Stirrings of the Spirit

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The beauty of NFP

It is currently Natural Family Planning Awareness Week.  There are blog entries all over the place dedicated to this, so I’m just going to throw in my two cents worth. 

Natural Family Planning is a term that refers to a variety of family planning methods that don’t use artificial contraception.  They are methods that have been approved by the Catholic Church in keeping with the philosophy of the dignity of the human person.

Growing up as a Catholic, I knew of the existance of Natural Family Planning.  My dad, in his pro-life involvement, often left brochures lying around about the dangers of the Birth Control Pill, which I would have seen and noted in my subconscious, but no real information was ever given to me about Natural Family Planning.  It was on my list of things that I would learn about later in life.

I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome at seventeen.  The treatment the doctor put me on was the birth control pill.  Even with the dangers of the pill in my subconscious, I went along with it, because I didn’t know any better.  And I stayed on it for the next 10 years, until I became engaged.

My husband and I signed up for a class to learn the Billings Method. It was probably quite confronting for the both of us.  It was very detailed and my husband learnt the names of parts of the female reproductive system that he didn’t know existed.  When we got over the shock of discussing cervical mucus with a stranger, the whole thing was fascinating. 

I learnt how my body worked. I learnt how to know what my body was telling me. For the first time in my life, I finally got it. That even with all the irregularities that my body had, it made sense.  This is the great gift that NFP gave me; that it taught me about my body and how it worked.  Things that had been hidden and disguised for years by being on the pill were now embraced. 

learning NFP has been such an empowering experience for me.  Women around me seem stuck in this trap where their fertility is treated like a disease that needs to be stopped, and turned back on again when it suits them.  Our fertility isn’t a disease. It is a gift to be embraced.  My only regret is that I never bothered to learn about it earlier.  I think this knowledge would have been extremely helpful in the years after my diagnosis in learning about my fertility and the condition I have.

I love that NFP is also completely natural.  With a recent trend with being more environmentally friendly, I’m surprised that more people aren’t making the switch to NFP.  I don’t know much about the production of artificial birth control like the pill or condoms, but I imagine that it probably pumps a fair amount of carbon into the atmosphere, all for a matter of ‘convenience’.   I have several friends who are making the switch to organic vegetables and meat, as its better for the environment, and I’m always surprised to discover they are still taking the pill.  They usually just refuse to try any method of NFP. 

Artificial Birth control has become such an ingrained part of our society, that its the people who aren’t using it that are dismissed as being the strange ones.  On the times that I reveal that I use NFP, I am dismissed as being an ultra-committed Catholic.  I’d love to share my experiences with more people, but I’m usually shut down soon after its brought up in conversation. 

For some other blogs that better describe the awesomeness of NFP try: 

LIberator of Women; a guest post by My Feminine Mind in No Wealth But Life

NFP’s Many Benefits at Plot Line and Sinker

Five Good Reasons You Haven’t Tried It Yet at Engaged Marriage

And there are many more out there


July 27, 2011 Posted by | Faith, Life | , , , , , , | 2 Comments