Australian Council of Natural Family Planning HOME | LINKS

Frequent Questions

How does NFP compare to contraceptive methods for planning a family?

Natural Family Planning compares very well with modern contraceptive methods. A 20 year study concluded in 2005 by the University of Heidelberg and Reported in the Oxford Journal of Human Reproduction involving 900 women who contributed 17 638 cycles of information confirmed that the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning is 99.6% effective when used correctly to avoid a pregnancy. This makes it as effective as hormonal contraception.

What are the advantages of this method?

Natural Family Planning has many great advantages these include:

Is NFP contraception?

No. NFP is not contraception. Not all methods of family planning are contraceptive. NFP works by couples abstaining during the fertile phase of a woman's cycle. A contraceptive is any agent or device used to prevent conception. Abstinence it is not contraceptive which is why couples using the natural methods of family planning are not using contraception.

Can NFP be used by shift workers or people who are "fly in/fly out"?

Yes. NFP can be used by couples where one or both partners are doing shift work or "fly in/fly out". However, we advise all couples to learn NFP from an educator, accredited by the Australian Council of Natural Family Planning. These educators are trained to assist couples in learning NFP and can provide extra information and support for couples in these situations.

What if we are infertile or have sub fertility but want to achieve a pregnancy?

Unfortunately, Natural Family Planning can't help couples who are infertile. However, there are many reasons why couples may experience sub fertility such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, etc. In most cases of sub fertility Natural Family Planning can assist couples to achieve a pregnancy. NFP supports couples to achieve a pregnancy in a number of ways, including with the assistance of NaPro Technology (Natural Procreative Technology), and by helping them to identify the most fertile time in each cycle.

Can I use NFP if I have irregular cycles?

Yes. NFP can be used, even if you have irregular cycles. Outdated methods such as the rhythm or calendar methods relied on women having regular twenty eight day cycles to be effective. These days scientists understand that cycles can be affected by many factors including travel, stress and illness. Cycle lengths can also naturally vary from woman to woman. Modem methods such as the sympto-thermal method of NFP teach couples to recognise their own unique signs of fertility regardless of cycle length.

Is natural Family Planning just another name for the Rhythm Method?

No. Old NFP methods such as the Rhythm Method or Calendar Method assumed that women had regular 28 day cycles which we now know is not necessarily the case. Modern NFP methods such as the Sympto-Thermal Method use the most recent fertility research to help couples recognise the fertile and infertile phases of each cycle regardless of cycle length.