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Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning

Using natural, biological signs to predict fertility

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the name for a collection of methods which use the natural, biological signs of a woman’s menstrual cycle to predict fertility.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the name for a collection of methods which use the natural, biological signs of a woman’s menstrual cycle to predict fertility. With that knowledge, husbands and wives can adjust their intimacy to increase their chances of conceiving a child or – for grave reasons – to postpone or avoid pregnancy.

Unlike artificial contraceptives, Natural Family Planning does not actively change the sexual act to render it unfruitful; instead, it identifies times when intimacy should be avoided if there is a serious reason to avoid pregnancy. Thus NFP respects the two inseparable aspects of sexuality – the closer union of husband and wife, and openness to children, the fruit of sexuality. Moreover, NFP does this without introducing artificial hormones or devices into a woman’s body, while also promoting communication, intimacy, and trust within a marriage.

You may have already heard about NFP through a marriage preparation program or through resources at your parish. If you have any questions or concerns, or would simply like some more help finding support for your situation, please contact our office.

NFP is taught on a one-on-one basis throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg.  Many couples prefer to learn NFP from someone located close to where they live, work, or go to school.  Instructors are located throughout the diocese.  Please click here to locate an instructor closest to you.

Other couples prefer to learn a specific method of NFP.  There are three methods of NFP taught within the Diocese of Harrisburg – sympto-thermal, Creighton, and Family of the Americas. In addition, the Marquette method is taught online from two instructors located just outside of our diocesan boundaries. To choose an NFP instructor by method, please see this list of NFP teachers. If you would like to learn more about each method before deciding, please see below for a detailed description of each method.

There are three methods of NFP taught within the Diocese of Harrisburg – sympto-thermal, Creighton, and Family of the Americas. In addition, the Marquette method is taught online from an instructor located just outside of our diocesan boundaries in Coudersport, PA.

Living the Sacrament, an online NFP community, provides these helpful explanations of each method of NFP:

Still wondering which method of NFP might be right for you? The answer often comes down to balancing several different personal questions: Are my cycles pretty regular, or do they change quite a bit? Would I prefer a low-key method with fewer things to keep track of, or more signs to track for greater peace of mind? Is cost an issue?

To help couples answer these questions, both the Diocese of Phoenix and an NFP website called iusenfp.com have developed quizzes to help couples balance these different considerations. Please note that these websites only offer advice and a tool for making a decision; you may decide that another method is better for you.

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