Within the Sacrament of Marriage, the responsibility of planning a family is one shared by husband and wife — and God, whose unconditional love binds them together. An authentic expression of love between spouses includes openness to children. It is a gift of complete self to the other, open to the possibility of cooperating with God in creating a new life. Through prayerful discernment, spouses may attempt to either achieve pregnancy or momentarily avoid it. An openness to God’s will for their family requires that no artificial means be used for such purposes.
Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for a variety of methods used to monitor a woman’s fertility by natural means. Natural Family Planning is 99.6 percent effective in achieving the intended outcome, either pregnancy or prevention. Because both husband and wife are aware of the woman’s cycle, discussions about family planning occur more frequently, and communication in general improves. Couples who practice Natural Family Planning witness to strong marital relationships, having a divorce rate of less than three percent.
Natural Family Planning instruction is available from local NFP practitioners.