What Is Natural Family Planning?

Happily Married with Natural Family Planning

Is there really a way to go about family planning naturally? Can I really regulate my chances of conceiving without any synthetic hormones entering my body? It sounds too good to be true, but lucky for you, it's not!



Natural Family Planning (NFP) 

Around the world, million of  couples practice Natural Family Planning (NFP) as part of their Roman Catholic beliefs. Strict NFP excludes all other methods of birth control including condoms and hormones. Periodic abstinence during a women's highly fertile times is the only method of contraception deemed moral by the church.



Although abstinence during fertile times might sound constrictive, in fact, a very large percentage of time a women is naturally infertile. These times include:



-infertile portions of the menstrual cycle

-during pregnancy

-while in a certain phase of breastfeeding

-after menopause



In order to avoid pregnancy, a couple practicing NFP will only have sex during a women's naturally infertile periods. This same information about her highly fertile window can be carried over when the couple decides to try conceiving.



A couple using NFP will choose from various methods of fertility awareness to  find one that best suits there needs. The Illings Method, the Standard Days Method, the Creighton Method and the Sympto-thermal Method all have slight variations with the same goal of identifying the fertility window in each women's' cycle.



Within the past few years, as society becomes more health conscious, variations of NFP are becoming more popular and widespread.  Women are taking charge of their fertility once again, especially as they become educated on the health risks associated with hormonal forms of contraception. And although the Catholic organizations are still larger than the secular fertility awareness movement, independent secular teachers have become increasingly common throughout the 1990s and 2000s.Couples who want a healthier, more natural sex life within their marriages have embraced NFP as the perfect solution to their contraceptive needs. It creates a hormone free way to  avoid or delaying pregnancy without the imbalances bought about by the obtrusive hormonal contraceptive solutions. And lets face it,  making love without a barrier form of birth control is so much more intimate.



Lets take a look at a few of the methods that have branched off of NFP.



The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)

Natural Family Planning calls for abstinence during a woman's fertile phase, however many non-Catholic couples choose to use barrier contraception during the short fertile window instead of refraining from intercourse completely. This cannot be described as complying to NFP rules so is therefore referred to as the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) instead.



Natural Fertility Management (NFM)

Natural Fertility Management uses the same method of fertility awareness as NFP and FAM, with an added emphasis on overall physical, sexual and emotional well-being. It is more commonly employed by couples trying to achieve a pregnancy then for couples looking for a birth control method.



Both husband and wife's health and well-being have a direct impact on their sex lives and their chances at conception. Treatment to increase fertility through diet, exercise, better chemical balance are all part of NFM. Psychological problems can also have an impact in the bedroom, and these issues would also be addressed under NFM.



Beyond the health and fertility of the parents, conceiving naturally has an effect on the health of the newly conceived child. Just as mothers wouldn't drink or smoke during pregnancy, in the run up to conception why women be pumped full of artificial drugs and toxins? NFP consultants wish to avoid all drugs if possible, and will cover topics that are often overlooked in the general medical world.



Making Life Simple 

Whichever type of Natural Family Planning you decide is best suited for your needs, the bottom line is you must be accurately identifying your fertility window. An accurate identification of ovulation is the cornerstone on which every system rests. We suggest you check out Cyclotest, simple all-in-one device that can help you effortlessly and most important accurately identify your fertility window. 



Learn About Sexual Health Issues With The Ethical Family Planning Association

By David Arevalo

David is a father of two and practices Natural Family Planning within his marriage. He writes on sexual health issues including non-hormonal contraception, fertility awareness and natural conception for the Ethical Family Planning Association


By David Arevalo. Check out David and the Ethical Family Planning Association on Google+