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Most adult women in the world know that they can become pregnant for only a few days each month, generally about midcycle for women who are regular in their cycle.

NFP is a body of knowledge based on naturally occurring signs and symptoms, that teaches women how to identify these days. The modern methods can identify the fertile time even in women who are irregular and amenorrheic.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) refers to the practice of avoiding or achieving pregnancy according to an informed awareness of a woman's fertility.

It can also refer to the spacing of pregnancies through ecological breastfeeding.

During each monthly cycle, a woman normally becomes fertile and then infertile. Her body provides certain signs to indicate her fertile and infertile times.

Natural Family Planning's Sympto-Thermal method teaches how to observe and interpret these signs . . . enabling couples to achieve or avoid pregnancy naturally . . . by becoming aware of the woman's  natural metabolic fertility cycle.

The Sympto-Thermal method is NOT Calendar Rhythm! 

It was developed by leading obstetrician/gynecologists and further refined by the Couple to Couple League. With this method, a woman observes two or three fertility signs which occur naturally within her monthly cycle. As the signs are observed and recorded, her fertile and infertile times are determined.

The two most commonly used signs of fertility are:

    a woman's normal cervical mucus secretions and…

    her waking temperature. 

A third and optional sign is the physical change that occurs in her cervix.

It takes just five minutes each morning for a woman to take her waking temperature. Then during the day she takes a moment now and then to become aware of her cervical mucus. Once the information is recorded, she has a complete and cross-checking picture of her fertility . . .

A number of studies have shown that the Sympto-Thermal Method of NFP can be used at the 99% level of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy. That's equal to the birth control pill and better than all the barrier methods.

For a much broader look at NFP, go to, or visit these pages:

The Effectiveness of the Creighton Model Ovulation Method in Avoiding and Achieving Pregnancy
"Use Effectiveness of the Creighton Model Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning"; Fehring, Richard J.; Lawrence, D.; and Philpot, D., Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Vol. 23, No. 4 . May 1994. pp. 303-309
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Natural Family Planning Research Database 




Researchers from the University of Heidelberg studied 900 women. They report in the journal, Human Reproduction, that the correct use of Sympto-Thermal Method, STM, leads to a rate of 0.4 pregnancies per 100 women per year.

They compared this to a consistent, skillful use of a barrier method such as a fresh condom, which had a pregnancy rate of 0.6.

Sex without contraception, during the fertile period, had a pregnancy rate of upwards from 7.5 pregnancies; however, many studies have found considerably higher percentages.

The Couple to Couple League, which teaches Natural Family Planning to married and engaged couples, said that "natural" and "contraception" are at "total opposite ends of the spectrum".

NFP is really Fertility Awareness, and can be used to increase the chances of conceiving or temporarily delaying pregnancy.