Effectiveness of NFP

Scientifically Based

NFP methods are scientific, and are backed up by research and medical viability. NFP uses the science of the body to understand and evaluate its natural biomarkers of fertility. Many nurses and doctors are certified in methods of NFP and use them to work with their patients on fertility awareness, reproductive health, and general women’s health. Certain methods can even help to diagnose cancer and other diseases. Methods of NFP work cooperatively with the procreative and gynecologic systems instead of suppressing or manipulating them. Using NFP, medical professionals, especially those trained in NaPro Technology, can also identify and treat underlying cycle conditions and signs of infertility.

NFP is very effective in helping couples identify the optimum time for conception. With regard to spacing or limiting pregnancies, NFP is up to 99% successful when couples understand the methods, are motivated, and follow their method’s guidelines.

Sources: See “Research in Natural Family Planning: A Review of Studies from 1998-2003,” in Current Medical Research, 14 (Summer/Fall 2003). For foundational studies, see Section II, “Effectiveness of NFP Method,” in Fehring and Kambic, Natural Family Planning Bibliography (1995): 9-12; available online here: Effectiveness of NFP Methods.

Want to learn more about the science behind NFP?

Multiple studies have shown Natural Family Planning to be as effective as the hormonal birth control pill in avoiding pregnancy, and even more effective than other common methods of contraception. See below!


Hormonal Birth Control Pill

  • 92% 92%
  • 99.7% 99.7%

Sympto-Thermal Method

  • 98.4% 98.4%
  • 99.6% 99.6%


  • 99.4% 99.4%
  • 99.9% 99.9%

Billings Ovulation Method ®

  • 94.1-100% 94.1-100%
  • 97.1-100% 97.1-100%


  • 94% 94%

Creighton Model

  • 94.6-97.9% 94.6-97.9%
  • 98.7-99.8% 98.7-99.8%

Condom (male)

  • 85% 85%
  • 98% 98%

Marquette Method

  • 88-89% 88-89%
  • 98-99.4% 98-99.4%

Withdrawal Method

  • 73% 73%
  • 96% 96%


  • 15% 15%
  • 15% 15%


  • 71% 71%
  • 82% 82%


https://ccli.org/docs/effectiveness-class-presentation.pdf (for STM stats, multiple studies referred to here)
http://www.readytogroove.com/the-cycle/notes/#note34 (for STM stats)
https://creightonmodel.com/effectiveness/ (for Creighton stats)
https://www.mmnfp.com/marquettenfp (Adapted from: Trussell J. Contraceptive failure in the United States. Contraception. 2004;70:89-96.)

For more on NFP method effectiveness rates, see this FACTS chart

Medical Introduction to Fertility and Family Planning from FACTS

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