Natural Family Planning

  • Dawn Brink-Cymerman


Natural Family Planning (NFP) is one of the oldest practiced methods of birth control. Also known by the names Periodic Abstinence, Rhythm Method, and Fertility Awareness Method, it can be used either for pregnancy prevention or planning and is acceptable to all major religious groups. Although it is not a popular method of birth control, there are couples who still choose to practice natural family planning and may request the assistance and support of their health care provider. In motivated patients with appropriate instruction, NFP may be an effective method of preventing or spacing pregnancies. Eighty-five percent of women will get pregnant within a year of having intercourse without contraception. With perfect use, 2–5% of women who have been instructed and use the symptothermal or the ovulation method will become pregnant [1]. However, perfect use is uncommon and many women do not use NFP appropriately, or choose not to continue using this method [2].


Cervical Mucus Fertile Period Basal Body Temperature Irregular Cycle Vaginal Cream 
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Additional Resources Articles

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Web Sites

  1. Couple to Couple League: htpp://
  2. An in depth explanation of the method and assistance in finding an instructor can be found at the web site: .

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineSUNY Upstate, St. Joseph’s Family Medicine ResidencyFayettevilleUSA

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