Learn with SymptoPro

Whether you'd like to learn how to use SymptoPro, or are interested in becoming an instructor, we have a quality course geared toward your needs! Click below to find out more.

SymptoPro Fertility Education teaches the Sympto-Thermal method of family planning and has been providing quality, personalized, instruction for over 35 years. Our classes are informative, personal, and discreet. More and more couples are discovering the benefits of charting their fertility, and in response, we offer two ways to take our course. 

We offer two ways to learn SymptoPro:

Online

AdobeStock 159472073If you are unable to attend an in-person class, our online series is second to none! Modeled after our in-person class, the course consists of three self-paced sessions taken two weeks apart. You can begin at any time and complete the series within 4 months, though a typical time frame is 4-12 weeks. Communication with your assigned instructor is integrated throughout the course and occurs mostly via email, though phone calls can be made upon request. On-going chart reviews continue for the first 4-6 cycles. The benefits to this approach include complete privacy and confidentiality, flexibility of scheduling, and a detailed and thorough correspondence with your instructor. Cost is $120 plus materials. Required materials include a digital thermometer as well as a copy of our textbook, A Couple's Guide to Fertlility. This textbook is available in both e-book ($7.50) as well as paper book ($25 includes shipping) format with links to purchase found on the registration pageIf registering through a different location, cost may vary. Registration directly through Sympto headquarters can be done here

In person

AdobeStock 60154472This method of fertility education is highly recommended. Each class series consists of three two-hour sessions that meet over the course of one month with personalized follow-up. A fourth private follow up is also scheduled one month after the final session, followed by on-going chart review for the first 4-6 cycles. The benefits to this approach include face-to-face instruction, an easily facilitated relationship with your SymptoPro Instructor, and the opportunity to ask questions both of your Instructor and of the other couples in your class. You will not be asked to share personal information with class participants. To find and contact an in-person instructor near you, search the Find an Instructor page. Course and follow-up cost varies based on location and instructor.*

Next In-Person Class for Local Clients (Portland, OR):

The below course is the next in-person offering at our headquarters in Portland, OR.  If you are looking for in-person instruction and do not live in Portland or the surrounding area, please see our "Find an Instructor" page to contact an instructor near you.

 NEXT Series for Portland, Oregon: TBA
Date: TBA
Location: Northwest Family Services
Price: $110.00
 

More information about learning and using NFP can be found in the FAQs section.

*If learning via a SymptoPro headquarters staff instructor, consultation sessions beyond completion of the main course, can be purchased for a modest fee. If learning via a non-staff, certified SymptoPro Instructor, please consult with your instructor personally about their support consultation rates.

AdobeStock 60154472Many women or couples become so enthused about the benefits of charting their fertility that they wish to take the next step and teach others how to do it! No matter where you’re located, we can provide training to help you become a fully certified SymptoPro instructor.

We find that the most successful trainees and instructors are those who:

  • Possess a keen attention to detail
  • Are highly self-motivated
  • Feel comfortable in leadership positions

What are the application requirements?

  • Find a sponsoring organization for referral. This can include: a church, diocese, medical clinic, or other organization. The sponsoring organization will provide a letter of reference, and may be able to help cover the cost of your training. Once you are able to teach, they may also be able to support you by promoting your classes and/or providing a place to teach with equipment (digital projector, etc.)
  • You should be currently using a Fertility Awareness Based Method (FABM). If you are not able to currently use a FABM, you should be a philosophical acceptor. Contact Lauren Fuller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for our application.

Do you require that we train as a couple?

No, we train either couples or individuals. If training as a couple, we do train for individual competency, and work must be completed and turned in separately.

Do I need to be Catholic?

While our method and teacher training program are both approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we do not require you to be of any particular faith background to teach our method.

Would I be learning how to teach just the content of a client course?

No, training is far more involved. You will be thoroughly trained in how to individually counsel a woman/couple through any special circumstances or reproductive category, including posthormone, postpartum, breastfeeding, premenopause, long cycles, cycles with constant mucus, and many more. You will learn about many rules and guidelines that are not discussed in the client course. The training is rigorous, and not everyone is a good fit. Possessing solely a passion for charting one's fertility, while good in itself, is not enough to do well in training. Those that do well and complete the training tend to have a keen attention to detail and are highly self-motivated. If you feel that teaching SymptoPro may not be a good fit for you, consider other ways that you can contribute to the fertility awareness movement in your area. Promoting classes and offering personal stories are excellent ways to spread the word, and can have a huge impact.

How do I learn?

There are three phases to training.

Phase 1:

If you have not yet completed one of our client courses, your first step will be to either sit in on a class, or take the online course. If you are in a position to actively chart, we ask that you chart for 6 months to gain experience and competency before deciding to move on to instructor training.

Phase 2:

The instructor training program involves roughly 40 hours of work, done at your own pace. For those that are able to develop a schedule and stay on track, this tends to take about 3-4 months. We give you 6 months of access to the online training.  If you do not finish in 6 months time you will need to renew your enrollment.  Cost to renew for an additional 6 months time, is $10.

The training is rigorous and involves training for any possible circumstance and for all reproductive categories. Mastery will be required for these and other components including: advanced reproductive issues, effectiveness issues, follow-up policy and procedures, moral and family issues, and program management. You will learn by: reading through the training manual, viewing online slides, completing online quizzes, and completing offline activities that are sent in for individualized detailed feedback. You’ll have plenty of practice with application by the completion of dozens of practice charts.

Phase 3:

Once the training program is complete, the supervised practicum begins. During this final phase, you may begin teaching on a supervised basis. Once you have taught under supervision by guiding 6 couples through their first 6 cycles, you’ll take a final exam and then become a certified SymptoPro Instructor. The complete training usually lasts about 18 months.

What is the cost of training?

The cost is $400 for an individual or $510 for a couple. This base price involves training done completely online with all digital materials that you can print out as needed. Many times the sponsoring organization is able to help cover some or all of the cost…you’ll need to inquire about this.

There is also an annual $50 affiliation fee which includes access to our instructor affiliation portal and monthly e-newsletter for instructors, as well as ongoing technical support. This affiliation fee is required to maintain your certified insructor status. 

Is there a way to generate income from teaching SymptoPro?

Yes! You will be able to determine the cost of your SymptoPro class. There are base fees needed to cover the cost of the client packets that each couple will receive, but beyond that, the cost you charge is up to you. This will allow you to be reimbursed for your time, gas, babysitting fees, etc. Contact us for more details.

What if we have a group of people interested in training to teach?

If there are more than 2-3 couples or individuals in your area, we may be able to arrange workshop-style training. Contact us for more details.

What about training to teach SymptoPro in Spanish?

At this time, the materials we have available in Spanish are the client materials only. Teacher training can only be done in English, so if you wish to teach NFP in Spanish, you will need to be strong in both English and Spanish.

Is the prerequisite to take the client course necessary if I already have a background in fertility charting with another method?

Yes, it is necessary to learn the method first before beginning the instructor training program. Every fertility awareness based method (FABM) has different terminology and guidelines, and it is important to become familiar with the specific way SymptoPro teaches its method. It is our experience that switching methods can be a confusing process, and we’d like to get those kinks worked out first, before moving on to the more complex material of the instructor training program. Doing so will also allow you to be confident in your decision to train with us before investing in the program. In essence, we want those who train to teach with us to first be happy and confident SymptoPro users!

If you do have a strong background in fertility charting, let us know and we’ll change the charting requirement from 6 months to 3 months.

If I am switching from teaching a different fertility charting method, is there a specific track for me?

Yes, training time is somewhat reduced for people that are certified in other methods.

If you have additional questions about the the instructor training process contact Rachel Meyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you would like to register and begin the training process, select the appropriate link below and apply now!

Instructor Registration

AdobeStock 60154472Many women or couples become so enthused about the benefits of charting their fertility that they wish to take the next step and teach others how to do it! No matter where you’re located, we can provide training to help you become a fully certified SymptoPro instructor.

We find that the most successful trainees and instructors are those who:

  • Possess a keen attention to detail
  • Are highly self-motivated
  • Feel comfortable in leadership positions

OUR TRAINING PROGRAM

Our program consists of two parts: a course taught using a textbook, and a supervised practicum. The course component is self-paced. Students communicate with the instructor trainer primarily by email, with one or more virtual meetings as needed. The material is presented in a digital textbook – the format is not the same as our online client course, and the student must be able to learn detailed information by careful reading. Understanding is assessed by quizzes and assignments submitted to the instructor trainer. These include a large number of charts illustrating different reproductive and charting situations.
The course takes 40 hours of work to complete on average. We recommend finishing within 4 months for best retention of information, but students have 6 months to finish and can purchase more time for a small fee.

Topics covered include:

  • Rules for every situation, including irregular cycles, postpartum and premenopause
  • A clear process for deciding which rules to recommend to which clients at which time
  • Basic health and reproductive problems that can be observed by charting
  • How to teach clients using our class format, including presentations, worksheets and follow-up forms developed for you
  • The effectiveness of our method and how it compares to contraception and to other methods of NFP
  • Moral and theological benefits and considerations. This component is required for teaching in a Catholic parish and is optional for other teachers.

SUpervised Practicum

After completion of the course component, the supervised practicum begins. The teacher-in-training teaches independently, then submits all clients’ charts and follow-up information to the instructor trainer for review and feedback. This stage typically takes 9-18 months. At least six clients must complete the full course including six months of follow-up before the new teacher can take a final exam and become a fully certified SymptoPro instructor.

SymptoPro provides lifetime support to all of our instructors, including updated materials and information, help with any difficult situations, and second opinions on charts as requested.

Instructor Qualifications

A good SymptoPro instructor will be:

  • Enthusiastic about Natural Family Planning
  • Good at understanding, remembering and applying detailed information and teaching it to other people
  • Professional and discreet with sensitive information and discussions including following HIPAA (confidential protection of personal health information). 
  • Organized and self-motivated

 In addition, we require the following:

  • Completing our client course, online or with one of our instructors. This is a necessary first step even for those who are experienced with other methods. A complete course includes following up with the SymptoPro instructor for at least 6 months; this can be reduced to 3 months for some women who have extensive experience charting with another method.
  • Finding a sponsor organization who will give client referrals or allow the teacher to advertise to women likely to be interested. This might be a Catholic parish, another church or religious organization, a gynecologist or midwife’s office, a holistic healthcare provider, a womens’ or parents’ support organization, etc. This organization agrees to allow you to advertise classes to their members/clients. They might also provide a meeting space or financial support, but that is not required.

SymptoPro does not provide instructors with clients. You will need to find them, and you should have a good idea of how you will do that before beginning. Not all instructors are easily able to find clients. If you are confident that you have a good way to find clients on your own, we may be able to waive the requirement of a sponsoring organization.

Cost And Time Commitment

The course costs $400 for individuals and $510 for couples. This includes access to the initial textbook portion of the course for 6 months in a digital format, supervision for practicum, and the first year of our annual instructor affiliation fee. There is also an annual $50 affiliation fee which includes access to our instructor affiliation portal and monthly e-newsletter for instructors, as well as ongoing technical support. This affiliation fee is required to maintain your certified instructor status. Many times the sponsoring organization is able to help cover some or all of the cost; you’ll need to inquire about this.

Statement Of Values

Our instructors must agree with and commit to working within the following SymptoPro™ NFP Education Program Principles while recognizing that all those they work with may not agree with or adhere to these values:

  1. The family is the fundamental unit of society and is based on the loving, generous, and stable relationship of the husband and wife, with an openness to life and respect for the sanctity of life from conception onward, at all times. NFP education can be part of the dialogue by which responsible parenthood is achieved in harmony with the nature of the family and the family's purpose. This is compatible with the meaning of the family before God as understood by most faith-based organizations.
  2. Each couple, though unique, is presumed capable of integrating the many facets of human sexuality, particularly fertility awareness, periodic abstinence, and mutual acceptance of responsibility for procreation.
  3. A couple has the right to full NFP instruction and follow-up in accordance with program policy, and confidence from the NFP Instructor in their ability to learn and successfully use NFP. It is the couple's decision to fully participate or not and this decision should be respected by the instructor.
  4. The instructor, whose role is to inform and encourage couples in their decision to practice NFP, will therefore work to convey personal and spiritual values inherent in NFP, as well as facts of fertility awareness, and will never recommend, or refer for, contraception, sterilization, or abortion.
  5. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is defined as meaning uniting to achieve, or abstaining to avoid, pregnancy, during the method-defined fertile time as discerned by the couple themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

➥ Do You Require That We Train As A couple?

No, we train either couples or individuals. If training as a couple, we do train for individual competency, and work must be completed and turned in separately.

➥ Can Couples Teach Together?

Yes! A married couple can take our class together for $510. The level of coursework commitment from a husband depends on the level of participation he intends to have in teaching.

➥ Do I Need To Be Catholic? Do I Have To Teach Moral Or Religious Content?

While our method and teacher training program are both approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we do not require you to be of any particular faith background to teach our method. Our method is taught and used by people of other faiths and people with no religious affiliation. There is no religious or moral instruction in our course materials. We simply ask that you do not teach or represent anything contrary to our values when you are teaching as a SymptoPro instructor. See “statement of values” above.

➥ I Want To Teach SymptoPro In My Catholic Parish. Does This Method Conform To Our Values? Will Theological Principles Be Discussed?

Our method fully represents the Catholic moral principles of abstinence during the fertile time as the only licit way to prevent pregnancy, respect for natural fertility as good and healthy, and marriage as the only good context for a sexual relationship. Theological and moral instruction are provided in our instructor training course, but are not part of our standard client course presentation material. You are welcome to add those yourself, with our approval, and we have some content available for you to use.

➥ Can My Clients Use Barrier Contraception, Withdrawal, ETC?

While we recommend abstinence, we provide the same level of respect, education, and support to women and couples who choose other methods in addition to SymptoPro, and we have a way to record use of those methods on our charts. However, SymptoPro teachers are not allowed to recommend clients utilize those methods. The research behind our method was done using abstinence during the fertile time; other methods for avoiding pregnancy are just that, other methods.

➥ Would I Be Learning How To Teach Just The Content Of A Client Course?

No, training is far more involved. You will be thoroughly trained in how to individually counsel a woman/couple through any special circumstances or reproductive category, including posthormone, postpartum, breastfeeding, premenopause, long cycles, cycles with constant mucus, and many more. You will learn about many rules and guidelines that are not discussed in the client course. The training is rigorous, and not everyone is a good fit. Possessing solely a passion for charting one's fertility, while good in itself, is not enough to do well in training. Those that do well and complete the training tend to have a keen attention to detail and are highly self-motivated. If you feel that teaching SymptoPro may not be a good fit for you, consider other ways that you can contribute to the fertility awareness movement in your area. Promoting classes and offering personal stories are excellent ways to spread the word, and can have a huge impact.

➥ Is There A Way To Generate Income From Teaching SymptoPro?

Yes! You will be able to determine the cost of your SymptoPro class. There are base fees needed to cover the cost of the client packets that each couple will receive, but beyond that, the cost you charge is up to you. We do not collect anything beyond the cost of the client materials for all live classes (in-person or virtual), so anything you charge beyond this amount is your income.

➥ What If We Have A Group Of People Interested In Training To Teach?

If there are more than 2-3 couples or individuals in your area, we may be able to arrange workshop-style training. Contact us for more details.

➥ Can I Teach In another Language Or Country?

Our materials are currently available in English or Spanish. At this time you cannot teach our method in any language besides those. Our training program is conducted entirely in English, and all teachers must speak English fluently, or at least well enough to read and write about the details of our method in English.

Teachers outside of the US can use all-digital materials to avoid shipping difficulties. This will be explained in detail when relevant.

➥ Is The Prerequisite To Take The Client Course Necessary If I Already Have A Background In Fertility Charting With Another Method?

Yes, it is necessary to learn the method first before beginning the instructor training program. Every fertility awareness based method (FABM) has different terminology and guidelines, and it is important to become familiar with the specific way SymptoPro teaches its method. It is our experience that switching methods can be a confusing process, and we’d like to get those kinks worked out first, before moving on to the more complex material of the instructor training program. Doing so will also allow you to be confident in your decision to train with us before investing in the program. In essence, we want those who train to teach with us to first be happy and confident SymptoPro users!

If you do have a strong background in fertility charting, let us know and we’ll change the charting requirement from 6 months to 3 months.

➥ If I Am Switching From Teaching A Different Fertility Charting Method, Is There A Specific Track For Me?

The coursework required will be the same, but if you are already familiar with some of the content, it should go more quickly for you.

➥ What Are The SymptoPro Principles That Instructors Are Required To Abide By?

All instructors must adhere to and uphold these principles when acting as a SymptoPro instructor while understanding that all those they work with may not agree with or adhere to these values.

  1. The family is the fundamental unit of society and is based on the loving, generous, and stable relationship of the husband and wife, with an openness to life and respect for the sanctity of life from conception onward, at all times. NFP education can be part of the dialogue by which responsible parenthood is achieved in harmony with the nature of the family and the family's purpose. This is compatible with the meaning of the family before God as understood by most faith-based organizations.
  2. Each couple, though unique, is presumed capable of integrating the many facets of human sexuality, particularly fertility awareness, periodic abstinence, and mutual acceptance of responsibility for procreation.
  3. A couple has the right to full NFP instruction and follow-up in accordance with program policy, and confidence from the NFP Instructor in their ability to learn and successfully use NFP. It is the couple's decision to fully participate or not and this decision should be respected by the instructor.
  4. The instructor, whose role is to inform and encourage couples in their decision to practice NFP, will therefore work to convey personal and spiritual values inherent in NFP, as well as facts of fertility awareness, and will never recommend, or refer for, contraception, sterilization, or abortion.*
  5. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is defined as meaning uniting to achieve, or abstaining to avoid, pregnancy, during the method-defined fertile time as discerned by the couple themselves.

Be aware that the language of our method is gender specific (only women have cycles) and assumes that a client’s sexual partner is her husband. Our presentation cannot be given and our method cannot be advertised using different language, but clients with extramarital partners or with other gender identities need not be turned away from instruction.

Our materials do not include any religious content and are used in both Catholic and secular settings.

*Contraception includes barrier methods, spermicide, etc, as well as withdrawal. The only recommendation for avoiding pregnancy during the fertile time must be abstaining from sexual activity entirely. While every couple is capable of practicing abstinence, we know that some will choose to use contraception during the fertile time. Instructors should respect their choice while being clear that this is not fully utilizing our method and that the effectiveness drops to the effectiveness of their chosen method of contraception. The instructor should not provide advice or information on the use of any of these methods while working in the role of a SymptoPro instructor.

➥ What Class Formats Can I Offer Once I Am Certified?

There are currently three different ways to teach the SymptoPro method. No matter the class type, the recommended spacing of the three SymptoPro class sessions is every two weeks (spacing up to a month is also acceptable).

Both the live in-person and live virtual class types are available to you right away when you begin teaching. The self-paced online course is an option, but it comes with a startup cost and ongoing fees (check with your trainer for more details). Because of this, the online course isn’t practically feasible unless you plan to teach a large volume of clients, or if you are part of a group, such as a diocese, who manage their own portal. We do not allow you to create your own recorded classes, but we do allow for the recording of a specific class only to accommodate a client who was absent.

➥ Can I Alter The Course Materials Or Include Outside Information When I Instruct A Class?

All materials used in your course of instruction must be created, distributed, or approved by SymptoPro. If you have need of a specific resource or material that is not currently available, please contact us with your suggestion, and we will see what we can do to create one and make it available to all of our instructors.

The policy on material creation includes translating our existing materials into other languages. Currently client materials are only available in English or Spanish. Translating to other languages without our permission is not allowed, since we cannot ensure that the translation is correct.

The live course, whether in-person or virtual, must be taught using the most current version of our SymptoPro PowerPoint presentations, covered in their entirety. The instructor must present the content of the provided lecture notes, in their entirety, but is encouraged to rephrase naturally, not read them. Additional information or coaching can be added as desired, including theological content for use in a Catholic setting, but no addition or adaptation can violate our policies stated above.

When acting in the role of a SymptoPro instructor, we require that you present a SymptoPro class using SymptoPro materials. This ensures brand quality and consistency for our entire program.

➥ Do You Have A List Of Instructor Policies That I Can Review?

Yes, you can review the SymptoPro Instructor Policies here. This document is also covered during instruction and available to all certified instructors.

➥ What is HIPAA and where can I learn more information about protecting client data?

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act governs organizations that deal with protected health information and provides rules for safeguarding client information. When working with clients, you are responsible for ensuring that you following these rules and securing client data. This includes not sharing client names, charting data, and other private health information. If you decide to obtain an email address with our SymptoPro domain (@SymptoPro.org) for a small annual fee, you will have the ability to send encrypted emails which will help ensure data protection. You can read more about HIPAA here.

If you have additional questions about the the instructor training process contact Rachel Meyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you would like to register and begin the training process, select the appropriate link below and apply now!

Instructor Registration