NFP preparation



I am planning on getting married this August and I was wondering how early I should start charting my cycle/ taking my temp, etc to be accurate by the time I get married. I am starting marriage preparation at my church and part of that is attending NFP classes, but I just wondered if I should be doing anything before I start the classes?

Also, is there anyway to actually plan for a honeymoon months in advance? We will both be in graduate school and so we will be using NFP to wait to have children for a few years, but of course we would be open to children if one came along. I guess since we are both students we don’t have much flexibility in the day we get married, we only have a few weeks off. And I was just thinking we could probably not have a honeymoon around the same time because It would be too hard to accurately predict the right time of the month this far in advance.

Thanks :slight_smile:


As far as preparing for a honeymoon, it could be done. I think it might be hard because stress usually changes your cycle (makes it longer or shorter), but if you are fairly regular, you might be able to sort of predict it. But the most important thing about getting married not the honeymoon, so just plan your wedding and if you have to wait a few days to have a “honeymoon night” so what… you will have tons of time once you are together.

YOu should look into the type of NFP method you would like to use, Creighton, Billings or Sympathothermal. I use Creighton. I love it for a variety of reasons. It is easy and only uses outside signs, plus I do not have to take my temp. As a medical student, I work really crazy hours and would not be able to take an accurate temp if I am on call. I also found very good research articles about Creighton. If I were you, this would be an excellent time to do some research on the various NFP methods and chose the one that makes the most sense for you. Then go to a class and start charting.

God bless


Congratulations and may God bless you for honoring Him and your marriage by utilizing NFP! It is a wonderful ( & counter cultural) decision that will shower blessings on your marriage in countless ways. The sooner you start charting the better.

As for planning for your honeymoon, if your cycles are regular you may have a good chance at predicting what your fertility may be like at the time of the scheduled honeymoon. If not, and your honeymoon happens to fall on your fertile time you have two real choices: (1) rely on God’s grace and remain open to the possibility it may be His will that you conceive early in your marriage (He may also will that you don’t conceive which is the more likely scenario as your chances of conception even with perfectly timed relations is only 20-30% in an given cycle)
(2) continue to abstain until the fertile period is over ( average number of days to abstain in any given cycle is about 6 days.)

I realize option 2 is easier said than done, but God will give you the strength and direction that you need, and the rewards will be GREAT!!!


“To call God my Father and to know myself his child, that is heaven to me.” ~St. Therese of Lisieux


Start charting as soon as you take your class. You can try doing it beforehand if you really want to, but it isn’t necessary, and (depending on the method) may not be useful, if you don’t know what to look for, how to record it, or what your data means.


I would suggest you sign up for the next available class. I got married in August and I started NFP (Creighton Model) training in January. I wanted a number of cycles under my belt. I would recommend 6, but you could do it with only 3 or 4.


Certainly you can have a honeymoon. Whether or not you may have to abstain during part of it is the only question. Don’t worry about it. Plan a trip, or a short get away, and don’t worry about your cycle.


Realistically, I would not start charting until, of course, you have taken an NFP class. There is some wide area of opinion about the “need” to take NFP classes, and as an NFP teacher, I can tell you that there are many benefits for knowing your cycle, both for you good health, and for knowing where you are in the cycle.

I would draw the line on scheduling your wedding around your cycle. First, your cycle will not likely be THAT reliable, and second, it presumes that because you know when your fertile time occurs, you are “in control” of whether or not you will get pregnant.

Now, of course, if you abstain, you won’t get pregnant, but the inverse is not necessarily true. The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of Life. We get to cooperate, but there are no guarantees. I will remind you that marriage is for children, and I would not delay having children too long. There are great health and spiritual reasons for having children when you are young.

Remember God gives us children not that we would raise them, but that He can form us as we raise them with His guidance. We all become something greater for the discipline God gives us when we rear children, and it is best to invoke that help early in your marriage.


Thank you for all your suggestions, I will be sure to look into the 3 methods of NFP and begin the classes ASAP!

And johnnyjoe thank you for your advice as you are an instructor. We are not planning our wedding around my cycle because I think this far in advance wouldn’t work, we can just wait a few days or weeks or whatever is necessary. And we are very open to children, as I said we will practice NFP but if God blesses us with a child we will be fully open to God’s will. I am only 21 years old and we are planning on waiting to have children by using NFP for the first two years of marriage because we will still be graduate students. I hope that this is an ok reason.

Thanks again


I would encourage you to discuss that fully with the priest who is going to officiate at the wedding.

I do not presume to tell people what constitutes “serious enough” or “reasons serious enough” for the decision to postpone hoping for a pregnancy, for that decision is best made by the couple and their spritual advisor.

That being said, there are some who would respond that IF you are not ready for children, you should delay the wedding for after graduate school. I am not advocating that, but it is a question I would urge you to explore with your spiritual advisor so that the question can be fully explored.

Sometimes the question can be very hard to answer, and sometimes the “seriousness” is very obvious. It will be a wrestling match for the rest of your life of fertility, so get used to praying and examining the issue right now.

I venture to say it is the core question of the NFP practicing couple, and you and your fiance’ should talk a great deal about the issue as you approach the wedding day. One thing to bear in mind is the sometimes the best question to ask is “Why Not?”, that is, “Why not hope of a child right now?”. It changes the focus a bit, and helps to insure that you are balancing Christian Prudence with Generosity to New Life.

My prayers are with you…


For all who are reading this thread, I put the question of “seriousness” to a priest friend of mine - the issue of delaying the having of children while attending graduate school - and this is the response I received:

*I read through the correspondence you sent me.

Actually, Humanae Vitae in the official Latin text as posted on the Vatican website uses “justae causae” which has been translated “for serious reasons,” but the actual translation should be “for just reasons.” The reason this is translated as it is, I think, is because the document was translated very fast when it was first issued on July 25, 1968 and the translator either missed the “justae” (just) or had an agenda. I have not checked the Latin for Casti Connubii in 1930, but it could be that Pius XI in that encyclical did use “serious” and the translator may just have been using traditional language.

Given that all the Church requires is “just” or “reasonable” conditions to use the infertile time, I think that the young bride in the correspondence has the right arguments. Certainly, attending graduate school (both husband and wife) is sufficient or “just” to use only the infertile times for a couple of years. This is especially true because the purpose of marriage is the affection and love between the spouses which will grow and grow (if the two are committed in authentic love with each other) and always will include the desire for children.*


Just my personal experience for the OP- I found that taking temps and occasionally noting my observations has been extremely useful even though I am not yet married. Once I learned the basics about NFP I started doing this and knowing ovulation time is great for predicting when your period will come (since phase III does not vary much but my phase I can vary a LOT). Instead of going, “hmm well sometime in the next week or two”- I can tell within a 2-day span. As well I have found that even regular stress can affect my cycle. So for me it’s just to gain greater knowledge for when we really use it. I can’t see the harm in practice.

As far as planning for the honeymoon- I doubt it. For me I expect the stress of school and wedding will throw things off, and my FH knows and is okay with it :wink: It would depend on how strictly you are using it.

I’m not going to get into the debate about what constitutes a just reason to avoid since I am in the same boat as the OP- 22, a student.

On the whole I would follow the advice of the experienced people :smiley:


I’m getting married in May, and I started charting in November. Do it as soon as your next period starts. Even if you are not sure what you’re doing just write down everything. Also, buy “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weshler. It has tons of information concerning NFP.


Just an FYI about trying to predict when you’ll be fertile to plan a honeymoon…I wouldn’t count on it :slight_smile: LOL

I am REGULAR as clockwork. Textbook cycles…28 days, always peak (ovulate) on day 14…beautiful.

I should have been on about day 12 of my cycle on my wedding night (this past May), but instead I was just finishing my period. Then that cycle ended up being 42 days long! This wasn’t a big deal for us, we didn’t care if we concieved or not (clearly, as evidenced by pregnancy ticker below:thumbsup: ) BUT I do want to stress that no matter how regular you are, and how “cool as a cucumber” you are about your wedding (I was so thrilled and excited, but not “stressed” at all) there are a lot of changes going on, and your body is well aware, and may react differently.

I think other people’s advice on here is good: learn to chart, practice, and know that when your wedding night and honeymoon arrive, you and your new spouse will have two legit choices if it seems you are in your fertile phase: 1. abstain (a bit of a bummer, but I know people who have done it) 2. “throw caution to the wind” :slight_smile:


HAHAH well. I just realized I wrote that last post as being logged in under DH’s name. That would be why there is no pregnancy ticker. Smooth move :slight_smile:


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