Birth Control: Natural Family Planning
Natural family planning (NFP) is based on a woman's awareness of when she is likely to become pregnant (fertile). By learning how to tell when you're fertile, you can know when to not have sex. This can help prevent pregnancy. To learn NFP, it's advised that you take a class or work with a qualified teacher.
Talk to your healthcare provider about how well this birth control method works.
A woman is fertile only during a certain part of her monthly cycle—just before and during ovulation. By learning when you ovulate, you can know when you're likely to be fertile. You estimate when you're ovulating by observing and keeping track of certain physical signs. You can then avoid sex or use a barrier method during that fertile time. But be aware that each woman's cycle and signs are different, and no woman's cycle is perfectly regular.
To use NFP, you keep daily records of the signs that show when you are fertile.
Both partners share responsibility
No known health risks
No side effects
Is inexpensive or free
If you abstain from sex during fertile periods, this method is approved by all religious communities
Easy to stop if you decide you want to become pregnant
Takes time to learn
Requires daily observation and charting
Requires abstaining from sex or using a barrier method during fertile periods (nine or more days per month)
Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
When natural family planning may not be for you
Natural family planning may not be for you if:
You don't have the full cooperation of your partner
You haven't received training from a qualified teacher
Your periods are not regular
You take certain medicines or should not get pregnant due to a medical condition
You just started having periods or you are approaching menopause
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