Over the past 40 years, significant innovations have been made in women’s health care, particularly within the realm of reproductive science. Parallel to these advances, natural methods for monitoring fertility have been standardized and refined. This has led to more effective tracking of a woman’s cycle and the times of fertility. This information can be used to achieve or postpone pregnancy, and in some cases to address underlying gynecological problems. These methods of natural family planning respect the integrity of the human person and the rights of women and men to understand and cooperatively manage their own fertility, with appropriate professional assistance.
There are many methods of fertility awareness (natural family planning) and each is based upon reproductive science, however each method applies the science in different ways. There are pros and cons to any method with respect to another method. Please contact any individual or organization listed here, if you are interested in fertility awareness (natural family planning).
This web section is an online resource for Fertility Awareness information and the Fertility Awareness Program of the Diocese of Helena, which is intended for couples preparing for marriage, couples already married, and anyone interested.
Fertility Awareness places the regulation of birth in the context of God’s plan for men and women united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Fertility Awareness is not simply a method of avoiding pregnancy while still following the Church’s “rules” regarding the regulation of births. Fertility Awareness is much more comprehensive and addresses itself to the truth of the human person created in the Divine Image. Through awareness of their fertility, particularly the woman’s, husbands and wives open up new channels of communication that will deepen their mutual respect and commitment to
one another as they strive together to discern God’s will, resulting in a more deeply satisfying marriage.
Is Fertility Awareness just another name for Natural Family Planning (NFP)? In a sense, yes. Unfortunately, sometimes “Natural Family Planning” carries with it the baggage of negative connotations from the past. Fertility Awareness gives a fresh beginning — the term speaks better to the neutrality of the medical science it is based upon, and to the point that what is at issue is not natural versus artificial. However, 'NFP' and 'fertility awareness' are virtually interchangeable as terms.
Please read the information provided here and consider making a Fertility Awareness Conference part of your parish’s marriage preparation for couples, or a marriage enrichment opportunity for those already married.