What is the Sympto-Thermal Practice of NFP?
The Sympto-Thermal Practice (or the Fertility Awareness Method) is an entirely natural approach to family planning that works through an awareness, understanding and daily observation of your body’s fertility signs. It teaches you to identify the fertile and infertile phases in each menstrual cycle so you can confidently avoid (or achieve) pregnancy naturally. This form of Family Planning is completely safe, reliable and has no side effects. It requires the understanding and application of a few simple rules that work alongside your motivation and commitment.
The practice is commonly only considered a form of contraception for women in long term partnerships but I want to change that. With an understanding and awareness of the simple rules, there is no reason why the method cannot be adopted by all woman regardless of their relationship status.
~ What is NFP? ~
Natural Family Planning explained …
NFP is a practice that teaches women and couples to confidently identify the fertile time in each menstrual cycle by tracking their cycle. This information can be used for deepening menstrual awareness, creating greater menstrual wellbeing, to achieve pregnancy or to prevent pregnancy.
If you are reading this, you may already be aware of the power that lies in understanding your fertility cycle. You may feel certain that a form of NFP is right for you, you may be curious to find out more or perhaps you’re reading with scepticism, wondering whether it really works at all?
The practice of NFP may not suit all people at all times and in all situations. My experience shows that when the conditions are right and the guidelines are followed correctly, it becomes an effective and empowering practice that celebrates the fertile season of a woman’s life.
NFP is not about controlling your fertility; it is about working alongside your fertility cycle with understanding so you can take responsibility for your body rather than outsourcing it to someone or something else.
The practice of NFP is entirely safe, reliable, has no side effects and allows your natural hormones rhythm to flow freely. It requires the understanding and application of a few simple guidelines.
When we work together, I teach you how to chart your fertility cycle using 4 fertility indicators:
– checking your body temperature.
– observing changes in your cervical mucus.
– examining changes in your cervix.
– using knowledge of your cycle length as a guide to charting.
How effective is the Sympto-Thermal Practice of NFP?
The practice is 98% effective as a form of contraception. By comparison, the pill is 91-99% effective and the morning after pill is 95% effective.
Why I offer teaching and mentoring …
When I started to look into NFP as a means of contraception I found it really daunting. I knew the natural way felt right for me and my body but I was worried about the reality of having to take my temperature each day and I doubted whether I could really trust the practice. 3 years later and I’m totally convinced and committed to it.
For maximum effectiveness, the practice is best learnt with the guidance of a certified teacher. When I discovered that NPF information is no longer offered through the NHS, I decided to become a certified NFPTA teacher to ensure that this knowledge remains available and easily accessible to all.
So if you feel you need some support transitioning to NFP, I offer one to one mentoring during the first 3 months of charting. The charts and the practice guidelines can seem overwhelming at first and it can take time to understand and trust it (I’ve been there!). Having a teacher delivering you the facts clearly at the start and supporting you for the first few months sets you up for lifelong menstrual awareness and fertility empowerment.
Why I call the method a practice …
While I am teaching a scientifically proven method that involves clear guidelines to follow, committing to a journey with natural fertility it is so much more than a method; it is a daily practice of mindful body awareness, hormonal wellness and creates a deep honouring of our natural female cycles. With long term use, it becomes an embodied practice which intimately connects women (and their partners) to their truly incredible body and the gifts of their cyclical nature.
Why I created new teaching resources and guidebooks …
I have rewritten the story around NFP for the greater empowerment of all women.
I am grateful to have been taught and certified as a teacher of this practice through the lovely women at NFPTA. However, the standard NFPTA teaching resources are outdated when it comes to themes around gender equality and sexism. The organisation’s roots in patriarchal Catholicism are visible in the way the information about women’s bodies and women’s experience of the menstrual cycle is presented and described.
On this journey of reconnecting with the power of the female body and the fertility cycle, I find words such “control”, “suffer with”, “treatment for” and “manage” disempowering and unhelpful. The menstrual cycle is not something to be treated, managed or suffered and it has been demonised for long enough.
My work as a teacher of natural fertility celebrates the menstrual cycle and calls for both men and women to fall head over heals in love with its gifts. It was really important that I re-write and re-illustrate all of the teaching resources to fit this new story and my guidebooks to reflect this. You can find my guidebooks over on the shop page.
A note on all methods of Family Planning …
Please be aware that no method of Family Planning is 100% effective in controlling fertility – not even sterilisation.
For women who are well taught and committed to keep to the rules, the method I teach is 98% effective when used to avoid pregnancy.
When the practice is used to help achieve pregnancy, the method increases your chances of conceiving by 33%.
[Ref: G.Freundi: Adv. Contraception 1993, European Multicentre Study of NFP]