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Natural Family Planning


God designed marriage as an "intimate partnership of life and love" (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). In God's design, marriage is a unique union of one man with one woman "for the whole of life" (see Canon 1055, The Code of Canon Law). Marriage is oriented to the good of the spouses and to the creation and nurture of new human life (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). Making decisions therefore, about when and how many children to have in marriage is a sacred responsibility that God has entrusted to husband and wife. This is the foundation of what the Church calls, "Responsible Parenthood"--the call to discern God's will for your marriage while respecting His design for life and love. 

The Catholic Church supports the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) because they respect God's design for married love. In fact, NFP represents the only authentic approach to family planning available to husbands and wives because these methods can be used to both attempt or avoid pregnancy. When learning about NFP, it is important to know that: 

Natural Family Planning 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.

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.                                          (Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry, p. 23)

This section of the USCCB website provides information and resources that will help you to learn about the methods of Natural Family Planning and Catholic teaching which supports its use in marriage. Many of the resources here are tailored for diocesan NFP coordinators, teachers and educators.

NFP Site Map
This link provides a listing of the content subjects provided in this section.

Young family in the yard.Announcements

  • 2017 National NFP Awareness Week is celebrated on July 23-29. This year's slogan is: It's time! Say "Yes" to God's plan for Marriage! Natural Family Planning. The slogan focuses on God's gift of the nature of marriage to husband and wife. Natural Family Planning is presented as a support for married couples to honor God's plan. Order the poster now at customerservice@ifcweb.com; tel., 1-866-582-0943. Ask for publication #1722 (folded or flat) to display in your parish!

  • On September 20, 2016, a group of scholars led by Janet Smith, PhD (Sacred Heart Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit) issued a public statement in support of Catholic teaching on married love and the gift of life. Watch the Sept. 20 press conference about the statement live-streamed from Catholic University in DC. Furthermore, if you have an advanced degree (Masters or higher) and would like to add your name to the statement, please feel free to do so (at the top right corner of the statement's webpage).

  • Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) treats marriage and family life; see Amoris Laetitia.

  • Important brief catechetical USCCB NFP resources: a four panel brochure (front and back) treating the Church's teaching on married love, responsible parenthood, and the methods of NFP as viewed through the lens of love, mercy, and life is available for purchase (Tel. 1-866-582-0943; or write customerservice@ifcweb.com). To read the text, see the Responsible Parenthood page. A free two-page bulletin insert is also available on the same page.

  • Past National NFP Awareness Week Posters. Remember that many of the past NFP posters can be used in your ongoing educational efforts since they do not include the dates of the year in which they were produced. See past posters. To order posters call toll-free: 1-866-582-0943 or write customerservice@ifcweb.com.
  • Please visit our education page for healthcare professionals! Remember that we have links and files of resources that can save you time and energy. We have a link to the MP4 files on an introduction to the science and methodology of NFP available from FACTS (Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science). These files provide a general overview of all NFP methods offered in the USA. In addition, PowerPoint slides with notes on the general science of NFP are available from Marquette University's NFP Institute. They have graciously donated them to us for your educational efforts!
    See: NFP Education for Healthcare Professionals




  • 2017 July 23-26: NACFLM Annual Conference at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; pre-conference trainings--July 22 and 23; registration opens in January; for information see, www.nacflm.org/conference.

  • 2017 July 19-22: American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals annual meeting, Grapevine, Texas. Registration available after January 1, 2017. See, www.aafcp.net/annualmeeting.



  • The new NFP video series, "Marital Love and Responsible Parenthood" by Goya Productions is now available in English and in Spanish at www.loveandparenthood.com. More...

  • Ruah Woods is offering freshman and sophomore lessons of Called to Be More, launching this summer. Learn about them here!

  • Goya Producciones created a series on Natural Family Planning which they filmed, in part, at the 2015 World Congress on NFP in Milan, Italy. Various NFP leaders from the United States are featured in the series including Mike Manhart, PhD, Executive Director of the Couple to Couple League, well-known NFP researcher, Joe Stanford, MD (Utah),and Theresa Notare, PhD, Assistant Director, USCCB's NFP Program. To view a nine-minute trailer see: www.loveandparenthood.com.

  • The Couple to Couple League announces a new self-paced online NFP class and revised course offerings. The changes are the result of CCL's efforts to make NFP available anywhere, anytime, any place to anyone who wants to learn. The self-paced online class is designed for today's busy couple. The same material that is presented in CCL live classes is delivered in a series of videos and interactive learning modules. To learn more, contact: CCL, Tel., 1-800-745-8252; Email, info@ccli.org; Web. www.ccli.org.

  • The Diocese of Richmond (VA) has available an exciting new marriage preparation program which integrates NFP information with Church teaching. Entitled, Unveiled, this innovative program provides a consistent catechetical format for marriage preparation. Unveiled ensures the integrity of content through a series of videos and workbooks for both facilitators and couples. To find out more, contact: Center for Marriage, Family, and Life, Diocese of Richmond; Tel., 804-622-5109; Web, www.unveiledmarriage.com.

  • Annunciation Ministries--Evangelization Through Marriage is a pastoral service that provides general consultation to diocesan or parish staff to establish or revitalize their marriage preparation programs. Annunciation Ministries also offers help in establishing NFP programs in the parish or diocese. Contact: Kari Colella, Executive Director, Tel, 781-708-3676; kari@annunciationministries.com; Web, www.AnnunciationMinistries.com.

  • One More Soul: Can't find the right NFP brochure that you would like to use for a marriage preparation class? Remember that One More Soul (OMS) carries NFP and marriage ministry resources that are published not only by OMS but also by a variety of Catholic leaders and organizations . Please visit their website to view the resources, www.omsoul.com.
  • Contraception: The Real Story is a new resource from the St. Augustine Foundation to help you with your educational efforts in defense of God's vision of human sexuality, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood and the virtue of chastity. View at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL67kelLVRuQGryssCNQ4QKuxHwZi_qYr0. This sixteen-part video educational resource is helpful for parents, diocesan staff (e.g., Marriage and Family Life, NFP, Pro-Life Activities, and Youth Ministry), teachers, Catholic physicians, and parents. Developed by the staff of the St. Augustine Foundation (SAF), the text was written in consultation with a variety of national NFP educators and physicians. The SAF series provides: a summary of key Catholic teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood; an overview of human reproduction; a summary of the facts about various artificial contraceptives and their many negative side effects; and a discussion on the virtue of chastity. The resource is also available in a PowerPoint presentation. Video, script, and graphics are available free of charge to diocesan staff. For more information, contact: John E. Fitzgerald, Director, The St. Augustine Foundation; 914-613-5510; jefitzgerald@jefitzgerald.net.

  • FACTS launches website-www.factsaboutfertility.org. Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Sicence (FACTS), is comprised of NFP physicians, leaders and educators. Their mission is to educate healthcare professionals, especially physicians, on the science and methods of NFP.

  • The St. Augustine Foundation has developed a website to help you educate on NFP and Catholic teaching on human sexuality, the virtue of chastity, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. A special feature are brief courses tailored to young adults. Also included is a video of interviews with Catholic physicians. See catholicsexuality.com.

  • On-line Introduction to the Billings MethodTM  Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago this on-line course provides an introduction to the science of NFP and the Billings MethodTM in particular. A special feature is a video of the NFP couple who teach and witness to living the NFP lifestyle. Supplemental materials such as PDF documents for further reading are also included. Register online. For more information contact: Maria Garcia, NFP Coordinator, Archdiocese of Chicago, (312) 534-8273; e-mail: mgarcia@archchicago.org.
  • Need NFP resources to give to your parish priest? See the "Clergy Packet" published by the Couple to Couple League.



Mission of the USCCB Natural Family Planning Program

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).

Permission is granted for copying and reprinting the NFP information on this website. Please cite the source of the information and unless otherwise noted, please include the following text: "Used with permission from the NFP Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved."

Contact Information:

Natural Family Planning Program
Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth
3211 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017

Email: nfp@usccb.org
Telephone: (202) 541-3240

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