What is Natural Family Planning? "Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman's cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.
NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife. " (Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry, p. 23)
Is Natural Family Planning the same as the Calendar Rhythm Method? No, it is not the same as the older and significantly less effective “calendar rhythm method” which estimates and projects the couples fertile and non-fertile phases by observing when these phases occurred in previous cycles. The NFP methods known today are scientifically based on the observation of the changes in the woman’s cervical mucus, temperature changes and/or other signs to determine fertile and non-fertile phases on a daily basis.