Blessings of Life

This six-part series is from Catholic women in ArkansasDana Dodge writes about how natural family planning changed her life for the better. Erin Pohlmeier explains why contraception is bad for women, followed by Anna Ostrom's writing about the physiological consequences of contraception. Mary Stengel discusses the dignity of motherhood, Franchelle Jaeger speaks about responsible parenthood, and Brooke Glover discusses being both a faithful Catholic and working woman. Read the Blessings of Life.

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term to describe the methods used to achieve or avoid pregnancy based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples using these methods to avoid pregnancy, abstain from sexual intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.

The methods of NFP reflect the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life and promote openness to life and the value of the child. By complementing the love-giving and life-giving nature of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife. (Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry, 2010)

Choosing A Method

Natural methods are generally divided into two categories: Ovulation method (OM) and Sympto-Thermal method (STM). Visit the websites below to find out which method best fits your lifestyle as husband and wife. There is a fee for classes that includes supplies and services. 

Sympto-Thermal Method (STM)

Sympto-thermal methods are multi-indexed methods of NFP. A woman is taught to observe her multiple signs of fertility. STM methods teach a woman to observe her primary signs of fertility (cervical mucus, basal body temperature and cervical changes). The secondary signs of fertility (breast tenderness, back pain, etc.) are also taught.

Among STM providers, variations exist in some rules, charting two or more of the primary signs of fertility, as well as differences in chart symbols. Despite the variations, all refer to the multi-indexed methods as “STM.” To sign up for a class using the Sympto-Thermal Method, visit one of the websites below to register online.

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Ovulation Method (OM)

Approximately at the time of a woman’s ovulation, a type of mucus is secreted by the cervix. This primary sign of fertility indicates when a woman is potentially fertile. The woman’s correct observation of her cervical mucus is the basis of all cervical mucus methods (CMM).

The term “Ovulation Method” or “OM" has become an umbrella term for most cervical mucus methods. The guidelines for interpretation of cervical mucus vary per CM method approach. To sign up for a class using the Ovulation Method, visit one of these websites to register online or e-mail an address listed below.

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