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What is Natural Family Planning and How does It Work
Bringing a child into the world seems like a unique and amazing miracle: miracle that can give us joy and unforgettable feelings, miracle that makes us a little better. But first of all it is a big responsibility and crucial in many aspects step. The child should be desired, beloved and waited for. There is nothing worse than an unwanted baby.
Many contraceptive methods help to avoid unwanted pregnancy and all connected with it troublesome consequences. But there is one or rather a group of methods which not only assists in preventing pregnancy; it can contribute to achieving it as well. It is called Natural Family Planning or NFP for short.
So, what is NFP, if to be more specific? Natural Family Planning is a collected notion for a number of methods which help to determine days when the time to conceive is the most favorable and when it is safe to have a sexual intercourse without becoming pregnant. If a couple doesn’t want to get a child, they should abstain from any sexual relationships during the "fertile" days.
All Natural Family Planning methods are based on biological signs of a woman’s fertility and are not connected with the traditional forms of birth control. These methods can be divided into several types but their common basis is a number of symptoms and changes that naturally occur in a woman's body during her menstrual cycle.
The main purpose of these methods is to determine the beginning and the end of the fertile period and consequently to have a sexual intercourse in order to conceive a child or to stick to abstinence in order to avoid pregnancy. The fertile period can be identified by means of several methods.
Mucus Methods: the basis of the mucus methods is the observation of changes that happen with cervical mucus before an ovulation (the most favorable time for the fertilization). According to the used techniques and emphasis of observation several subtypes are singled out. These subtypes are: the Billings Method, the Creighton Model and the Ovulation Method.
All of the above mentioned methods have to deal with the mysterious phenomenon within a woman’s body which can lead to the creation of a new life – ovulation. The most important sign of the oncoming ovulation is cervical mucus. Cervical mucus undergoes certain changes during several days before the ovulation. It increases in volume, changes texture, becomes stretchy, clear and slippery, and some people say it resembles a raw egg white. The changes with cervical mucus should be recorded every month and the acquired information can be used according to the set goal.
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Another method of determination of a woman’s fertility is the Symptothermal Method. It is based on the observation of changes in different body signs: cervical secretions, basal body temperature and the position of the opening of the cervix. Basal body temperature method presupposes measuring of body temperature every morning. The body temperature is lower before ovulation and slightly rises after it.
The methods of NFP can have slightly different names or slightly different classification but their essence is the same. They teach to observe natural symptoms of fertility and assist in better understanding of human body and physiological processes within it. After acquisition of necessary knowledge everyone can decide for himself how to use it whether to try and plan a baby or to wait for better times.

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