The Archdiocese of San Francisco promotes four different
NFP methods that are each natural and effective; choosing
a method is a matter of personal preference.
A woman’s body provides three basic ways to identify the fertile and infertile times of her cycle. Recognizing the pattern of those physical signs forms the basis for all methods of NFP.
LEARN ABOUT NATURE’S FERTILITY INDICATORS
Normal, healthy cervical fluid is released from the women’s cervix when she ovulates. A woman can learn to identify this fluid which indicates the days in which intercourse is most likely to result in a pregnancy.
The second sign is basal body temperature. Hormonal activity causes a woman’s waking temperature to change throughout the menstrual cycle. Lower temperatures indicate that ovulation has not yet occurred. Higher temperatures indicate a rise in progesterone which signals the end of the fertile time.
The third sign is a change in the shape or texture of the cervix. Finally, secondary signs, such
as minor abdominal pain or pressure at the time of ovulation can also be observed.
The two most common forms of natural family planning methods, Ovulation Methods or
Sympto-Thermal Methods, rely on these natural indicators. The archdiocese recommends
two of each method to married couples who wish to postpone pregnancy.
While it is possible to learn NFP methods on your own, classes
by trained instructors are highly recommended.
WHIICH MODEL IS BEST FOR YOU?
Here is a short quiz, to help you determine which of these methods might best suit your needs.
(A description of each method is below)
Cervical Fluid Methods:
Methods that help women recognize the presence of cervical fluid indicating ovulation.
BILLINGS OVULATION METHOD
Billings is one of the simplest methods to learn, and very little work is involved in charting. It is
available in English and Spanish. Women recognize their fertile signs by become more aware and
simply noticing what they feel throughout the course of their daily activities. Couples track the
woman’s natural and unique signs of fertility and infertility each day. The Billings Method
requires neither internal examinations nor recording temperatures.
Instruction is typically 4-6 classes, first one as a group, then individual follow-ups,
usually 20-30 minutes each. Costs vary: normally about $30-35/session.
CREIGHTON-MODEL FERTILITY CARE SYSTEM
Creighton-Model Fertility Care System involves one-on-one attention and teaching focused to
your needs and your lifestyle. Further medical evaluation by a physician is available for couples
with difficulty conceiving or other reproductive problems. Local referrals are made to a local
family physician. Referrals can also be made directly to The Pope Paul VI Institute.
Using evidence-based medicine, Creighton is the most medically advanced method (NaPro)
and often is preferred by many couples who have infertility issues or encounter medical
problems with the woman’s cycle.
Instruction is typically 6-10 classes including general introduction, then individual follow-ups.
Typical costs are $35 for materials and $45-55/session.
Methods use the cervical fluid sign, basal body temperature, and changes in the cervix.
These methods also use ecological breast feeding and are available in English and Spanish.
COUPLE TO COUPLE LEAGUE
The couple takes basal temperature readings at a consistent time. The woman makes note of cervical
fluid, if present on the tissue after voiding. Internal observations may identify an earlier start of the
fertile period. Palpation of the cervix confirms the other signs of fertility. Once the method is
learned, couples choose which signs of fertility they will monitor.
Instruction is typically 3-5 classes, the first in a group setting, the remainder one-on-one.
Typical cost is $135 for the first session, subsequent sessions are free.
This method can be learned in classes in a group setting or through an online home study course
you can do at your own pace. The $70 donation for the classes or the online course makes it
very economical. This provides instruction, free charts and a downloadable manual. A couple
can get started immediately. There is also free follow-up for any questions, concerns, or chart reviews.
Couples learn all the fertility signs plus the natural spacing of births with ecological breastfeeding. Ecological breastfeeding maximizes the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby with the added benefit of abstinence-free natural spacing of babies. The cross-checking method is highly effective for postponing pregnancy and can be an aid for achieving pregnancy.