Natural Family Planning

Used with permission from You, Me and NFP.

What is NFP?

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.

Okay, but why?

It’s good for your marriage. It doesn’t hurt your body. And it’s what the Catholic Church recommends. It’s also very effective and statistically leads to greater joy and a more satisfying relationship. Read more about the benefits here and here. Read more about effectiveness here.

How does it work?

Couples using the methods of instruction which are offered in our Diocese make daily observations of cervical fluid 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 postpone or achieve a pregnancy at that time.

Postponing 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.