Young woman and man smiling

Natural Family Planning

Natural family planning allows you to plan for a pregnancy by identifying your body's natural, physical signs of fertility. With this method, you do not need to rely on drugs, devices or surgery.

At certain points in life, couples may desperately want to have a baby. Other times, they may have reasons to avoid pregnancy. Using natural family planning, couples can look for and track key signs of fertility that occur during the woman’s menstrual cycle. And they can use this information to achieve pregnancy naturally, space pregnancies, or avoid pregnancy.  

Couples may choose to use natural family planning for a variety of reasons. Natural family planning is: 

  • 98-99% effective for spacing or avoiding pregnancy
  • Safe and involves no drugs, devices or procedures
  • Highly effective for couples who need help in achieving pregnancy (they learn how to detect the body’s natural signs of fertility)
  • Affordable – requires only a low initial instruction cost

Natural family planning teaches couples to identify three primary fertility signs. You can consider these signs alone or in combination with one another.

The Ovulation Method

Using this method, a woman learns how to observe changes in her vaginal mucus discharge. Certain changes indicate fertility, the days that sexual intercourse are most likely to result in pregnancy. The Ovulation Method can be used: 

  • By women who have irregular cycles and cycles without ovulation
  • During breast or bottle-feeding 
  • When coming off the pill 
  • When approaching menopause
  • In couples with low fertility who are trying to achieve pregnancy 
Basal body temperature 

When a woman ovulates, her waking, resting body temperature rises to a sustained high level. This sustained higher temperature confirms ovulation. 

Changes in the cervix 

As a woman’s fertile phase begins, her cervix changes to receive sperm entering the uterus. Natural family planning courses teach the proper way to detect and correctly interpret these changes. 

Natural family planning is easy to learn, but it does take time. It is important that you learn from professional instructors who will monitor your initial progress and answer any questions you may have. A basic natural family planning course consists of one class each month for three consecutive months. If you’re interested in natural family planning, please talk with your doctor or gynecologist.