How to transition from the Pill to NFP

Question

Hello, my wife currently takes birth control pills, but we are interested in switching over to the natural family planning method. Can we begin keeping a chart of her mucus cycle while she is still taking the pill? Or, does the pill cause the mucus cycle to be abnormal, such that we couldn’t really follow it?

Answer

When a woman takes the birth control pill, she is actually suppressing her menstrual cycle. The birth control pill acts by trying to prevent ovulation, by altering the cervical mucus, and by inhibiting implantation by not allowing the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to thicken to support the new pregnancy, if one is to occur. It would serve no purpose to chart while on the birth control pill, as the signs would be obscured, or not present.

The advice in switching to natural family planning is to learn the method from a qualified teaching program. (CANFP could make a referral.) It is important to learn proper charting, and what the biomarkers (signs) of the reproductive cycle include, for successful NFP use.

Thank you for your question. Many couples have made the transition to NFP following the use of birth control pills.

Maureen Scagliotti

Answered By:

Maureen Scagliotti, RN, FCP
Maureen Scagliotti, RN, FCP, Founding Board Member of CANFP, taught the Creighton Model FertillityCare System of Natural Family Planning, while working as an OB nurse, in the Oakland Region, until her retirement.

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