How does it work?
The term Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term that refers to methods that use naturally occurring signs and symptoms in a woman’s menstrual cycle to help a couple determine their time of fertility and infertility. Couples using the methods of instruction which are offered in our Diocese make daily observations of cervical mucus and record them on a chart. Clients are taught to interpret the biomarkers recorded on their chart to determine fertile and infertile phases in a cycle. A couple then chooses whether to have marital relations on a given day based on their decision to avoid or achieve a pregnancy at that time.
Avoiding a Pregnancy: Whether a couple wishes to space their children or limit their family to the number of children they already have, the effectiveness rate of the modern methods of NFP are 96%-99.5% when taught by a certified instructor and used according to instructions. (This is higher than most artificial contraceptives.)
Achieving a Pregnancy: Couples using NFP will be able to effectively identify their most fertile times in order to achieve a pregnancy. In studies conducted by the Pope Paul VI Institute, of those using the Creighton Model with normal fertility 98% were able to achieve a pregnancy within the first 6 months of charting. Of those with sub-fertility 20%-40% were able to achieve by simply charting and up to 80% were able to achieve when they received medical treatment in conjunction with their charting.
Instruction in three different Natural Family Planning methods are available in our Diocese:
- Billings Ovulation Method
- Creighton Model Fertility Care Instruction
- Sympto-Thermal Method with the Couple to Couple League
Here are some NFP links to assist you on this journey: