Welcome to the Diocese of Lansing NFP Resource Page for parishes. Here you will find information about resources that are available in our diocese that you can provide to your parishioners. This includes information about Marriage Preparation Requirements for Natural Family Planning (NFP) and how couples can register for those classes. Please contact Jenny Ingles if you have any questions or need assistance.
NFP for Marriage Prep
The Diocese of Lansing requires that all engaged couples attend the 2-hour NFP Introduction (provided free of charge) to fulfill their requirement. This introduction is different from method-specific introductions and cannot be replaced by any other program. To help assist all couples in attending this, the Diocese of Lansing provides this introduction both in-person and Online and does not charge anyone to attend.
The program is broken up into 2, one-hour sessions (held back-to-back if in-person) which are designed to give couples a foundation for understanding why the Church teaches what she does about conjugal love and also an overview of how NFP works from a biological stand-point.
Part 1 of this introduction provides a brief overview of the Theology of the Body as well as the history leading up to the release of Humanae Vitae and an in-depth look at several sections of Humanae Vitae.
Part 2 of this introduction provides actual effectiveness rates for avoiding pregnancy, achieving pregnancy and avoiding pregnancy during post-partum/breastfeeding periods. This is information that is not typically made easily available and is important for couples when discerning which method will work best for them. It explains which hormones and bio-markers are tracked using different methods of NFP and also potential reasons (i.e. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) why certain methods are ineffective for certain couples. Part 2 also reviews why it is important for husbands to assist wives in charting and answers basic questions about the methods that are available in the diocese and how couples can learn those methods.
This introduction will be available in Spanish (Online Only) beginning in the Fall of 2022.
Please send couples to this page to register: https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/NFPintro
What is the Cost to Learn a Method?
The Diocesan NFP Introduction is absolutely free and is a good foundation for anyone interested in learning more about God's design for marriage and Natural Family Planning.
Full method instruction (for basic instruction) can range from $125 to $250 depending on which Method is chosen. The Sympto-Thermal Method requires the purchase of a Basal Body Temperature Thermometer which can range from $6 for a basic digital one to $50 for thermometers with BlueTooth capabilities. The Marquette Method requires the purchase of a urine hormone monitor which ranges from $100 to $200 depending on sales or if they're used and an additional costs for strips which can range from $10 to $20 per month depending on the current cost of the strip and how often a woman needs to use them. This cost can be upwards of $40 per month for women who are breastfeeding or postpartum and haven't returned to normal fertility.
Because the cost can be expensive for many couples, each of the methods has method instructors who offer method instruction on a sliding fee basis (which includes pro-bono services). For methods that do not require the purchase of additional products, this means that couples in real need can recieve method instruction at no charge. If you have a couple who needs low/no-cost instruction, you can send them directly to a method or have them contact Jenny Ingles to facilitate this for them.
Which Method is Best?
No method is "best" for everyone. Because each of the methods is vastly different and each woman's body and personality are vastly different, it is impossible to direct everyone into the same method. There are basic criteria that must be considered when helping a couple choose which method will fit them the best. The most important consideration is whether or not the woman has any underlying medical conditions. Some methods simply will not work if a woman has specific underlying medical conditions. The most common example of this is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Women with this condition often have excess amounts of the hormone estrogen in their bodies and limited amounts of progesterone in their bodies. If a woman with this condition is referred to use Sympto-Thermal or Marquette, then there is a very high likelihood that the method will not show any change in fertility. If the woman is using Sympto-Thermal then she will likely have continuous mucus and no Basal Body Temperature shift. This will make it appear as though she is always fertile (which she is not). If a woman with this condition uses the Marquette Method, then the urine sticks and mucus observations will likely show continuous fertility (which is impossible). Couples who find themselves in these situations tend to have a great deal of frustration, anxiety and eventually come to believe that NFP doesn't work. There are other examples like this that can be applied to other methods.
The second point that must be considered is the reason a couple is using NFP. If the woman has no underlying medical conditions and the couple just wants to plan their family, then any method they choose will likely work for them. However, if the woman has serious medical conditions in which pregnancy could result in death, then choosing a method with a higher effectiveness rate at avoiding pregnancy is more prudent. If the couple faces infertility, then the only method that has been studied and is effective at treating infertility is the Creighton Model. If the couple is looking for the "easiest" method to use, then more questions need to be asked because what is "easy" for one woman to track is not "easy" for another.
The third point that must be considered is the personality of the woman (and man) and how strongly they can adhere to what is required to use the method. For example, the Creighton Method requires an observational routine that some women simply will not participate in. The Sympto-Thermal Method requires that the woman wake up at the same time every day to check her temperature and she may not be willing to do that on weekends or holidays. These are points that the couple needs to discern, but they must know these realities about each of the methods before they can properly discern them.
It is important that whoever is assisting the couple in choosing the method that is best for them must be versed in each of the methods well enough to help counsel couples through these issues. It is also important that this person understands the different endocrine, gynecological and autoimmune conditions that affect each of the methods and what couples can realistically expect. If your parish does not have someone who can truly assist couples in this discernment process, please have the couple contact Jenny Ingles for assistance.
Where Do I Send Woman/Couples to Learn a Method?
For women/couples who are trying to figure out which method will work best for them, we have a Method Overview Page that helps them decide.
For Spanish-Speaking woman/couples
For the Billings Method
For the Marquette Method
For the Sympto-Thermal Method