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"Does natural family planning (NFP) work?"


I would like some opinions from OB/GYN or any physician that knows about NFP. My husband and I are considering NFP. My husband thinks anything “natural” is best which I agree but in this case I kind of oppose to the idea as I think it may not work for me. I am nursing my 3 months old baby and my period has always been irregular. We watched a couple of presentation on NFP vs. oral contraception. They put out some quotes and data from physician including OB/GYN to prove that NFP is far effective and better than oral contraception medically. I, however, feel it’s a bias research plus the referenced data they collected were outdated - they were dated 1959, 1998,1999. They say it works if it’s done correctly. So, what is “correctly” and how much I have to be involved ? What are your thoughts on NFP vs contraception such as IUD ? And more importantly, would it work for ME considering my situation with nursing and irregularity ?


Thanks for your question. I recommend that you discuss your question further with your doctor. Natural family planning is an intermittently en vogue idea that appeals to those who do not want to add hormones or other "unnatural things" to their body.

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Unfortunately, most of the data agrees that it is not as effective as hormonal contraception. While this may be unpopular to say, it is somewhat difficult for most women with irregular periods and those with other acute situations such as breast feeding to effectively predict how and when they will ovulate. Additionally, it is a method that requires a high degree of responsibility and involvement on the part of the person who is attempting to use this method. While hormonal contraception is not perfect, it is much more effective for most people, at least speaking statistically. IUDs in particular are quite effective at preventing pregnancy, with one of the most effective and impressive rates of preventing pregnancy around. As with all types of birth control, however, there are pros and cons to IUDs as well. Whatever you decide, it is important to be well educated and review appropriate resources (rather than a select few that some groups may choose to present). Your OB can help. Please speak with your doctor.

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