What is NFP?

Natural Family Planning consists of monitoring one's fertility in order to determine naturally fertile and infertile times in a woman's cycle. Couples can use this information to achieve or avoid pregnancy. NFP uses periodic abstinence rather than barriers or withdrawal. Because of this, the sexual act remains unitive and procreative.

What is the Marquette Method?

The Marquette Method was developed by Richard Fehring, Ph.D., RN, FAAN alongside other nurse researchers and physicians at Marquette University in 1999. This method predicts and detects ovulation by measuring levels of estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the woman's urine. With the addition of a simple calendar algorithm, a couple can easily recognize their fertile window.

 

Estrogen is a hormone that is released when an egg is growing in the ovary. This helps the woman to determine the start of her fertile window. LH is released 24-36 hours before the egg is released from the ovary. This helps the woman to pinpoint the end of her fertile window.

The Marquette Method allows for the use of extra fertility indicators if the couple desires. It is compatible with cervical mucus observations, basal body temperature, additional LH test strips, and Proov progesterone test strips. The Marquette Method can be tailored to you!

How effective is this method?

Research has shown the Marquette Method to be 98-99% effective with perfect use and 92% effective with typical use. This means that the Marquette Method is as effective as the oral contraceptive pill!

Will this method work for me?

The Marquette Method can be used by:

  • Women in regular cycles

  • Postpartum/Breastfeeding women

  • Women approaching menopause

  • Women with irregular cycles

  • Couples struggling with fertility

  • Women discontinuing hormonal contraception

Why choose NFP?

NFP is different than all other forms of family planning because it refuses to treat fertility as a disease. Married couples who use NFP accept and respect their shared fertility. This acceptance has the potential to increase intimacy and deepen the couple's relationship as a whole. Those who use NFP view their fertility as a gift from God rather than a pesky body process that needs to be dealt with. Another benefit to NFP is the amount of communication that is involved. Couples decide (with prayerful discernment of God's will) what their family planning intentions will be on a monthly basis. This helps the couple keep an "open to life" mindset as opposed to couples who don't converse about their intentions due to the use of contraception. Because of the reasons listed above, Catholic couples can rest assured that NFP is in line with Church teaching.

Have you ever read the patient information leaflet that is included with oral contraceptive pills? The list of side effects is terrifying. In case you are not familiar, the side effects range from nausea/vomiting all the way to deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. Thank goodness for NFP! You can feel free to ditch the pills (or any other artificial contraceptive) without having to skimp on the effectivness of your family planning method. The proverbial cherry on top is the lack of side effects associated with NFP. In short, Natural Family Planning is a win all the way around!

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