Top of page Skip navigation

Natural Family Planning

What is natural family planning?

Fertile and infertile times of the menstrual cycle. The average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days, although many women have longer or shorter cycles and this is normal. Regardless of how long or short a cycle, ovulation (when ovaries release an egg) will usually happen around 10 – 16 days beforethe start of the next period.

How effective is it?

If used according to teaching, up to 99% effective.

Advantages

  • No chemicals or physical products means no physical side effects.
  • It can help you to communicate about your fertility and sexuality.
  • Using natural family planning makes you more aware of your fertility and can help to plan or prevent a pregnancy.
  • It is acceptable to all faiths and cultures.

Disadvantages

  • Need to avoid sex or use a male or female condom at fertile times of the cycle.
  • It takes 3 – 6 menstrual cycles to learn effectively.
  • You have to keep daily records.
  • Some events, such as illness, lifestyle, stress or travel may make fertility indicators harder to interpret.
  • Does not protect you against Sexually Transmitted Infections.