The natural family planning training committee of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) (1986), defines Natural Family Planning as: Methods for planning and preventing pregnancies by observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle. It is implicit in the definition of natural family planning when used to avoid conception, that (a) drugs, devices and surgical procedures are not used; (b) there is abstinence from sexual intercourse during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, and (c) the act of sexual intercourse, when occurring, is complete.
The W.H.O. definition implies that the woman is able to define the days of the cycle when she is potentially fertile (fertility awareness), and that the couple agree to adjust their sexual behavior according to their family planning intention.*
*IMPORTANT: Avoid genital contact in the fertile phase of the cycle if pregnancy is to be avoided: Users of natural family planning who wish to avoid pregnancy are advised to avoid all genital contact during the fertile phase for the following reason. It is known that the first portion of the seminal ejaculate has the highest sperm concentration and if there is any genital contact in the fertile-phase of the cycle, fertile-type mucus present at the vulva can attract, and transport sperm to the cervix, and conception may follow without penetration. This statement has been validated by the occurence of many conceptions without penetration.1
- Klaus, H ; Natural Family Planning : A Review 2nd Edition. July 1995, page 13; NFP Center of Washington, D.C. Inc. , 8514 Bradmoor Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817-3810
To be most effective, the woman must be taught the Symptothermal Double-Check Method of Natural Family Planning by a qualified natural family planning teacher.