Natural Family Planning

“Christian life ultimately has its meaning in sacrifice – in making an offering of ourselves – totally giving ourselves in love. Because that’s the meaning of the life of Jesus Christ. And we can make that gift of love in all of our relationships, but you, husbands and wives, you are called to live that gift of self-offering and sacrifice in the most intimate bond of your marriage. And in that way, by making a gift, each to the other, you make a gift of yourselves to God.”

–Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

Natural Family Planning is a method of fertility awareness that allows husbands and wives to identify times of fertility and infertility in order to achieve or avoid pregnancy, while prayerfully discerning God’s will for their families. Couples can effectively achieve, postpone or avoid pregnancy by learning to read different biological signs observed throughout a woman’s reproductive cycle. To find a Natural Family Planning instructor in the Archdiocese of Detroit, use the list of Endorsed Presentations below, or contact our office at

Resources and Information
Endorsed Presentations
Marquette Model

The Marquette Method is a form of Natural Family Planning: a chemical-free and researched way to avoid or achieve pregnancy. It includes the optional use of the Clearblue fertility monitor, and can be combined with other indicators of fertility, such as cervical mucus observations or temperature measurements to meet reproductive goals.

The Marquette Method is especially useful for couples who are post-partum and breastfeeding.
Classes are taught online and in-person. Registration is required. Please contact the instructor for schedules & pricing.

Contact: Lauren Vitale, BSN, RN
(313) 969-5802

Sympto-Thermal Method Contact: Couple to Couple League

Determining a woman's time of fertility by correlating three signs of fertility: cervical mucus, temperature rise and cervical changes

Colleen and Mark Pressprich:

Planeacion Natural de la Familia

To register for classes:

El Método de la Ovulación

Contact: (313)570-7812

Se habla Español.

Creighton Model FertilityCare System

Determines a woman’s time of fertility using standardized observations of cervical mucus. Creighton Model can be used both to achieve and avoid pregnancy. In cooperation with NaPro TECHNOLOGY®, the Creighton Model assists in the identification and treatment of various reproductive and gynecologic health issues. Learning takes place in a series of private follow-ups after an Introductory Session has been attended.


San Juanita Lopez (instruction in English and Spanish)

(313) 363-8956

FertilityCare Services of Plymouth

Frequently Asked Questions

Go to Knowledge Base
Can NFP be used only by women with regular cycles?

NFP can be used by any woman regardless of the length or variations in her cycle. NFP is effective with menstrual cycles of any length and any degree of irregularity such as during breastfeeding, pre-menopause, and other special circumstances. Modern NFP methods monitor the current, day-to-day signs of fertility and/or infertility. These body signs are specific and observable.

NFP allows a woman to understand her body's physical signals telling her when she is most likely to become pregnant. Knowing this, she and her spouse can effectively avoid or achieve a pregnancy.

How effective is NFP?

Other than Rhythm, NFP is 96% - 99% method effective in avoiding a pregnancy. NFP is up to 99% method successful in spacing or limiting pregnancy when couples understand the method, are motivated to follow the method, and are taught by competent teachers. Archdiocese of Detroit NFP teachers are certified according to the Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry with a program of the committee for Pro-Life Activities with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It is necessary for couples to carefully follow the rules of the NFP method to achieve their family planning intention. Those who are strongly motivated to avoid pregnancy, and who follow the method strictly, find NFP very effective.

Can I learn NFP from information on the Internet or in books?

Some NFP organizations and methods offer online or distance learning.

The best way to accurately learn an NFP method is to take classes with a competent, certified teacher. At classes, teachers can answer questions and clarify confusing information. Individual chart reviews can also be scheduled to help correct any misunderstanding or to reassure a couple that it is correctly applying the information & guidelines for the method.

What is Natural Family Planning (NFP)?

Natural family planning (NFP) is a way of avoiding or achieving a pregnancy without the use of drugs or devices. NFP is a way of life in which a couple recognizes their days of fertility and infertility, and together they decide if they will engage in conjugal love or abstain. There are many variations of NFP methods that can be placed under five broad categories: Sympto-Thermal, Mucus, Sympto-Hormonal, Temperature, and Rhythm.

The Sympto-Thermal Methods (1950s) are based on the changes in three physical signs experienced by the woman: cervical mucus, temperature and the position, texture, and opening/closing of the cervix.

The Mucus Methods (1960s) are based on the recognition of a specific type of cervical mucus present before ovulation and experienced at the vulva. Pregnancy cannot occur without fertile mucus. In addition to this primary sign of fertility, clients learn to recognize other external signs of fertility.

The Sympto Hormonal Methods (1990s) are based on the detection of specific levels of reproductive hormones utilizing a fertility monitor (or other device) alone or in conjunction with another sign of fertility such as mucus or temperature.

The Temperature Method (1940s) is based on the medical fact that a rise of the woman's basal body temperature (BBT) occurs a few days before or after ovulation.

Rhythm (1930s) is the oldest known NFP method. It is based on the fact that menstruation occurs about fourteen days after ovulation. Rhythm is based on a woman's history of past regular cycles. Rhythm is 75 to 85% effective in avoiding a pregnancy. There are several versions of the Rhythm Method suggesting different numbers for calculating the fertile time of the cycle. The Rhythm Method is effective when cycles are consistently regular.

The Sympto-Thermal, Mucus, Sympto-Hormonal and Temperature NFP methods are up to 99% method effective in avoiding a pregnancy and are based on signs of fertility and infertility that occur on a daily basis in the present cycle–not in past cycles. The Rhythm method is 75-85% effective in avoiding a pregnancy as it relies on predicting the fertile time of a cycle assuming the current and future cycles will be the same as past cycles.

What does the Church teach about abortion, sterilization, contraception, and natural family planning?

"We are obliged once more to declare that…abortions…are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children…. Equally to be condemned…is direct sterilization…. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation – whether as an end or as a means." (On Human Life #14) "If there are serious motives to space out births...It is then licit to take into account the natural rhythms...and this way to regulate birth." (On Human Life #16)

How does a person register for Natural Family Planning classes?

Register for a class by visiting the website or contacting the teacher listed to inquire about the fee, the class schedule and registration requirements.

Nicole Joyce
Natural Family Planning (NFP) Coordinator