The Natural Family Planning
Information Site

Welcome!

This site exists to provide information about Natural Family Planning: what it is, how it works, and why people want to use it.

The documents on this site were drawn from a number of sources: you may therefore find some elements repeated in different sections. Each document, however, has been written from its own perspective, and where they share common ground it would be difficult to remove duplication without damaging the integrity of the individual article.

NFP - The Basics

What is Natural Family Planning?

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is quite simply using the natural signs of human fertility to understand the natural fertility cycle of a woman, and then using that understanding to plan a family. In creating and using this understanding, it develops a couple's respect for fertility, and for each other, as they grow in knowledge of each other and of the gift of fertility. Because of its reflection of the openness to the creative power of God which lies at the heart of married sexuality, it is the only form of family planning which is supportive of the ideals of Christian marriage, and as such it is the only method accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. NFP can be used either to plan pregnancy or to avoid it - it has an effectiveness level as high as artificial contraception, and it is safe to use with no unpleasant side-effects.

The Natural Signs of Fertility

There are various signs of fertility which can be observed by a woman to gain an understanding of her fertility patterns. The main signs are:

  • the mucus secreted before and during the time of ovulation,
  • the small but measurable rise in basal body temperature which occurs after ovulation, and
  • the changes in the cervix occurring around ovulation.
There are also secondary signs, such as ovulation pain and breast tenderness, which may be helpful. These signs can be used individually - the Billings Method (also called the Ovulation Method), for example, relies upon the mucus sign alone - or together in a cross-checking way in the Symptothermal Method.

Learning NFP

Whilst it is possible to learn NFP from a book, it is far preferable to be taught directly by a qualified teacher, or a proper self-study course backed up by contact with a teacher. If you do choose to teach yourself, you should always have your first few charts checked by someone with appropriate qualifications.

Sources of Teaching and Information

A note from the author: a quick inspection of one or two addresses will reveal that I am directly connected with the Couple to Couple League, and I unashamedly recommend anyone seeking NFP information to start with CCL. However, there are alternatives, and the aim of this page is to provide as comprehensive list as possible.

Please click for the Resources Listing.