Natural Family Planning


I have a question about NFP. I am looking to get married within about a year. How long does it take to learn NFP and how soon before marriage do we need to learn? Is it complicated?
I really dont know much about it.

Also, I will need my future wife to learn in her country (Russia) and I learn here in the USA. Will this pose a difficulty?

We will need a least 6 months to a year before we can be financially ready for a child. I suppose also the wedding should be planned for days when we have the “go ahead” from the charts, no?

(And no she is not a mailorder bride, thank you! (see my previous postings of how me met-- in PERSON)


Typically a miminum of 3-4 months is sufficient for learning any of the methods. I began 8 months before the wedding with Creighton. The more time to practice charting, the more confident your fiancee will be.

No, not at all.

Here are the websites for the three major methods: or

I don’t know. She will have to check to see if there are instructors in Russia. She might start with the Roman Catholic diocese in Russia, and inquire as to whether they have any instructors. The websites I listed above give contact information, so you can email or call them.

If there are no instructors in Russia, there is a home-study option for CCLI and Creighton, I don’t know about Billings.

That’s really not possible. You will be setting the date months in advance. Her cycles will likely vary, and stress as the wedding approaches can impact her cycle as well. You really can’t plan around this.

Just don’t worry about it, if you have a serious reason to avoid you can abstain a few days if you need to-- couples do that all the time.


How do you know which method to choose?

Are they all equally effective? Are some easier for the woman, etc?

What criteria does one use in picking the method?


For us, it was whichever method was taught at our parish. You may be limited to whatever is available in your area (and hers, of course).

I do believe they are all equally effective.

I think they’re all pretty easy to learn, from what I’ve heard. :smiley:


We did the temperature-and-mucus-only method for a while, then added some of the other symptoms for better ovulation pinpointing as we were trying to conceive (harder to conceive than avoid, sometimes!). The methods are not difficult to learn, and the added knowledge you get about your body and cycles is great.

(unfortunately, the fertility clinic didn’t really know what to do with us when we showed up with more than three years of complete charts… “Well, it looks like you’re ovulating.” No kidding, I knew that before I came here, now what does this mean? “Um… we don’t know how to read anything else on these charts…”)

And we had to abstain for part of our honeymoon… it happens, you get over it, there will be PLENTY of time for that later, too. Go sightseeing, read a book, etc. … that’s the beauty of NFP; sometimes you have to practice SAYING “I love you” the way you did when you were dating or engaged.

Congrats on your upcoming marriage! :slight_smile:


You and your future wife can learn all there is to know about NFP plus the Seven Standards of eco-breastfeeding by using the short, free, online “How-To” NFP manual at About 90% of the population with a 9th or 10th grade reading level can learn via this manual. The manual covers all the fertility signs. As you gain experience, you can choose what signs you would like to use. The website covers lots of material to support those choosing to use NFP. Sheila Kippley


This is a great example of the benefits of the Creighton Model. (For anyone, not just this poster!) Find a Creighton instructor, or take or mail all those charts to a Creighton-trained physician, and the steps to helping the couple acheive a pregnancy are pretty clear.

I love the Creighton Model–w/o it, I seriously doubt that I would be 28 weeks along with baby #2! The sympto-thermal method alone wouldn’t have caught my low progesterone levels.


We learned the Billing Method from a book with no instructor. They strongly recommend an instructor, but what you gonna do? We started early reading up so that she could get comfortable understanding the various mucus stages. Billings is a mucus-only method and they make a strong case that mucus isn’t just a SYMPTOM of fertility, it is THE factor that determines the sperm’s ability to survive more than a few minutes and have the mobility to get to the egg. Without either of those factors being in place, pregnancy won’t happen!

7.5 years later, it still works for us!


When I started charting, I discovered health issues that made it difficult to chart. Then I went to the NFP-Only doc who fixed those issues, then I was able to learn the method with more confidence.

I’d say it took me a good 3 years with all of that to finally feel extremely confident in it.

Nfp will still work with health issues, however, it just might take longer to feel confident in it.

If the future wife does not have a regular sleep pattern, temperature taking is not reliable… (which is sympto-thermal).

Creighton is the one that most NFP-Only docs use for their health purposes.


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