Natural Family Planning – The Basics

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is often the modern alternative to invasive infertility correction procedures. It is also an effective form of contraceptive. Used correctly, NFP is 99% effective in avoiding pregnancy. NFP is completely drug free, completely reducing the common long term side effects of birth control pills.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is often the modern alternative to invasive infertility correction procedures. It is also an effective form of contraceptive. Used correctly, NFP is 99% effective in avoiding pregnancy. NFP is completely drug free, completely reducing the common long term side effects of birth control pills.

Today’s couples are using NFP to plan their families, drug and surgery free. NFP is effective way to avoid or achieve pregnancy. It is also an opportunity to allow a woman to become more familiar with her own body.

By utilizing NFP, a woman is able to avoid or achieve pregnancy by identifying the most fertile days of her cycle. Contrary to what we have been led to believe for many years, not all women ovulate on day fourteen of their cycles. Every woman’s body has it’s own distinct pattern, thus making the Calendar Rhythm Method less successful than we thought years ago. The Calendar Rhythm Method uses the shortest and longest cycle over the course of one to several years, using the assumption of ovulation on day fourteen of the cycle. NFP provides a way to discover your own cycle pattern.

Through fertility awareness a woman can identify what her body is telling her. This is done in most cases by combining the Ovulation (or Billings) Method with the Sympto-Thermal Method. Using the Ovulation Method, the woman charts not only the days she bleeds, but the days in which she produces fertile cervical mucus as well. The Sympto-Thermal Method is used by the woman taking her temperature every morning at the same time. It is also implemented by charting cervical mucus and the position and texture of the cervix. The two combined are better than either used alone.

A woman is fertile for only 100 hours per cycle. Fertility awareness optimizes a woman chances of achieving pregnancy during this small window of time, by charting her basal body temperature and the changes in cervical mucus and cervix. Keeping track of the effects of stress and activity on the afore mentioned changes is also necessary. By charting for consecutive months all activity and emotion, one can determine a pattern of delayed ovulation.

By charting her cycles and identifying her cycle pattern, a woman can time intercourse as close as possible to her “peak day” in order to increase the chances of concieving. She can also use this method to avoid her peak time in order to avoid conception. This is identified by a spike in basal temperature and the presence of eggwhite cervical mucus. The location and texture of the cervix should be considered as well. During her most fertile period, a woman’s cervix will be located up high and will feel soft. During her peak the cervical opening will enlarge as well. During a non-fertile period the cervix will be low and hard. The opening will be tight and small.

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