Natural Family Planning Methods

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for the natural, healthy, morally acceptable methods of family planning that follow Catholic teaching to help couples space, achieve, or avoid pregnancy. These methods use the daily observation of signs and symptoms that reflect the hormonal changes within a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples can learn how to interpret these to recognize the fertile and infertile phases of the cycle in order to achieve or avoid a pregnancy. This knowledge can be applied to regular or irregular cycles. Natural Family Planning can be used during a woman's entire fertile years, even during periods of breastfeeding and pre-menopause.

Many people only poorly understand the reproductive system. When they learn about Natural Family Planning from an instructor either in person or online, they are taught the scientific principles of the natural methods and many come to appreciate the wonderful gift of their fertility and their sexuality.  

Modern NFP methods are not the same as "calendar rhythm," which was based on a numerical estimate of when ovulation would occur. Natural Family Planning methods are scientifically supported natural methods that allow couples to manage their fertility. Well motivated and instructed couples can achieve a 99% effectiveness rate in postponing pregnancy.

The Billings Ovulation Method is a simple but highly effective way to precisely identify the days of fertility and infertility during a menstrual cycle of any length and in any reproductive situation. By daily observations and charting of the recognizable signs and changes of the cervical mucus, the couple is then able to use this knowledge to reliably identify the times when they are fertile and infertile. The Billings Ovulation Method was developed by two medical doctors, and it has been the subject of the most comprehensive scientific research of any method of regulating births. It has been used throughout the world for more than 50 years as an effective and scientific way to achieve, postpone, or avoid a pregnancy.
Register:  online class  | 
Billings Life website 

The Sympto-Thermal Method
The Sympto-Thermal Method is the oldest effective natural method still in use in the United States. It involves observing and charting regular changes in a woman’s cervical mucus and body temperature as well as other physical signs. These signs provide a cross-check by which couples can reliably determine the woman's fertile and infertile times. They can then use this information to increase or limit the size of their family. Register for introduction class | Couple to Couple League website

 The Creighton Model System
The Creighton Model System relies upon the standardized observation and charting of biological markers that help a woman understand her health and fertility. In addition to identifying when the couple is fertile and infertile (to either achieve or avoid pregnancy), the biomarkers also help to identify abnormalities in a woman's health. If there are any specific problems (usually related to fertility issues), they can be addressed using NaPro Technology, which is the new health science that works cooperatively with a woman's cycle (and nature.)
Register for introduction class |
Creighton Model System website

Why should you use natural methods?

  • NFP calls for mutual responsibility in family planning by both the husband and the wife.
  • Allows married couples to live their sexual relationship within natural law as well as within the moral and religious teaching of the Catholic Church.
  • Assists both the husband and the wife in fulfilling the true principles of responsible parenthood.

Who teaches these classes?
Couples that have or are now enjoying the rewards and benefits of NFP, and are willing to share these teach the classes. Instructor couples receive intensive training to become certified NFP teachers.

The Catholic Church believes that NFP is morally acceptable as a responsible form for spacing, achieving, or avoiding pregnancies. NFP is a normal and healthy process; a gift that can be appreciated, respected, and easily understood.

Independent teachers that are certified by national NFP provider groups also provide NFP educational services in the Archdiocese.