Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term referring to multiple methods of natural family planning. The two most common forms of natural family planning are: Ovulation methods and Sympto-Thermal Methods. The Diocese of Rockford offers three methods of Natural Family Planning: two Ovulation Methods, The Billings Ovulation Method and the Creighton Model FertilityCare System; and one Sympto-Thermal Method, Couple to Couple League. Although it is possible to learn Natural Family Planning on your own, the best way to learn NFP is through a certified instructor who can discuss your fertility with you and answer all your questions. All three methods in the Diocese of Rockford are effective, natural ways to plan your family. Choosing a method is based on personal preference.
The three signs of fertility
A woman's body provides three basic ways to identify the fertile and infertile times of her cycle. Recognizing the pattern of those physical signs forms the basis for all methods of NFP.
A primary sign of fertility is the mucus released from the women's cervix. A woman learns to identify the normal, healthy, cervical mucus which indicates the days that intercourse is most likely to result in a pregnancy. The second sign is her basal body temperature. Due to hormonal activity, a woman's waking temperature changes during the menstrual cycle. Lower temperatures indicate that ovulation has not yet occurred. Higher temperatures indicate a rise in progesterone which signals the end of the fertile time. The third sign is a change in the shape or texture of the cervix. Finally, secondary signs, such as minor abdominal pain or pressure at the time of ovulation can also be observed.
The Diocese of Rockford offers three different methods of Natural Family Planning
The ovulation methods (Billings and Creighton) use the mucus sign. The sympto-thermal method (Couple to Couple League) uses the mucus sign, basal body temperature, and changes in the cervix.
Methods in the Diocese of Rockford:
Billings Ovulation Method™
- http://www.boma-usa.org/ OR http://www.woomb.org/ OR http://www.billingslife.org/
- Couples track the woman's natural and unique signs of fertility and infertility each day. Observations of the cervical mucus are noted daily primarily through what the woman feels at the vulva during normal daily activities and secondarily through the appearance of the mucus. The Billings Method requires neither internal examinations nor recording temperatures.
Why choose Billings?
- Billings is one of the simplest methods to learn and very little work is involved in charting
- women recognize their fertile signs by become more aware and simply noticing what they feel throughout the course of their daily activities
available in the McHenry/Woodstock area in Spanish.
Couple to Couple League
- http://www.ccli.org/ OR http://www.naturalfamilyplanningchicago.com/
- The couple takes basal temperature readings at a consistent time. The woman makes note of cervical fluid, if present on the tissue after voiding. Internal observations may identify an earlier start of the fertile period. Palpation of the cervix confirms the other signs of fertility. Once the method is learned, couples choose which signs of fertility they will monitor.
Why choose CCL?
- Uses up to three signs of fertility for added security: cervical mucus, temperature, and internal examinations to observe changes in the cervix
- available on the east side of the diocese
Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System
- http://www.creightonmodel.com/ OR http://www.popepaulvi.com/
- Creighton-Model Fertility Care System involves one-on-one attention and teaching focused to your needs and your life. Further medical evaluation by a physician is available for couples with difficulty conceiving or other reproductive problems. Local referrals are made to a local family physician. Referrals can also be made directly to The Pope Paul VI Institute. Information site: www.popepaulvi.com.
Why choose Creighton?
- using evidence-based medicine, Creighton is the most medically advanced method (NaPro)
- preferred by many couples who have infertility issues or encounter medical problems with the woman's cycle
- available in the Rockford and DeKalb areas
How do I learn more?
For more information on a full course of Natural Family Planning, please contact a Natural Family Planning instructor.
Questions? Call us at 815.399.4300
A summary of the Church's teaching on Natural Family Planning can be found on the USCCB's website:http://old.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/cathteach.shtml
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between NFP and contraception?