What is Fertility Awareness and Natural Family Planning?

Natural Family Planning (NFP) and Fertility Awareness Based Methods allow a woman to track the fertile and infertile times during her reproductive cycle. She can use this information to better understand her health. NFP relies on specific methods in which a couple learns to observe the woman’s naturally occurring signs of fertile and infertile phases during a menstrual cycle. Couples can use this knowledge as a tool in their family planning and to better understand their combined fertility. Using fertility awareness and NFP is ultimately to accept the divine gift of spousal unity in marriage.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued diocesan standards. They state:

NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life and promotes openness to life and the gift of the child. By complementing the love-giving and life-giving nature of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.

Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry

The St. Philip Institute is dedicated to providing the support that newly and not-so-newly married couples need to be aware of their fertility and plan their families in discernment with God’s will. Bishop Strickland declared in the Constitution on Teaching (21) that marriage formation in the Diocese of Tyler would include training in a method of NFP.

What Materials Do We Use?

The St. Philip Institute is cultivating various methods and courses for all levels of instruction in NFP methods, and we make those available for couples to enroll in and complete on your own. Additionally, our Family Life Office produces information from experts and testimonies from couples to help you learn how to live your marriage this way. We are building a network of NFP professionals trained in various methods thoughout the Diocese of Tyler so everyone will have access to these methods. Below you will find the information and our resources compiled.

If you are interested in being trained as a certified NFP instructor or teaching couple working directly with other couples to learn NFP methods, please contact Deanna Johnston in the Family Life Office. Pastors, catechists, and others who have questions about family life formation should also contact the Director of Family Life, Deanna Johnston.

 Let’s be honest: when it comes to sharing Natural Family Planning with engaged and married couples, we are in competition with contraceptive culture. Sometimes, in our zeal for wanting couples to experience the fullness of what the Church teaches, we use language that only emphasizes the ease and effectiveness of a particular method and how great NFP can be for postponing pregnancy. However, when the conversation about NFP stops at merely postponing pregnancy, we aren’t giving couples the whole picture: that the beauty and fullness of the Church’s teaching on married love is a cross we embrace by placing our fertility in God’s hands.

—Deanna M. Johnston, M.A., Director of Family Life

Need a Little Coaching?

Feeling isolated or overwhelmed by living your faith in the areas of sex, marriage and family planning? Well, you’re not alone. Emily Frase offers one-hour and 30-minute one-on-one sessions that you can schedule at your convenience. And if you pick a time after 5pm, wine will be involved!

NFP Instruction by Method

Looking for an Introductory Class?

There are three categories of NFP methods: cervical mucus, sympto-thermal, and sympto-hormonal methods.
Click on the categories below to see a list of classes and instructors available in the Diocese of Tyler.

This method requires the individual to track the characteristics and sensations of cervical fluid. By observing changes in cervical mucus each day throughout the menstrual cycle, a woman is able to note the fertile and infertile times in a cycle. Additionally, she is able to monitor overall gynecological health. In addition to helping couples achieve or avoid pregnancy, these methods can help evaluate infertility, repetitive miscarriage, recurrent ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and more.

Methods and Instructors Available

Below is a list of providers that teach ovulation methods in the Diocese of Tyler and online. Click the name of each method to learn more. We have also listed the instructors and medical professionals who are available to work with couples and individuals.

Creighton Model & FertilityCare Centers of America

Billings Ovulation Method Association – USA (BOMA-USA)

Live Sessions available by request at the following parishes:

  • St. Edward’s Catholic Church, Athens TX
    Contact Carmen Delgado at (903) 275-8373 or stedsmarriageprep@gmail.com.
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Nacogdoches TX
    Contact the parish office at (936) 564-7807.

Online, self-paced classes (English and Spanish) are available at Learn NFP Online and Aprende PFN en Linea.

FEMM Health (medical management)

Online classes and the FEMM App are available here. Available in English and Spanish. Telemed also available.

This method requires the individual to track the characteristics and sensations of cervical fluid (i.e. wet feeling, stretchy mucus when wiping) and monitor the basal body temperature (i.e. taking your temperature at the same time every day when you wake up). By following these signs and consistent charting, an individual is able to determine the beginning and ending of the fertile window of a cycle.

 

Methods and Instructors Available

Below is a list of providers that teach sympto-thermal methods in the Diocese of Tyler and online. Click the name of each method to learn more. We have also listed the instructors and medical professionals who are available to work with couples and individuals.

Couple to Couple League

Teaching Couple: Dan & Natalie Herrera
Location: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (423 S. Broadway, Tyler, Texas)
When: Scheduled throughout the year
Cost: $135 (including materials) plus shipping
This class meets 3 times, each session lasting about two hours and spaced one month apart. This gives the couple the opportunity to start charting and discuss observations with the instructor.
Registration: For more information on upcoming classes, please contact Dan and Natalie Herrera at nvherrera1@gmail.com.

Online live and self-paced classes are also available on the CCL website.

Liga de Pareja a Pareja

Tiene cursos en linea, cursos virtuales, y clases en vivo en varias partes de la diocesis. 

Para encontrar una clase en línea o virtual, haga clic aquí.

Las clases en vivo están disponibles en las siguientes parroquias:

  • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Tyler
  • St. Jude Catholic Church, Gun Barrel City
  • St. Matthew Catholic Church, Longview
  • Christ the King Catholic Church, Kilgore
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Texarkana

SymptoPro Fertility Education

Online Classes available on their website

Additional resources for this method:

This method uses the sympto-hormonal method and its a system that involves an electronic fertility monitor, which is a device that is used at home to measure hormone levels in urine, which estimate the beginning and ending of the fertile window of the cycle. The information from the monitor is used in conjunction with observations of cervical mucus and basal body temperature.

Methods & Instructors Available

Below is a list of providers that teach sympto-hormonal methods in the Diocese of Tyler and online. Click the name of each method to learn more. We have also listed the instructors and medical professionals who are available to work with couples and individuals.

Marquette Method

Instructor: Dr. Cami Jo Tice Harouff, DNP APRN-FNP
Phone: 502.550.6462
Email: HesedHealthClinic@outlook.com
Introductory sessions are available by request and will also be scheduled live and online.

Whole Mission (Marquette)

Available in English and Spanish. A variety of live online class options (group, individual, post-partum, and others) are taught through a secure video meeting platform. All class options include individual follow-up for a minimum of one full year, and course documents are included. To see a listing of all available course options, please click here

Live Online NFP Introductory Class

Are you engaged, looking for your NFP introductory course to fulfill your formation requirements for the sacrament of Matrimony, but not sure which NFP method to choose? This live online course offered by Vitae Fertility Education will help you choose.

Offered on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, at 7:30pm Central Time. 

Videos from the St. Philip Institute Team