Methods of NFP

All methods:

  • Help you observe and track signs and symptoms of fertility
  • Are based on daily observations
  • Monitor health and ovulation
  • Determine if women are fertile or infertile on any given day, using a set of “rules”
  • Can be used to help achieve or avoid pregnancy
  • Involve abstaining from sexual relations at certain times if avoiding pregnancy
  • Have a 97-100% effectiveness rate*
  • Are taught by trained instructors to assist you in learning how to chart your cycle

Compare Methods

Single-indicator method (mainly sensation of cervical mucus), widely used because of its simplicity
Single-indicator method (cervical mucus only), can consult with method-trained doctors for help with fertility
Tracks several signs of fertility, also includes the use of a Fertility Monitor
Tracks several signs of fertility (temperature, cervical mucus, sensation, etc.) in order to gather a complete picture of your fertility

Compare Methods

MethodBillings Ovulation Method ®Creighton ModelMarquette MethodSympto-Thermal Method (Couple to Couple League)
IndicatorsSingle SingleMultiMulti
Cervical Mucus
Urinary Hormone Levels
Fertility Monitor
Is There an App?
Perfect Use Effectiveness Rate (at avoiding pregnancy)98.9%98.7-99.5%98-99%99.4-99.6%
Typical Use Effectiveness Rate89.5%83-97%86-93%98-99%
Cost*~$135 to learn method (typically includes all materials and follow-ups)~$45/one hour session (8 sessions); $35 flat fee for materials$125-$175 per training course, $175/Clearblue Fertility monitor, plus $18-20/month test strips$135 plus shipping (includes classes and materials)
Learning formatIn-Person/VirtualIn-Person/VirtualVirtualIn-Person/Virtual/Self-Paced Online
CommentsWidely used for its simplicity. Can diagnose and treat gynecologic/fertility problems such as infertility and PCOS.Used with NaPro Technology trained doctors to help diagnose and treat feminine health issues such as infertility, homonal imbalance, cycle irregularities, and miscarriages.Only method that uses actual hormone levels to chart. Very reliable for post-pardum.

All Marquette Method instructors are licensed healthcare professionals!
Uses the most cross checks for fertility. Taught by couples to couples.

The best method is the one that is best for you – you have flexibility and choices to learn different methods that fit your changing needs or different stages of life!

Note: If costs to learn a method of NFP are prohibitive, contact our office.

* Costs to learn may vary per instructor or method of learning. Some insurances may cover some or all costs of learning.

Once you choose a method, learn from a trained Instructor

NFP Apps & Devices

There are many apps and devices available to assist with tracking fertility. Each of the 4 main methods of NFP listed above have their own approved app for charting. Using an app helps you to store your data and share your chart with your instructor or doctor. Be aware that that not all fertility apps and devices are in line with methods of NFP.

A few words of caution:

  • We do not recommend using an app or device as a replacement for learning an actual method of NFP.
  • Some apps claim to be endorsed by a specific method of NFP, when in reality they are not approved by the method itself. Fact check before using an app.
  • We recommend first learning one of the four major methods, and then using an app or device to supplement and cross-check your practice.
  • The app or device may advise the use of contraception during the fertile phase (if trying to avoid pregnancy), which is not in line with Catholic teaching (see Catholic teaching page).
  • Many of the apps available use a standard cycle length, which may not apply to all women, or may use an algorithm to determine fertility/infertility that may not be personalized to the individual woman.
  • Using an app or device exclusively does not allow you to consult an instructor or doctor if you notice irregularity in your cycle or have a question – see below.


ClearBlue Fertility Monitor

  • The monitor reads urine tests to track hormone levels and identify fertile days
  • Used in conjunction with the Marquette Method


  • Armband that you wear while sleeping
  • Collects data on temperature, sleep patterns, and more to give a full picture of your fertility
  • Used in conjunction with the Sympto-Thermal Method



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.

This site is not designed to nor does it provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual.

Through this site and linkages to other sites, provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of a physician or healthcare provider. “” is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

Information on specific NFP Methods presented on this site is NOT intended to prepare you to teach any of these methods to your patients or use them yourself. You should contact one or more of the named providers for information on learning or becoming an instructor of one of these methods.

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