In God’s plan, marriage is a sign of God’s presence in the world and the conjugal love that unifies the spouses is at its fullest when it is mutually enriching, permanent, exclusive, faithful, total, and fruitful (open to life). Sexual intercourse enables couples to intensify their mutual intimacy and to bring new life into the world. An inseparable connection exists between the union of the spouses (love-giving) and the procreation and education of children (life-giving) as they help the spouses to grow in their love for God and for each other. This is why the Church supports Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods in assisting responsible parenting.
These methods assist couples in having a better understanding and appreciation for the wife’s fertility and consequently for her as a person and her more intimate design. NFP will assist you in increasing your communication as you grow together in your sexual union, and as you discern with God the sacred gifts that are children. I encourage parents to make these important decisions regarding responsible parenting (achieving, spacing, and avoiding pregnancy) in the context of prayer, in a spirit of love and generosity, in accordance with the Church’s beautiful teaching on the gift of human sexuality, and in light of your responsibilities to God, each other, your already born children, and to society.
✠ Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
Some Methods to Consider
NFP Association (Alberta) – Billings Ovulation Method
The Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) is a scientifically validated and proven family planning system that is used throughout the world. It teaches women to recognize their own body’s natural signs and patterns of fertility and infertility. The BOM can also be used to monitor a woman’s reproductive health throughout their entire life. it is highly successful method of family planning throughout all stages of reproductive life, especially during periods of breastfeeding and pre-menopause. The BOM is a leader in fertility education and reproductive research.
For more information, visit www.billingslife.ca/learn
Creighton Model Fertility Care System
The CrMS relies upon the standardized observation and charting of biological markers that are essential to a woman’s health and fertility. These “biomarkers” tell the couple when they are naturally fertile and infertile, allowing the couple to use the system whether to achieve or to avoid pregnancy. These biomarkers also telegraph abnormalities in a woman’s health.
For more information, call 780-482-1531 or visit https://www.creightonmodel.com.
The Marquette Model (MM) integrates the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor (CBEFM), an algorithm and other well-known signs of fertility such as mucus and temperature. It assists the couple to be more precise with identifying ovulation by measuring hormone levels in urine to estimate the beginning and end of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle. The information from the monitor in conjunction with charting observations of cervical mucus and basal body temperature provides an excellent way for women to monitor their fertility health. The MM was developed by professional nurses and physicians at Marquette University in the late 1990s. With correct use, this method is as effective as other fertility awareness–based methods of natural family planning.
For more information, visit https://www.vitaefertility.com.
Serena – Sympto-Thermal Method
Serena-Canada is a Canadian organization which teaches the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM.) It enables men and women to make decisions about their fertility: to plan pregnancy, to avoid pregnancy, or to space the birth of their children. The STM works in harmony with the woman’s natural fertility cycle, even during breastfeeding, menopause and other circumstances. From the beginning of a woman’s fertile life, until the end of menopause, the STM remains an effective guide for controlling fertility.
For more information, call 780-488-5221 or visit https://serena.ca.