Prevention, of course, but safe - what is NFP?
NFP means "natural family planning" and is a modern, highly secure and natural method with which one can easily learn to differentiate between fertile and sterile phases in the cycle.
To do this, certain body signs are observed that clearly change in the course of the cycle: cervical mucus or cervix, which heralds the fertile days, and the basal temperature, which rises after ovulation. By observing these two independent body signs, NFP is a so-called symtothermal method that, thanks to this combination, works just as safely and reliably as the pill.
Women who have learned to observe and interpret these body signs know every day of their cycle whether or not they can get pregnant. NFP is therefore suitable both for women who want to use contraception safely and free from health side effects, as well as for women who want to know more about their cycle because they want to have a child. There are no special requirements.
Benefits of NFP:
Women of all ages (including young, adolescent women) and in every phase of life get to know and appreciate their natural cycle
No health side effects
The cycle observation creates a better body feeling and a higher level of wellbeing
Couples gain the chance to deal consciously and in partnership with their contraception and their sexuality
NFP is suitable for women who
are interested in getting to know and understand the processes in their own body
are ready to deal with their own fertility
want to live in harmony with yourself and your cycle
want to prevent safely and at the same time self-determined and without side effects
How does NFP work?
NFP is ultimately applied biology: observing the body signs tells you whether you can get pregnant or not. In order to be able to determine the fertile days in each cycle up-to-date and exactly, it is necessary to observe and document these signs every day.
For this purpose, the basal temperature is measured with a suitable thermometer immediately after waking up in the morning. You should check the quality of the cervical mucus every time you go to the toilet during the learning phase. Perhaps dealing with these body symptoms seems strange or time-consuming to you at the beginning. Most women get used to it very quickly and develop a routine during the learning phase that goes into everyday life.
The observations are entered daily on a cycle sheet. Then they can be evaluated according to easily understandable, scientifically founded rules and the fertile days can be determined with certainty. The set of rules is in Practice book "Natural and Safe" described in detail and can be used with the associated work book to be learned. Alternatively, you can learn the method in an introductory course with a trained NFP consultant.
How Safe is NFP?
Current Studies prove: When used correctly, NFP is as safe as the pill.
The safety of a contraceptive method is usually indicated with the Pearl Index (PI).
It states how many out of 100 women will unintentionally get pregnant in a year if they consistently use a given method. Studies at the Universities of Düsseldorf and Heidelberg have determined the following values for NFP:
Only three unintentional pregnancies occurred in almost 8000 cycles. This corresponds to a method reliability of 0.4. When used correctly, Sensiplan is in the range of the pill (Pearl Index 0.1-0.9).
In addition to method security, a second value also plays a role, namely safety in use. Individual application errors also flow into the safety of use, which is why it is very dependent on the couple. Events such as forgetting the pill, improper use of the condom or “not following the rules” or poor understanding of methods influence this value.
In the accompanying safety study, i.e. in the studies on safety under everyday conditions, the Pearl Index was 1.8. With a PI of 6-8, the pill even does significantly worse here.
It does not need a daily routine that is as constant as possible, a regular cycle and the method to be used safely. Women working shifts or with restless (baby) neighbors can also use NFP. However, these factors can complicate the evaluation. In order to avoid application and evaluation errors and to ensure the highest possible level of security, it makes sense to use the method in an introductory course at a qualifying NFP consultant to learn.
After the pill or another hormonal contraceptive, it may take some time before the natural cycle returns. This is completely normal and no cause for concern, the body simply needs a certain amount of time to break down the artificial hormones and to find its natural balance again.
It is still possible to start using it at any time, even immediately after weaning. This does not affect the security of the method.
It can also be used during breastfeeding, although modified rules apply up to the first period after the birth.
Women with menstrual cycle disorders or illnesses such as polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis can also use NFP, provided they have a natural cycle.
Really necessary for a safe application is the willingness to deal with the method rules and to thoroughly familiarize oneself with the set of rules. There are now many cycle apps, contraceptive computers and devices that promise support. Unfortunately, with many of these products it is not clear which algorithms they work by and how safe the application is.
A good knowledge of methods and rules is the most important basis for a safe application.
If you have any questions about the method or if you don't know whether this method is suitable for you, book a 15-minute introductory meeting. or send me an email, I'll be happy to advise you.
I ch offer individual coaching via ZoomCall or in practice (see offer). Or Group courses (see workshops).