The Couple to Couple League
Building Healthy Marriages through Natural Family Planning

Comparing Effectiveness Rates

While NFP’s effectiveness can be compared to that of contraception, there is an intrinsic difference between the two. Natural Family Planning effectiveness pertains to a couple’s ability to determine fertile and infertile times of a woman’s cycle. The effectiveness of contraceptives relate to their ability to prevent a pregnancy from occurring or from continuing. The user effectiveness of NFP also involves the ability of a couple to refrain from sexual intercourse on days that the method indicates are fertile if they intend to postpone a pregnancy. The user effectiveness of contraception relates to a woman/couple using devices or taking pills as specified if they intend to postpone a pregnancy.

This graph compares the method effectiveness of various forms of contraception with NFP. The Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) of NFP taught by CCL in this course is extremely effective in determining the fertile and infertile times within a woman’s cycle. The 2007 German study (hyperlink) also showed that couples who have a desire to postpone a pregnancy during a given cycle, can do so using NFP with the same accuracy as contraception.

Effectiveness Chart

R. Hatcher, et al., Contraceptive Technology, 18th revised edition., New York, NY: Ardent Media, 2004, pp. see Table 31-1

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