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Natural Family Planning

"God designed marriage as an "intimate partnership of life and love" (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). In God's design, marriage is a unique union of one man with one woman "for the whole of life" (see Canon 1055, The Code of Canon Law). Marriage is oriented to the good of the spouses and to the creation and nurture of new human life (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). Making decisions therefore, about when and how many children to have in marriage is a sacred responsibility that God has entrusted to husband and wife. This is the foundation of what the Church calls, "Responsible Parenthood," the call to discern God's will for your marriage while respecting His design for life and love. 

The Catholic Church supports the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) because they respect God's design for married love. In fact, NFP represents the only authentic approach to family planning available to husbands and wives because these methods can be used to both attempt or avoid pregnancy. 

Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid conception. These methods are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Some natural methods include use of fertility monitors to better understand the time of the wife's fertility. Married couples using NFP to postpone conception abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the wife's cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. Married couples who use NFP to attempt a pregnancy, make use of the fertile window--the optimum time when conception is likely."

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Natural Family Planning: About
Choosing a method of NFP - 4.17_edited.jpg

Different Methods of NFP

Natural Family Planning: List

Creighton Model FertilityCare System


Marquette Method

SymptoThermal Method

Boston Cross Check

Helpful Resources

10 things you should know if you’re trying to conceive

If you and your spouse have recently decided to grow your family, congratulations! What an exciting time in your marriage! We know that when you start trying to conceive (TTC), it can be tempting to overthink, worry and search all manner of concerns online, so we’ve compiled our ten top tips all in one place to give you some pointers, including some helpful advice from some lovely experts and friends of The Fruitful Hollow. At the end, we share some quick-fire tips and a glossary of fertility-based acronyms for anyone who’s new to all this!

Semen collection: The Catholic Way

What Is the Morally Acceptable Way of Ordering a Sperm Count as Part of the Evaluation of Infertility? We've got you covered! Click to get the PDF.

Managing Medical Appointments and Navigating NaPro

Fertility-related doctor’s appointments can be overwhelming and stressful. So much seems to be at stake, outcomes don’t always meet our expectations, and follow-up steps may be recommended that end up taxing our emotional and physical resources further. While there’s no way to remove all of the strain and complications, there are many things you can do in order to get the most out of these appointments while also minimizing the emotional impact as much as possible.

Let's Talk About Sex

We believe that sex needs to be talked about more in the Catholic Church so that fewer couples feel alone on their journey. To open up the discussion in this community, we asked a group of Fruitful Hollow team members, mentors and writers some questions about their marital sex lives and compiled their answers anonymously. We hope that hearing from a group of women who have all experienced infertility at some point will be validating and give you an insight into the ups and downs others have experienced while navigating sex during or after infertility. All of the names have been changed for the purposes of confidentiality. Here we go… let’s talk about sex!

Keep Reading
Natural Family Planning: List
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