher (and user!) of the Boston Cross Check method for over ten years. This method teaches couples ways to use the fertility markers listed below separately, or in various combinations, to suit their desired efficacy and planning needs. We use:

  • Basal Body Temperature (oral or with wearable Tempdrop device)
  • Hormone monitoring using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
  • Cervical fluid (with optional cervical checks)
  • Personal chart history
  • Basic cycle formulas

We also offer additional protocols with LH Tests and Proov Progesterone strips for clients who wish to incorporate those elements.

With the BCC method, you work closely with your instructor to learn all of these fertility signs and figure out which combination works best for your body, lifestyle, and fertility goals. That's one of my favorite things about it, how customized it is to each couple's unique situation and how it can easily flex with you as life changes.

Plus, when you take a Boston Cross Check course with myself or one of my practicum trainees, you not only get access to our individualized support tailored to your unique family planning and circumstantial needs, you also get these awesome bonuses as part of the Pearl & Thistle family!

  • Access to Client Portal, which provides videos and handouts to help you feel more confident using the method
  • Regular emails about method, protocol, or fem-tech developments (and to give you a heads up if I'm taking time off)
  • Special discounts on other Pearl & Thistle programs!
calling all the single ladies

Yes, single women can chart!

In fact, I highly encourage learning to chart while single, as it can help reveal invaluable health information and set the foundation for the future.
 
I do offer Boston Cross Check instruction for single women, but if you would prefer to learn charting without a full family planning method, check out Charting for Single Women!
 
 

Boston Cross Check™ Courses

Boston Cross Check™ uses a standardized fee system in order to be transparent and ensure that all clients receive the same pricing, regardless of which instructor they choose. Most program fees can be split into payments. If you have concerns about being able to afford program fees or ongoing support, please communicate those and I will try to assist you!

METHOD INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM

This is the basic BCC course for anyone in "regular cycles" (not postpartum or peri-menopause). There are four sessions, which cover a full year of instruction and unlimited chart checks and consultations.

  • Session #1: Client intake, overview of NFP methods, charting signs with BCC [90 minutes]
  • Session #2: (scheduled about 1 month later) Calculating start- and end-of-fertility with BCC with lots of practice charts! [90-120 minutes]
  • Session #3 (scheduled between 4-5 months later) Common charting issues, full client charting review [60 minutes]
  • Session #4 (scheduled at the 1-year mark) Looking ahead, full client charting review [60 minutes]

POSTPARTUM PROGRAM

Not sure what to expect with charting during breastfeeding? Before booking, check out this free guide first!

FREE GUIDE

This course covers special protocols for breastfeeding women. This course can be taken regardless of whether you had been charting with BCC before pregnancy (yes! it is possible to learn a new method postpartum!).

Everyone's timeline is unique, but generally this program includes: 

  • Session #1: (scheduled 6 weeks postpartum) Introduction [90 minutes]
  • Session #2: (scheduled upon return of cycles) Return of Fertility [45-60 minutes]
  • Session #3: (scheduled six cycles later) Wrap-Up [30 minutes]

Plus unlimited charting assistance via email or Zoom check-ins as needed, from time of instruction through 6 cycles postpartum.

PERIMENOPAUSE PROGRAM

BCC offers specialized protocols for women entering the menopause transition. Women should inquire about when they meet the cycle criteria for this phase! Instructors can provide a very quick assessment of cycles for signs of perimenopause via email. Everyone's timeline with this transition is unique, and the number of instructional sessions will vary based on which stage of perimenopause you are in, but all support comes with: 

  • Instructional Session - Introduction to Perimenopause, plus protocols appropriate to your staging
  • One year of unlimited charting assistance via email

Your instructor will work with you to assess staging and set up an appropriate plan for instruction and follow-up according to your situation and goals. 

Please note that clients who have never taken a BCC course before may need to take certain sessions of the MIP in conjunction with Perimenopause. Please speak with your instructor to inquire about particular fees.

ONGOING SUPPORT:

Are you worried about losing support after the course is over? Clients who have completed the Method Instructional Program are welcome to contact Christina for 1-time consultations/check-ins ($25) or to pay a flat annual retainer ($75) for unlimited consultations. 

As a Friend of Read Your Body, I am also happy to offer 3 months of free access to the Read Your Body app for all client course packages! The option for charting BCC with RYB will be provided in all sessions. 

FAQs

Are you currently accepting clients?
In order to best serve my current clients, I often go through periods of time where I am not able to take on new instruction. I always am happy to receive inquiries and if I am not able to accept you soon enough, I will be happy to refer you to another instructor and/or method provider that may be able to meet your needs sooner!
Are you a medical professional?
No. Boston Cross Check does not require instructors to be medical professionals, although there are some NFP methods which do. A BCC instructor is trained to identify potential health concerns based on cycle presentation, and to offer any suggestions about how we might address them without medication. If an issue seems to be beyond our scope, or we need additional information that can only be obtained through medical tests, your instructor will help you know what to ask your doctor and will follow up with you based on results. Some people prefer to have “seamless” fertility care, where they learn a method with a health professional who also is able to diagnose and treat any issues that may come up. If this is important to you, BCC might not be a good fit, but be sure you are familiar with other aspects of the methods before you choose one simply based on having a nurse/doctor.
Is there a book that can teach me BCC without using an instructor?
Boston Cross Check is a method which is designed to be delivered by a qualified instructor, as this is the best way to achieve maximum efficacy with this (or any other!) method. We do not publicly publish our protocols, nor do we supply protocols to those who are not clients.
How do you conduct your classes?
I schedule courses either weeknights after 8 PM EST or on Fridays during the school day, depending on availability. If you are local to Boston, we can coordinate instruction in person (either at my home office, or I can travel to you). If you live farther away or prefer a remote option, I conduct sessions via Zoom.
How responsive are you to client messages?
In general, I try to respond to client messages via email with 24 hours. Whenever I will have an expected delay in communications (e.g., vacation) I will send out an email to all of my clients in advance.
Is Boston Cross Check just basically Marquette with temps?
Couples familiar with the Marquette Model may find many similarities between MM and BCC when utilizing the hormone monitor; however, these are two distinct methods and even with the monitor there are slight protocol differences between them. BCC began as a sympto-thermal method and has incorporated the hormone monitor into its unique approach to cervical fluid and temps, making it very easy to use and highly adaptable to your needs. I am happy to discuss the particular differences between methods during consultations.
Do you only accept couples as clients?
Learning NFP as a couple has many benefits, and I expect that any engaged couple looking to learn the method prior to getting married will attend classes together. However, many single women may want to learn an NFP method to monitor their health or gain proficiency prior to becoming engaged. Additionally, couples who are already married (especially those with children!) may find it difficult to attend classes together. I therefore do not require couples to always attend sessions together and respect that all couples may have different comfort levels, needs and preferences.
Do I need to be Catholic to learn Boston Cross Check?
​NFP is a wonderful way to learn about fertility, regardless of your religion. If you are not Catholic, you are very welcome to take a course! Please be advised, however, that BCC does not allow for barrier methods during the fertile window and I will never advise a client on how to deviate from protocol by using methods which are against Catholic teaching.

Don't think Boston Cross Check is the right fit?

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a large umbrella term for any method of regulating pregnancy that uses natural fertility markers to determine when a woman is capable of getting pregnant (as opposed to blocking pregnancy altogether with contraception or barrier methods).

All NFP methods follow the same general pattern of observing and tracking fertility cues and using those cues to interpret whether or not a woman could conceive that day. Couples then follow guidelines regarding intercourse depending on whether or not they want to avoid or achieve a pregnancy. The differences among methods lie in which fertility cues they employ, how detailed the observations of those cues are, and which rules are used to determine the start and end of fertility each month (the couple’s “Fertile Window”).

If BCC doesn't seem like the right fit, check out these other methods, to see if one of them is right for you!

Billings
Couple to Couple League
Creighton (Fertility Care)
Cycle Beads
Family of the Americas
Marquette Model
NFP International
FEMM
​Sensiplan
Symptopro