What is Natural Family Planning?
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the scientific, natural, and moral approach to family planning that helps couples achieve or postpone pregnancy by understanding and tracking their joint fertility. NFP fosters self-knowledge, respect, and appreciation for the gift of fertility. Each method of NFP helps a couple identify times of fertility with scientific precision by observing the presence or absence of various signs of fertility. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. NFP supports God’s design for married love by fostering free, total, faithful, and fruitful communion between husband and wife.
What is it NOT?
– NFP is not a prediction of when a woman will be fertile. It is an analysis of a woman’s state of fertility each and every day based on modern scientific advancements in the study of reproductive health.
– NFP is not a Catholic version of contraception. It is inherently different. In no way does it change, block, or distort the meaning of each and every act of spousal intimacy.
– NFP is not the rhythm method. The rhythm method is based on predictions, patterns, and calendar dates, and does not involve looking at each woman’s individual cycle. NFP does not predict fertility but determines it. NFP is individualized to every woman and each one of her cycles so there are no assumptions made, there is no guess work involved, and no “one size fits all” mentality.
Who can use NFP?
Any married couple can use NFP. A woman need not have “regular” cycles. NFP education helps couples fully understand and interpret their combined fertility so that they can discern when to postpone or try to attempt pregnancy. The key to the successful use of NFP is cooperation and communication between husband and wife – a shared commitment.
Additionally, NFP is a helpful tool for all women in all phases of life. It is a helpful tool to better understand a woman’s reproductive health. Women who are single, married, breastfeeding, or approaching menopause can benefit from the knowledge that is gained through learning to listen to one’s own body.
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