Natural Family Planning

The mission and philosophy of St. Dominic Hospital is based on the teachings of Christ and His love. In this love, St. Dominic Hospital seeks to maintain the respect and dignity of each individual and family.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) reflects the dignity of each person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes an openness to life, and recognizes the value of each child. NFP recognizes fertility as a gift and the life-giving and love-giving aspects of the sexual relationship. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a holistic approach to family planning that allows a couple to consider the biological, psychological, moral and religious aspects in relation to sexuality and fertility.

NFP is a mutual method of family planning and enhances communication and respect between couples. In addition to being an inexpensive method, NFP works without the use of drugs or devices that may have harmful side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions about Natural Family Planning:

Q.  What is Natural Family Planning? Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for certain methods of family planning. In NFP, a couple uses the knowledge of male and female fertility to achieve or avoid pregnancy according to the couple's family planning intention. NFP is based on fertility appreciation - the understanding that male fertility is constant but female fertility varies. Every woman has reliable signs which reflect her state of fertility throughout the course of each menstrual cycle.

Q.  How does NFP work? The particular method of NFP taught at St. Dominic Hospital is the Sympto-Thermal method. This method includes a woman's primary signs of fertility (cervical changes, breast tenderness, etc.). Couples desiring to use NFP to avoid or postpone pregnancy should abstain from intercourse during the fertile phase of the woman's cycle. Conversely, couples wishing to achieve a pregnancy would plan for intercourse during the fertile time of the cycle. NFP allows couples to adjust their behaviors in accordance with their family planning intention.

Q.  Who can use NFP? Any couple can use NFP, regardless of the "regularity" of the woman's cycle. Women in special circumstances, such as posthormone, breastfeeding, postpartum and premenopausal can also benefit from the use of NFP. In addition, the knowledge obtained from NFP can be beneficial to any woman of reproductive age.

Q.  Does NFP work? NFP is a scientifically based method of family planning. Understanding the natural body signs enables couples to know how to effectively achieve or avoid pregnancy. Some people think NFP means the 'Calendar Rhythm' method and are afraid it won't be effective. The 'Rhythm' method was the Model of NFP. It was used more than 50 years ago and was based on the theory that the time of ovulation could be determined by calculating days from the previous menstrual cycles. This method was often inaccurate because it did not take into account the unique nature of each woman's cycle. The Sympto-Thermal method is not calendar rhythm. It can be as effective as any form of artificial birth control if a couple takes time to learn it and is serious about applying the rules. Our role at St. Dominic Hospital is to help you learn NFP so it can help you as a couple achieve your fertility goals.

Q.  How can I get more information? For more information on the NFP Instructors available in Mississippi, see our list of Natural Family Planning Instructors below, call the Office of Family Ministry at (601)355-8634 ext. 110, or contact the Maternal & Newborn Care Center at St. Dominic Hospital at (601)200-6934.

Natural Family Planning Instructors

Jackson -- Billings Ovulation Method
Classes held 3rd Wednesday of each month (unless it falls on a holiday); 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
at St. Richard Catholic Church – Mercy Room
Debbie Tubertini: (601)607-3073
No registration required.   Method link:

McComb -- Billings Ovulation Method
Classes by Appointment
Dr. Mike and Patricia Artigues:  (601)684-1230  Method link:

Starkville -- Sympto-Thermal Method
Classes scheduled throughout year and by appointment
Karen McFadyen: (662)320-9504
Linda Couvillion McGrath: (662)324-3944
Method link:

If you have any additional questions or comments, please click here.