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Natural Family Planning
Natural Family Planning (NFP) provides information so that you, as a couple, can learn to understand and appreciate your fertility.
What is NFP?
During each cycle a woman experiences times of fertility and infertility accompanied by specific signs. Natural Family Planning is the practice of observing and charting these fertility signs to determine accurately when a woman is fertile and when she is infertile. When you want to achieve pregnancy, NFP helps you identify the most fertile time. When you want to avoid pregnancy, you abstain from genital contact during the fertile time.
NFP can be used in ANY cycle regardless of the woman's circumstances, including regular cycles, irregular cycles, breastfeeding, pre-menopause, or low fertility. Natural Family Planning is up to 99% effective in spacing births. To learn more contact a qualified instructor and visit the links below for more information.
- The church reminds us that God has a design, a plan in mind for all of us. Part of the design for a married couple is that they share of each other intimately – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
- That physical intimacy should take into consideration the nature and purpose of the marriage act as God intended it to be. Part of the "nature and purpose of the marriage act" is that we are to give of ourselves in many ways - including sexual intercourse. Two aspects of the intimacy of sexual intercourse that are inseparable are union and procreation.
- Union meaning, when we make love, it should be a unitive act for us and for our relationship. There should be no barriers between the partners emotionally, spiritually or physically.
- Procreation meaning, when we make love, there should be the possibility of an invitation for new life.
The Catholic Church has always upheld that all life is sacred. Some contraceptives, in a secondary function, can keep life that has begun from continuing any further. This happens when a fertilized egg is unable to implant due to a hostile environment in the female’s uterus.
The first two bullets (mentioned on the previous tab) usually don’t cause too much of a stir and people feel comfortable with their level of understanding. It is usually the "union" and "procreation" statements that seem to cause a stir. Those statements are the basis for the Catholic teaching of contraceptives being immoral. Even though we should be"unitive" and "procreative" with our sexual relationship as a couple, we do not have to have a family of 10 children. If God’s plan for us is 10 - that is fine, but most likely that is not His plan for most of us. God wants us to have children. So, what are those statements of "union" and "procreation" saying to us in the modern day, as 21st century couples? Think of it this way: You are getting married. As you make plans, you and your fiancé(e) create a list of invited guests. As you go over the list, you realize it is too long. So you take off some names. Now suppose you sent those people a notice that read, "Sorry, you’re not invited to our wedding." How would these notices be received? Although you would not think of sending out such notices, is this not what you’re doing to God’s design for your lives as a couple? All God asks of us is that we be open to His plan for us – to give it a chance.
Anthony J. Abadie
Natural Family Planning Coordinator
Director of Marriage & Family Life
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