Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a natural, effective and Church-approved method available to married couples for achieving or postponing pregnancy.
NFP methods are based on the observation of the naturally-occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are involved.
Modern NFP methods are a big improvement over the calendar-based "rhythm method" and when used correctly, are 97-99% effective.
There are many other benefits to NFP. Foremost among them is improved communication between husband and wife. Couples testify that NFP encourages Christian marriage as an intimate partnership of life and love, a sacrament of mutual decision making and shared responsibility. This is probably why, based on available studies, NFP-using couples have an extremely low divorce rate.
The Catholic Church supports the methods of NFP because it respects God's design for married love. In fact, NFP represents the only authentic approach to family planning available to husbands and wives because the methods can also be used to achieve pregnancy. The success rate of couples using NFP to conceive is up to four times as high as those using IVF (over 80% of couples with fertility difficulties are helped with NFP).
Learn about the different methods of NFP, how to find an NFP teacher and discover general NFP resources and resources for clergy. The U.S. Bishop’s statement on NFP is also a comprehensive resource.