Natural Family Planning

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What is Natural Family Planning?

NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve or avoid pregnancy. These methods are based on the observation and interpretation of the naturally occurring biological markers of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

There are a number of natural biological markers used in modern methods of NFP to determine the start, peak and end of the fertile time. One marker that can be monitored is the mucus released from the cervix. This cervical mucus can be felt and seen externally. A woman learns to identify a changing cervical mucus pattern, which identifies the start, peak and end of the fertile phase of the cycle. A second marker that can be monitored is a woman’s basal body temperature (body temperature at rest). Due to hormonal activity, a woman's resting temperature changes during her menstrual cycle. The temperature pattern identifies the end of the fertile phase of the cycle. A third marker that can be monitored is changes in the consistency and position of the cervix. The changes in the cervix identify the start, peak and end of the fertile phase. Finally, the levels of two key fertility hormones can be simply monitored by the use of The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor® to identify the start, peak and end of the fertile time. Observing, recording and interpreting one or all of the biological markers of fertility and infertility forms the basis for all methods of NFP.

In the Archdiocese of Boston, instruction is offered in four Natural Family Planning Methods: Sympto-Thermal, Billings, Creighton/Fertility Care and Sympto-Hormonal Cross Check Method.

Sympto - Thermal Method

The Sympto-Thermal Method is based on the observation and interpretation of changes in basal body temperature, cervical mucus and the cervix to determine the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle. This methodology is based on the work of various scientists including Billings, Doering, Keefe, Prem, Roetzer Vollman and Frank-Herrmann.  This method includes the Couple to Couple League Model,  European Cross Check Model and the Archdiocese of Boston Sympto-Hormonal Cross Check Model.

The Billings Ovulation Method

The Billings Ovulation Method is based on the observation and interpretation of changes in cervical mucus to determine the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle. The methodology is based on the work of various scientists including Billings and Odeblad.

Creighton/Fertility Care Model

The  Creighton/ Fertility Care  Method is based on the observation and interpretation of changes in cervical mucus to determine the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle. The methodology is based on the work of various scientists including Billings,  Odeblad. And Hilgers.

Sympto-Hormonal Cross Check Method

The Sympto-Hormonal Cross Check method is based on the observation and interpretation of changes in cervical mucus, basal body temperature and includes hormonal monitoring with the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor™ to determine the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle. This methodology is based on the work of various scientists including Billings, Doering, Roetzer , Vollman, Frank-Herrmann and Fehring.  This method includes the Marquette Model and the Archdiocese of Boston Sympto-Hormonal Cross Check Model.

 
 

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