Natural Family Planning
The Benefits of Natural Family Planning
At Franciscan Health couples can choose to work with an instructor to learn their preferred model of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Keeping in contact with an instructor assists couples in learning their individual patterns of fertility quickly and confidently and assists the couple in achieving the highest use effectiveness for their chosen model. Instructors are also trained to identify charting patterns that may suggest underlying issues or hormonal dysfunction.
Benefits of using Natural Family Planning
- Shared responsibility between partners
- Increased communication between partners
- No harmful side effects
- Increased understanding of the cycle of fertility, and of each cycle's unique characteristics
- Ability to identify changes in reproductive health and/or charting patterns which might suggest challenges to fertility or underlying reproductive illness or disease
Natural Family Planning is effective and well-researched
Natural Family Planning refers to methods that allow a couple to achieve or avoid pregnancy through the identification and charting of daily signs that tell a couple when conception is possible and when conception is not possible in any given cycle. Modern NFP methods use well-researched and time-tested scientific principles to help the couple identify their times of fertility. These methods are effective with regular or irregular cycles, during breastfeeding and other anovulatory states, and in the pre-menopause years.
NFP studies indicate effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy of 97 to 99.5%, depending upon the method. Couples using fertility-focused intercourse to achieve pregnancy are generally successful within six cycles.
Natural Family Planning vs. the rhythm method
Natural Family Planning is not the same as the rhythm model, which focuses on calendar dates versus biological changes in a woman. Studies have shown ineffectiveness with the rhythm model because each menstrual cycle is different. A woman may have a very short cycle (less than 21 days), a cycle of normal length, and a cycle of 38 days or more all in the same calendar year. The rhythm method did not account for such a wide range of individual variation.