The Natural Family Planning instructors at Franciscan Health help couples learn patterns of fertility and to more effectively plan having a family.
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.
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 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.