Natural Family Planning (NFP) or Fertility Awareness is a method of birth control that does not use any drugs or devices. It combines the calendar/rhythm method, the basal body temperature method, and the cervical mucus method. The fertility awareness method is used both as a means of preventing pregnancy as well as targeting the most fertile time for getting pregnant.
At its core, NFP is really about learning by observing, recording and interpreting the bodily signs of human fertility. In other words, NFP is the knowledge of a woman’s/couple’s fertility, and is a means of reading the body’s signs of fertility and infertility. Applying this knowledge through the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) of NFP, is over 99% effective in postponing pregnancy.
The three phases of the menstrual cycle are the result of four hormones. These hormones have other observable effects as well. The Sympto-Thermal Method of NFP is based on three key signs of fertility:
- Cervical mucus
These are easily noticed by any woman who has learned to watch for them. As these signs are observed, they are recorded on a chart. The chart provides a daily record that can be used to identify the days of fertility and infertility. And once the fertile and infertile days have been identified, a woman can apply these “rules” to framing the boundaries between the phases of the cycle.
When fertility awareness is used correctly and consistently, it may reach effective rates around 90%. The effectiveness depends on your diligence to track and record your fertility pattern and your commitment to abstaining from sexual intercourse or using a barrier form of birth control during your fertility window.
Contact our office for more information and to make an appointment for Fertility Awareness training.