What is NFP?

NFP (Natural Family Planning) is the practice of achieving or postponing pregnancy by observing and recording a few simple observable fertility signs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to learn NFP? By attending a class taught by instructors who personally use the method and have been trained to teach. To learn more, click on our Learning NFP page.

Where can I find teachers and classes in the Diocese of Erie? Click here to find an instructor in your area.

Is NFP expensive? When you consider that the fee, depending on the particular program, which ranges between $60-$120 is a lifetime investment, NFP is very inexpensive.

How long does it take to learn? The programs offered in the Diocese of Erie range from 3 classes over a 3-month period, to one instruction session followed by individual chart sessions. In all the programs, the couple leaves the first class with their chart set up, and will begin making observations and charting immediately. Thus they will begin using NFP the day they begin class.

Pregnancy is a woman's thing so just the wife has to learn. Right? Sexual love is a sacred mystery between husband and wife. For them to both understand and be committed to charting and to experience the growth in their marriage when they learn NFP both husband and wife ought attend class. Obviously if a husband is away from home for example, in the military, exceptions are made.

Is NFP effective? According to studies done by the World Health Organization, NFP is as effective as the most effective contraceptives. When a couple is taught by competent teachers from a recognized program, and they follow the rules of the program, they will achieve their family planning goals.

Why does the Church approve NFP but say contraception is morally unacceptable? Natural Family Planning fosters what marriage is meant to be - an intimate partnership; an unreserved gift of one to another; a sign of the love between Christ and his Church; and open to the gift of children. Natural Family Planning requires self-sacrifice, personal discipline, acceptance of fertility as God's gift and a willingness to refrain from the sexual expression of love during the fertile time if postponement is the goal. The use of contraception speaks of loving while holding back, thus is not a total self-gift; demands sexual satisfaction without regard for the procreative aspect of the sex act; and is not open to the gift of children. In this way, it denies the truth of marital love.

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