Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning, or “NFP,” is an umbrella term for certain methods that can be used to either achieve or avoid pregnancy. Through private meetings with an instructor, NFP couples are taught to understand the nature of fertility.  Modern methods of NFP (Sometimes also called Fertility Awareness Methods, or FAM) are based on scientific research and are highly effective, with no harmful side effects. These methods can be used throughout your reproductive life, including when you are post-partum, breastfeeding, or pre-menopausal.  All women can use NFP, even those with irregular cycles, or other medical conditions.  The goal of any

NFP method is merely to allow a women to obtain information about her own natural cycles – and that is not limited to any particular time period in her life.  

NFP is completely natural, and uses no medications, devices or surgery.  You will learn to recognize your fertility signs – which are easily observed, and only take a few minutes out of your day.  These observations will allow you to create a health record/chart.  By following a few simple guidelines, as a couple, you can choose to avoid or achieve a pregnancy. 

NFP is very effective - in fact, women who conscientiously use NFP and were trained by NFP instructors are 98.6-99% effective in avoiding pregnancy (based on many scientific studies, including those done by the World Health Organization).  This is also true for couples struggling with infertility.  Observations made while using NFP can often spotlight medical conditions directly relating to a woman’s infertility.   Through NaProTechnology, a women’s health science, your doctor can treat these medical conditions and the couple work toward achieving a successful pregnancy.   These treatments offer comparable success rates to other infertility treatments, like IVF, while restoring your reproductive health. 

There are several reliable methods available today that offer women and couples adequate instruction and support in their use. These include the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, Sympto-Thermal Method, Family of the Americas, and the Billings Ovulation Method.  With any of these methods, training from a certified instructor is recommended.  Your physician or midwife will discuss these methods with you to determine which is the best fit for you, and provide you with the resources needed to begin monitoring your fertility naturally. 

For more information: 

St. Mary's Health System • 93 Campus Avenue • Lewiston, ME 04240