How effective is Natural Family Planning?
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a World Health Organization study show that the Billings Ovulation Method and the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning are 98.6-99% effective in postponing pregnancy when couples are properly taught and the method is followed correctly.
Is the Billings Ovulation Method the same as the "Rhythm Method"?
No. The Billings Ovulation Method is very different from the Calendar Rhythm Method. Rhythm, which was developed in the 1930s, is based on a calculation of a woman's previous menstrual cycle lengths. In the Billings Ovulation Method, which was developed in 1950, fertile and infertile phases of the cycle are determined by observing the normal changes in cervical mucus secretions which every fertile woman experiences.
Who developed the Billings Ovulation Method?
The Billings Ovulation Method was developed more than 40 years ago by Drs. John and Lyn Billings of Melbourne, Australia. Dr. John Billings is a neurologist and Dr. Lyn is a pediatrician. They have taught the Billings Method all over the world and today they spend much of their time teaching in China.
What does the Church teach about Natural Family Planning?
Pope John Paul II quoting Humanae Vitae states that "'any action, which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation is morally wrong. If there are reasonable grounds for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological conditions of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that then married people may take advantage of the natural cycles imminent in the reproductive system and use their marriage at precisely those times that they are infertile, and in this way control birth without offending moral principles...'" (General Audience of August 8, 1984, quoting Humanae Vitae 16).
What does Natural Family Planning do for a marriage?
Couples have found that NFP has made them more aware of their combined fertility, opened new avenues of communication, and has added an enriching dimension to their marriage. Many couples report improvement in their relationship with NFP.
Are doctors familiar with NFP?
Most physicians are not taught Natural Family Planning methods in medical school. However, a growing number of physicians are embracing Natural Family Planning methods as part of their practice. For more information on a NFP-only physician in your area contact One More Soul.
I am currently using the Pill. Can I stop using it at any time?
Yes! You can quit your packet at any point during your cycle. You do not need to complete this month's pills. Most women will experience a withdrawal bleed after taking their last pill. Although it can take up to two years for the Birth Control Pill to be completely out of your body, many women will return to normal cycling after three or four months of discontinuing the Pill. And we've heard the remaining pills are good for plants!
Can breastfeeding mothers use NFP?
Yes. During breastfeeding a woman may experience a time of natural infertility. This time, however, is variable for every woman and for every pregnancy. This time of infertility depends upon the inter-relationship of many factors including the baby and mother's needs, and the style and frequency of feeding. The Office of Natural Family Planning offers special classes for breastfeeding mothers to help them learn how to use NFP and chart while breastfeeding.
Who can use Natural Family Planning?
Because the Billings Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning is based on each woman's unique and individual cycles, anyone can use the method.
Whether a woman is discontinuing contraceptive medication, breastfeeding, approaching menopause, has irregular cycles, or the couple simply wants to develop a healthy awareness of fertility, the Billings Ovulation Method can provide valuable information.
Through private or group instruction, couples learn to chart their signs of fertility and infertility. Frequent and confidential follow-up chart reviews allow the couple to gain confidence in the method and assurance of its success in their marriage.
What is the cost for Natural Family Planning?
Natural Family Planning is covered by many health insurance plans. If it is not, a sliding fee scale is used to cover instructions, materials, and follow-up. This fee is based on income and family size and may be waived or reduced if necessary.
Once the Billings Ovulation Method is learned, charts and stamps cost approximately $4 per year.