Natural Family Planning
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Methods of Natural Family Planning

NFP can be organized into three different categories, based on the types of fertility signs observed by the method:

  • Ovulation Methods
  • Sympto-Thermal Methods
  • Sympto-Hormonal Methods

Check out our Method Comparison Chart, a printable resource to help you compare different methods of NFP, effectiveness rates, and links to more information: English | Español

Ovulation Methods

Ovulation Methods use cervical mucus as the primary sign of fertility. Women and couples learn to identify different patterns of cervical mucus based on the sensation a woman feels throughout the day, and/or the appearance of cervical mucus a woman observes when she uses the bathroom. Ovulation Methods may appeal to women who have busy schedules and want to be able to make observations “on the go,” or for women who desire a simple, intuitive method of knowing their own bodies. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we offer two different Ovulation Methods.

Family of the Americas (FAF): This method teaches women and couples to identify times of fertility base on the sensation a woman feels as well as any cervical mucus she may see while using the bathroom. The Family of the Americas method is easy to learn and use, because it requires no additional equipment, and observations are made by women as they go about their days. This method is taught in group or individual classes, and is available in English and Spanish.

Creighton Model FertilityCare System (CrMS): In this method, women observe cervical mucus they see when they use the bathroom. These observations are recorded using a standardized recording system. The standardization of this model has expanded its use to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of many gynecologic conditions, including PMS, endometriosis, infertility, polycystic ovarian disease, etc. when used in cooperation with doctors trained in NaProTECHNOLOGY. Learning takes place through series of private follow-ups by a FertilityCare Practitioner after a group or individual introductory session is attended. 


Sympto-Thermal Methods

Sympto-Thermal Methods (STM) use basal body temperature as the primary indicator of fertility, along with tracking other symptoms, such as cervical mucus and cervical position. Basal body temperature is checked and recorded around the same time each day, and couples learn to identify a shift in temperature to confirm when ovulation has occurred. Sympto-Thermal methods of NFP may be appealing to women who work more predictable schedules, or who appreciate looking at objective data on charts or graphs to help them understand their cycles. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Couple to Couple League offers sympto-thermal method classes in person and online.


Sympto-Hormonal Methods

Sympto-Hormonal Methods of NFP use the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor to evaluate hormone levels during a woman’s cycle to identify phases of fertility and infertility. Other signs, such as cervical mucus, may also be observed using these methods. Sympto-Hormonal methods of NFP are most commonly used among breastfeeding and postpartum women, because the fertility monitor offers objective information that builds confidence in using NFP at a time when other signs of fertility may be difficult to interpret; However, many women who are not postpartum or breastfeeding find using a hormone monitor to be simple and efficient. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Sympto-Thermal Method is taught using the Marquette Model (MM).