Natural Family Planning

You should only use natural family planning if you have been taught how to by a specialist teacher. Natural family planning doesn't mean 'withdrawal' (removing the penis before the man cums).

Natural family planning is when you work out when a woman is in the most fertile phase of her monthly cycle, and avoid unprotected sex (sex without contraception) during this time. Every woman is different and natural family planning needs to be well understood if it is to be effective.

Natural family planning will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) the best way to protect yourself from STIs is to use a condom every time you have sex.

Spend some time finding out more information about natural family planning and if you have more questions, you can get in touch with Ask Brook. Ask Brook is confidential. That means we won't tell anyone you contacted us unless we think you're in really serious danger.

How does natural family planning work?
What is good about natural family planning?
What do you have to watch out for with natural family planning?
How effective is natural family planning?
What can make natural family planning less effective?
Who can use natural family planning? 

How does natural family planning work?

Natural family planning works by observing and recording your body's different natural signs on each day of your monthly cycle. The main signs you have to look at are:

  • recording your body temperature
  • monitoring cervical secretions (cervical mucus)
  • calculating how long your menstrual cycle lasts.

Changes in these fertility indicators can help you to identify your fertile time. You can also use fertility monitoring devices which you can buy in a chemist.

A specialist teacher will show you how to record the signs and explain what you can tell from them. 

What is good about natural family planning?

  • No side effects.
  • It doesn't interrupt sex.
  • Can be used to plan pregnancy as well as avoid pregnancy. 

What do you have to watch out for with natural family planning?

  • Doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - you will need to use a condom.
  • You need to avoid sex or use another type of contraception (like condoms) if you have sex during fertile times.
  • You must be properly taught the indicators to make sure your contraception method is effective.
  • You need to keep daily records.
  • It demands a high level of commitment from both partners. 

How effective is it?

When you use several indicators together, the Natural Family Planning method can be up to 98% effective. This means that 2 in every 100 women who practise Natural Family Planning will get pregnant each year. 

What makes it less effective?

Natural family planning must be properly taught. Then the instructions must be properly followed or it will be much less effective. 

Who can use natural family planning?

Most women can use this method if they have sufficient commitment and can share the responsibility with their partner.

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