Are current Natural Family Planning Methods the same as the "Rhythm Method"?
No. Current NFP Methods (i.e. Sympto-thermal, Ovulation Method, Creighton, etc.) are very different from the Calendar Rhythm Method. The Rhythm Method, which was developed in the 1930s, is based on a calculation of a woman's previous menstrual cycle lengths. In the current Natural Family Planning Methods, fertile and infertile phases of the cycle are determined by noting the observable signs that every fertile woman experiences.
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.
Who can use Natural Family Planning?
Because 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, Natural Family Planning can provide valuable information.
Through private, group or online 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 NFP and assurance of its success in their marriage.
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.
Actual costs vary according to method used. For further information, please click on the links for the individual methods and check out the websites listed.
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!
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.