According to Blessed John Paul II, “Helping couples to deepen conjugal love and achieve responsible parenthood is part of the Church’s total pastoral ministry to Catholic spouses. Fulfillment of this ministry includes both education and pastoral care. This means ‘instilling conviction and offering practical help to those who wish to live out their parenthood in a truly responsible way’.” (Familiaris consortio, #35) Some of the help the Church offers to married couples is Natural Family Planning (NFP).
NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. This practice is in full accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church and has statistically been proven to be more effective in avoiding pregnancies when properly followed. In addition, by becoming more familiar with the signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s cycle, NFP can also be used to aid in conceiving a child for couples who are ready to add to their families.
NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.
Used with permission from the NFP Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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The use of NaPro TECHNOLOGY for the successful treatment of infertility