Section One – Introduction to Natural Family Planning
What is Natural Family Planning? (NFP)
Natural Family Planning is the general title for the scientific, natural, and moral methods of family planning.
NFP can be used to achieve or postpone pregnancy by using the fertile and infertile windows of a woman’s cycle.
There are no drugs or devices, and no surgical procedures used to postpone or avoid pregnancy. It’s also free!
The methods of NFP respect the love-giving (unitive) and life-giving (procreative) nature of the conjugal act. In short, Natural Family Planning supports God’s design for married love!
Being open to life allows you and your spouse to let God work through you to help plan your family. Sterilization completely cuts off the ability to remain open to life.
Benefits of Natural Family Planning
The divorce rate among couples who practice NFP is remarkably low. Some recent studies have indicated divorce rates as low as 3%.
By its very nature, practicing NFP promotes healthy communication and respect for each other within your marriage.
Natural Family Planning allows couples to completely avoid sterilization. Sterilization has several negative impacts to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
The times of abstinence opens up the opportunity to develop deeper levels of emotional intimacy.
What to Expect & The Next Steps
Practicing NFP allows women to closely monitor their overall health.
Cycle charting can help physicians better understand symptoms that may be occurring in a woman’s mind and body.
Husbands should be willing and excited to begin charting with their wife. This is a team effort!
Section Two – The Science and Research of NFP
An Overview of The Research, The Data, & The Methods
The overall effectiveness of NFP methods is very high.
There was a study performed in China using the Billings Ovulation Method, and the typical failure rate was 0.5%.
That number is as effective, and in some cases — more effective, than artificial contraception methods.
There isn’t a “one size fits all” method.
Getting started using NFP is easier than most people think, and there is plenty of research and data available to ensure each woman (and couple, more broadly) can choose which method works best for them and their goals.
Who Can Use NFP & When to Start Charting
All women can use NFP at all stages of her reproductive life.
NFP can be used by all women with all different types of cycles — regular or irregular.
Ovulation = women’s health — that is the main event!
Many women know when they are bleeding, but not necessarily when they are ovulating.
The Artificial Birth Control Dilemma
Although artificial birth control can be effective in postponing or avoiding pregnancy, natural family planning methods are just as effective (and in some cases — more effective) without all of the harmful side effects or risks associated with artificial birth control.
The World Health Organization classifies oral contraceptive pill as a Group 1 Carcinogen.
Many women are put on the birth control pill for reasons other than preventing pregnancy — abnormal periods, acne, pain with periods, PCOS, etc. — however, the pill has often been known to worsen those symptoms.
Charting your cycle and ovulation gives your doctor the big picture of what is going on in regards to your overall health.