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 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 this method, see contact information for your area below.
- Couple to Couple League
Go to www.ccl-ar.org or www.ccli.org (English & Spanish)
- Northwest Family Services
Go to www.nwfs.org (English only; online only)
2. 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 this method, see contact information for your area below.
- Creighton Model FertilityCareTM System
In central Arkansas, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.fertilitycarearkansas.com (English)
Go to www.fertilitycare.org.
- Family of the Americas
In central Arkansas, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (Spanish)
In northwest Arkansas, e-mail email@example.com (Spanish), or firstname.lastname@example.org (English)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — The USCCB website offers many articles, documents, links and resources available about NFP. Excerpts from Church documents include chastity, children as gifts, conjugal love, contraception/sterilization and abortion, family, human sexuality, life as a gift from God, marriage as a sacrament and many more.
- For Your Marriage — This specialized USCCB site is for married couples and offers resources for everyone, including engaged and married couples, and facts about Catholic marriage.
- One More Soul — This website focuses on fostering God’s plan for love, marriage and procreation. Audio clips and interesting information about NFP are available. Informative articles for engaged, newly married and couples who have been married for many years.