What are the methods of NFP?
EachNFP method is focused on one or more signs of female fertility. They can be
grouped into three categories
- Cervical Mucus Methods (CMM)
methods that observe cervical mucus are commonly
called the "Ovulation Method" or "OM." In NFP education, a woman learns
how to identify the normal, healthy, cervical mucus which indicates the days
that sexual intercourse is most likely to result in pregnancy. A number of NFP providers teach a variety of
approaches to the observation and charting of cervical mucus (e.g., Billings
Ovulation Method Association—USA, Creighton Model FertilityCare™ Centers,
Family of the Americas, etc.).
The methods that observe several signs of fertility
and cross-check two
or more of the signs to pinpoint ovulation are commonly called the
"Sympto-Thermal Method" or "STM." STM typically
combines charting of the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus with
other optional indicators, such as changes in the cervix and secondary
fertility signs. A number of NFP
providers teach a variety of approaches to the observation and charting of
these signs (e.g., Couple to Couple League, Northwest Family Services, various
diocesan programs, etc.).
- Sympto-Hormonal Method (SHM)
method that observes several signs of fertility and adds the use of an
ovulation predictor kit (OPK) or fertility monitor is called the
"Sympto-Hormonal Method" or "SHM." Similar to the STM, this approach adds the
self-detection of reproductive hormones in the urine with the assistance of an OPK
or fertility monitor. Various diocesan NFP programs make use of the SHM as well
as Marquette University's Institute for NFP (Marquette Model).