Natural Family Planning

What is Natural Family Planning
  • Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for scientifically based, morally acceptable methods of regulating conception based on daily observation and interpretation of the natural signs of fertility and infertility which occur in a woman’s body. Using this knowledge, a couple can identify the days on which conception is possible should they desire to either achieve or to avoid a pregnancy. International studies confirm that, when used to avoid pregnancy, NFP has an effectiveness rate of 98-99% for a couple who has been properly instructed and who follows the method carefully.
  • NFP provides a healthy, highly effective method of family planning for a very low cost and with no harmful side effects. It can be used successfully at all stages in a woman’s life, including during breast-feeding and perimenopause. Couples who practice NFP often develop a deeper awe for one another’s bodies, for the gift of their joint fertility and for the privilege of parenthood. Many couples also find that the mutual respect, regular communication, shared responsibility and self-restraint required by the practice of NFP enrich their relationship and strengthen their marriage.
Methods of Natural Family Planning

NFP methods are focused on one or more signs of female fertility. They can be grouped into three categories:

Cervical Mucus Methods (CMM)
The methods that observe cervical mucus are commonly called the "Ovulation Method" or "OM." In NFP education, a woman learns how to identify the normal, healthy, cervical mucus which indicates the days that sexual intercourse is most likely to result in pregnancy.

Sympto-Thermal Methods (STM)
The methods that observe several signs of fertility and cross-check two or more of the signs to pinpoint ovulation are commonly called the "Sympto-Thermal Method" or "STM." STM typically combines charting of the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus with other optional indicators, such as changes in the cervix and secondary fertility signs.

Sympto-Hormonal Method (SHM)
The method that observes several signs of fertility and adds the use of an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) or fertility monitor is called the "Sympto-Hormonal Method" or "SHM." Similar to the STM, this approach adds the self-detection of reproductive hormones in the urine with the assistance of an OPK or fertility monitor.

There are options for learning a method of NFP in each of these categories, whether through in-person instruction or online platforms.

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Billings Ovulation Method Association - USA (BOMA-USA)
BOMA-USA provides client education, teacher training, and medical seminars in The Billings Ovulation Method®. This method is based on the observation of cervical mucus. It was created by the Drs. John and Evelyn Billings of Melbourne, Australia. BOMA-USA is the only authorized representative of The Billings Method® in the United States.
Distance learning in teacher education (English and Spanish) is provided, see Remote Teacher Training.
Remote client education is offered by individual BOMA-USA certified teachers, see Learn Remotely.

Couple to Couple League (CCL)
CCL provides client education in the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM). STM is a multi-indexed method. It teaches detection of cervical mucus, the Basal Body Temperature, and cervical changes besides other secondary fertility symptoms.

Remote client education (English and Spanish) is provided in two formats: Live on-line classes.
Self-Paced Online Class (this is a video-based version of the live class with support available through phone and e-mail).

Creighton Model FertilityCareTM Method (CrM)
Individual CrM teachers may teach clients via the web. Married couples will have to contact a CrM teacher directly to arrange distance education.
See the directory of FertilityCareTM Centers of America to contact a CrM teacher.

Family of the Americas Foundation (FAF)

  • FAF provides client education in the cervical mucus method. This approach to NFP is founded on the work of the Drs. Billings.
  • FAF offers a client correspondence course via the US Postal system. An interactive CD program is an added feature of this curriculum.
  • The Spanish language and multi-languages are available.

Marquette University College of Nursing Institute for NFP (MUCN-INFP)
Institute Website:
Client Classes:
MUCN-INFP provides education in a Sympto-Hormonal Method. Named after their Institute, this SHM is also called the "Marquette Method" (MM). This approach integrates the basic information of cervical mucus with the added feature of an electronic hormonal monitoring device.
Remote client education (English and Spanish) is provided by individual teachers, see

NFP International (NFPI)
John and Sheila Kippley, Directors
Website: http:/
NFPI provides client and teacher education in the Cross-Check Method (also called "STM"), a multi-indexed method of NFP. Mr. and Mrs.Kippley are "NFP pioneers" and the co-founders of the CCLI. They are among the devoted Catholics who developed NFP methods in the United States.
Client education is provided on-line.

  • Support is offered to the student via e-mail and phone.
  • Access to the NFP master teacher program is via e-mail.

Northwest Family Services (NWFS) - SymptoPro Fertility Education
NWFS provides education in the SymptoPro method a multi-indexed method of NFP that teaches the detection and interpretation of cervical mucus, basal-body temperature (BBT), and changes in the cervix (similar to other STMs). It also teaches how to interpret secondary signs of fertility.

  • NWFS offers a client correspondence course via the US Postal system, a client Internet course and also a combination of correspondence and on-line education for clients who request both. 
  • Spanish language education is available.
  • A chart app. is available at no extra cost for Internet clients. All others will pay a one-time fee at time of purchase.


God designed marriage as an "intimate partnership of life and love" (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). Marriage is oriented to the good of the spouses and to the creation and nurture of new human life (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). Making decisions, therefore, about when and how many children to have in marriage is a sacred responsibility that God has entrusted to husband and wife. Natural family planning represents the only authentic approach to family planning available to husbands and wives. because these methods can be used to both achieve or avoid pregnancy.  

If you’re interested in strengthening your marriage, click here.

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