What is Natural Family Planning?
Natural Family Planning refers to various methods that have been developed to help determine the fertile and infertile times of a woman’s menstrual cycle. These methods can be used to achieve or avoid a pregnancy and are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from inter-course and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman's cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.
NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.
Methods of fertility awareness began in the 1930’s with what was called “Rhythm.” Since then, much research has been done regarding human fertility. Now, almost a 100 years later, natural family planning is 99.6% effective in preventing pregnancy: virtually the same as any hormonal method.
What are its benefits?
NFP couples often talk about increased respect for each other, coming from the shared responsibility of the method. NFP couples feel more like a team, and that extends beyond the issue of family planning.
With NFP, marriages are more likely to become stronger and closer to God since they are experiencing marriage as He intended. When a couple no longer takes the planning of children entirely into their own hands, they will begin to trust God in every aspect of their lives.
- No side effects, 100% natural
- Keeps intimacy fresh and exciting
- Can be used to avoid or achieve pregnancy
- NFP couples have a divorce rate of < 5%
- Can be used with irregular cycles
- For couples struggling with infertility, 70% achieve pregnancy within one year
- Improves women’s health by revealing potential or underlying problems
- Can be used by postpartum, breastfeeding, or premenopausal women
- Keeps God in the decision making