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An Educated, Artsy-Fartsy Protestant’s Thoughts on Natural Family Planning

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Kathleen at Project M.  I strongly encourage, even challenge, you to read this post.  I was seriously moved by Kathleen’s honesty and candidness.  But most of all I was inspired by her willingness to keep an open mind about a subject that flies in the face of what our culture teaches us all about sexuality.  We’re different in a lot of ways, but Kathleen has certainly earned my deepest respect.  Plus, she’s funny.

I am an educated, fanArtsy Fartsy and Natural Family Plannning?cy-pants, trendy individual. I have two completely useless liberal-arts degrees to prove it. So of course, like other liberal-arts-educated and trendy individuals, I am drawn to the word “natural.” It makes us organic-eating tree-huggers think of healthy bodies, uncorrupted oceans and virginal rainforests.

But like other fancy-pants, artistic types, I’m less enthusiastic about the word “planning.” It makes us think of boring charts, legal documents and architectural blueprints. Who wants to plan? I prefer the idea of being able to spontaneously decide, “I would like to eat a bagel today,” or “I want to have a baby.” So I’ve always had mixed feelings about “natural family planning.” The first part makes me go “Yay!” and the last part makes me go “Boooooo.”

I’ve also never known much about natural family planning. I always just had this vague idea that it was this Catholic thing that was supposed to prevent unwanted pregnancies but didn’t work very well. That is, I believed this until I came across Engaged Marriage.

My Mind Opens

Not only was I incredibly impressed by the blog overall, but I was also intrigued by its informative coverage of NFP. It didn’t take long before I was thinking to myself, “I really need to rethink some of my opinions on natural family planning.” After reading everything Dustin had written on the subject, I began to go beyond his blog to do other internet searches and learn more. And I was continually impressed by what I learned. I started to feel that everyone needed to be exposed to this really cool but highly misunderstood phenomenon.

So I had Dustin tell me and my readers more about NFP. I grilled him with my most pressing questions about NFP, and even asked a couple of my friends for their questions, too.

Dustin kindly answered all my questions, and let me post them on my blog. I was incredibly pleased with everything he had to say. Here are a couple of my responses and reactions to what I learned from him.

(As a note, though, in case you are new to my writing, I am currently trying to get pregnant, so I’m not switching to NFP at the moment).

Some Candid Reactions to This NFP Thing

1. At first I was surprised (and a little skeptical) to hear that NFP has about a 99% success rate, but when I learned more about it I understood why it was so reliable. And I became a lot less scared of it. See, one reason I had never really considered NFP was because my menstrual cycles are so irregular. Like reeeeally irregular – completely unpredictable. My instinctive response was, “It sounds cool, but it won’t work for me because I’m a freak.” I thought it was only for “normal,” 28-day women. But not only did Dustin explain to me that it works for irregular cycles too, because it tracks your fertility through your bodily signs rather than by a calendar, but he explained that his wife was just as irregular as I am. And NFP worked for them! Phew! Maybe it can work for me, too.

And, anyways, I’ve come to learn that the Pill isn’t nearly as reliable as people think it is. We’re always told that the Pill is 99% effective. What we don’t hear is that the given number is only true if the woman taking it never makes any mistakes, and doesn’t take anything that interferes with its effectiveness.

I swear to you, I personally know three women who have gotten pregnant while on the Pill. I’m not sure if they missed a pill or took it too late one day or whatever, but they definitely have babies when they did not intend to have them. The point is, people make mistakes, and as a result the Pill often fails, too. The fact that NFP isn’t 100% effective shouldn’t make us any more nervous than the Pill does, because it also isn’t 100%. They’re very comparable. NFP is only ineffective if its practitioners don’t do it right . . . which is the same problem as with the Pill!

2. I’m not a Catholic, and I’m not sure how strongly I feel about the possibly-abortifacient nature of the Pill (I probably should feel stronger about it because I’m pro-life), but I am still pretty convinced, now, that NFP is the best birth control option out there.

Dustin pointed out that there are two other problems with the Pill, besides the commonly-identified religious ones. But I think they’re both very relevant to all spiritual people.

The first is health: I, like most Christians, believe that our bodies are our temples, and that we are responsible for taking the best care of them we can. If the Pill compromises our health, we should reconsider its merit.

The second is the environment: I believe God made us stewards of this earth, and we are responsible for its health, too. Polluting our water with artificial hormones (which in turn influences our health) and filling our landfills with condoms does not sound like responsible stewardship, especially if there are known alternatives like NFP.

A third reason I am beginning to protest against the Pill, though, is its cost. Again, this has to do with stewardship. God made me responsible for taking care of my material resources. And you’re telling me that there is an absolutely FREE method of birth control out there, but I’ve been paying for potentially-harmful pills to do the same thing for the last four years of my life? Man! How irresponsible of me! I could have been using that cash to make the world a better place. Think of all the money that we could all save if we stopped taking the Pill!

3. I thought Dustin made an excellent point when he said that the reason people don’t hear about NFP is because there’s no money in it. What a good friggin’ point! All of a sudden, the Pill has a sinister side to it that I never before acknowledged. Of course doctors and pharmacists are going to push the Pill: it’s profitable! NFP will never be profitable because there’s nothing to sell. Of course the people on top are not going to waste their time explaining to you that you could get the same thing for free.

If I had no other reason, I think I would still want to promote NFP at this point just to stick it to the Man. Down with Big Pharma! Down with greedy, corporate America! Viva la revolución! Who’s with me? Sorry, that was my liberal-arts education getting the best of me again.

4. Since learning about NFP from Dustin and others, I have had to start changing the question from “Why not take the Pill?” to “Why take the Pill?” And I am coming up short of good answers.

I think Brian Killian, from Nuptial Mystery, says it well when he says this: “Contraception was invented for a single purpose, to maximize the possibility of indulgence while minimizing the consequences.” How true. The Pill is essentially just designed as an easy way out. (You Catholic readers have probably heard all of this stuff already. But most of us Gen Y evangelicals have never given it a moment’s thought before).

So, then, why use the Pill? Because I want to be able to indulge every urge we have, whenever we want, without having to think about it? That sounds lazy and selfish. If I go off the Pill, that just means I have to start paying attention to my body, and communicating with my husband about my body, and deciding together with him what we want in life. If I stop using the Pill, my husband and I will have to talk about whether fulfilling a particular urge at a particular moment will bring us closer to getting the things we both want in life. These all sound like good things, not bad things. Why have I been avoiding them for the last four years?

Lastly: I’ve come to see that NFP actually allows you to be more spontaneous with your procreative choices. You can decide to go for it at any time, because NFP is easily reversible. With the Pill, on the other hand, you often have to wait several months to get the hormones out of your system. I wanted to use the Pill because I thought it gave me more control over my reproduction, but I have learned that it actually gives me less control. OK, this isn’t true for everybody: some lucky buggers [*ahem* - Dustin and his wife] can still get pregnant the second they go off the Pill [*sigh*]; but for the rest of us, saying No to the Pill from the get-go looks more like a blessing.

Am I Sold on Natural Family Planning?

OK, I have to admit, there are some really nice things about being on the Pill. The most important one for me is what it did for my skin. I am a rather vain person, and I have struggled with acne since I was eleven. So I was thrilled that Diane-35, which I used for both my acne and for contraceptive purposes, made it a lot better. Since going off of it, my skin has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. This makes me very sad. Honestly, I cry about it regularly. But like I said – it’s a matter of vanity, and I don’t think I ought to compromise my health and my integrity for my looks. But dang, it’s hard.

Second, as I’ve already mentioned, I’ve always had crazy-irregular menstrual cycles. The Pill made it so much more regular. It was nice to be able to expect my period just by looking at how many pills I had left in the pack. But if it takes chemicals and foreign hormones to get that regularity, I don’t think it’s worth it. I’ll just have to learn about my body better so I can better identify the signs of oncoming menstruation, and be prepared for it at all times.

Ultimately, though, I think the bad things about the Pill outweigh the good, and the opposite is true for NFP. Someday, when I’m trying to not have kids again, I am going to very seriously consider NFP. Thanks, Dustin, for teaching me about it!

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About Dustin

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

Comments

  1. Fabulous post! You write very well and are very entertaining! Plus you have some very good points! Thanks for being brave enough to spread the good news of NFP! Thought I might mention that NFP will help you acheive pregnancy by pinpointing your fertile times, so if you are having trouble concieving you might consider that. Also NFP will help you expect your menstruation. If you use a sympto-thermal method, your temperature shift should occur 10-14 days prior to menstruation (unless you are having luteal phase fertility problems-in which case you’ll be able to identify those and seek the help of a doctor etc). So you can be ready. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Children = Happiness =-.

    • Thanks, Sarah! I think I will have to start using NFP to try to achieve pregnancy. All around, it sounds valuable to start paying closer attention to my body. It seems it has a lot of benefits. I guess I will have to retrieve my thermometer from the back of my bathroom closet.

      • Melissa says:

        Also, Creighton Model Fertility Care System is excellent for women with irregular cycles. (I am one of those!) One woman I know achieved pregnancy after years of unsuccess simply because she was not aware of her fertile times in her cycle. I hope things work for you, and thank you for your comments. I enjoyed reading!

  2. Batrice Adcock says:

    Yes, NFP is close to 100% effective for achieving pregnancy by the 6th cycle of trying. That will give you a nice head start too, for when you need the knowledge to avoid pregnancy.

    If you want to learn more about observing your cervical fluid, which is the most important fertility indicator for the purposes of achieving pregnancy, look at: http://nfp.marquette.edu/monitor_cervical_mucus.php

    It is short with nice pictures.

    You need to know too, that there are good alternatives for treating acne and irregular cycles other than the pill. A nice brochure to take a look at “Alternatives to the Pill”, by Lilli Cote, MD, is at: http://omsoul.com/catalog/alternatives-to-the-pill-p1005.html

    I appreciate your reflections. They are a common progression for anyone coming to accept NFP, Catholic or not.

    Batrice Adcock
    bnadcock@charlottediocese.org

  3. We used NFP for quite a while, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned above. We used it in conjunction with a barrier method, though (for fertile times), because it seems very unfair for especially for the woman to have to abstain at the time of month when she is most interested in sex!

    I have severe hyperemesis with my pregnancies, so we took permanent measures to ensure no more pregnancies around here (we got pregnant with #4 during a wonky cycle I had after I quit nursing #3), as my health would be compromised. I think NFP is great for spacing kids, though, when getting pregnant accidentally wouldn’t be a life or death matter.
    .-= Kristen@TheFrugalGirl´s last blog ..Wednesday Baking | Apricot Coffee Cake =-.

    • Batrice Adcock says:

      Kristen, using NFP during the postpartum time to avoid pregnancy can be challenging. It is doable however and meets the same high effectiveness rate. It often requires more learning on your part and the support of a good teacher. I’ve just been through the postpartum time myself and would be glad to talk if you’d like.

      If you chose sterilization as your permanent birth control, you might want to look at:
      http://onemoresoul.com/category/contraception/sterilization

      Batrice Adcock
      bnadcock@charlottediocese.org

      • However, my husband and I have come a long way in our marriage over the last 8 years and have grown quite a bit in our relationship. Although I am sure we have lots more years of growing left to do! One thing I have learned over the years during periods of abstinence is how to be less selfish in my thoughts and in my actions. Both sexually and in everyday matters. It is particularly selfish for me to believe that I am entitled to have sex, simply because my body is sexually aroused….
        .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Not just for Catholics…. =-.

    • Hi Kristen,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences! I wanted to try and respond to one of your comments. You feel it’s unfair that the woman should have to abstain during the time when she is most easily aroused. You are right that most women are more easily aroused during the fertile period. When I was first married, I did find it more challenging to abstain during those times and can remember thinking that it just didn’t seem fair.

      To illustrate, let me tell you how it makes me feel when a man makes a similar comment. “Why can’t I have sex whenever I want, after all I’m married? I want to be spontaneous. I don’t want some one telling me when I can or can’t have sex.” These are real comments I have heard, more than once, from men (not my husband-he’s a wonderful guy and fully embraced NFP when I mentioned it to him-even though he wasn’t Catholic!). But this is how they make me feel as a woman: used! They make me feel like a sex object, used for the mere purpose of satisfying a sexual itch!

      .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Not just for Catholics…. =-.

    • The thing that we’ve found most powerful about NFP during periods of abstinence is what we learn about truly ‘loving’ each other, self sacrifice, dying to our own selfish wants and putting the person who is our spouse above ourselves.
      Periods of abstinence also have helped us appreciate each other and the marital embrace that much more. Yes, they can be difficult, but they can be times of growth as individuals and as a couple.

      Another thought that I had about abstinence is wonderfully stated in a quote that I found not long ago: One time I asked my mom if she thought our reasons for postponing were serious enough, and she replied, “How’s the abstinence going?” I said that we were doing just fine and not having any disagreements about it, and she replied, “Then your reasons are good enough. When your heart and will are united to God’s, He gives you the grace to abstain fruitfully.”
      I thought this was just so ideal. There have been times during our marriage that we’ve found abstinence difficult and have decided on the spur of the moment that we would truly welcome another one of God’s gifts to our family. And then there have been other times when abstinence comes very easily.

      .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Not just for Catholics…. =-.

    • I know this comment is running on, but I had one more thought regarding abstinence when we women are most aroused. My thought was about teenagers, or unmarried individuals. What are we going to tell our teens when they come to us and want to have sex. Well, mom and dad, I reallllly love this guy (or girl), I am verrrrry sexually aroused (OK they probably won’t say that!), whhhhy can’t I have sex with them, it just doesn’t seem fair. With all these feelings, I should be able to act on them, right? (Today’s media says YES!) Do you see what concerns me? Self control is a good thing, but something that has to be learned, and taught even. And yes, it is hard, as any teenager will be more than happy to tell you! I remember!

    • Just one last thing, if you’ll allow me! Regarding NFP for dire, life and death reasons, I completely understand why you chose sterilization, it’s a very scary situation. I just wanted to share that I have read stories from couples who were also in dire circumstances, but chose to stick with NFP because of their deep religious convictions. I believe they used more conservative rules etc. Very inspirational.

      Also, it is possible to use NFP during the postpartum, but yes it can be difficult and a bit more challenging! This is why CCL offers a class specifically on the postpartum period. We are currently in the postpartum period right now and having to deal with crazy fertility/mucus signs. This too shall pass.

      Ok, I had to break that comment up so much because they were thinking it was SPAM…hmmmm anyway, hope it’s helpful and have a very merry Christmas!

  4. Hi Kathleen!
    I agree with your other commenters about using NFP to achieve pregnancy, and predict your cycles. I, also, have wildly irregular cycles and I can now predict with a good amount of accuracy when the next one is coming thanks to NFP!

    Funny enough, I was also on Diane-35 way back when, and I don’t know if things have changed but last I heard its NOT FDA approved as Birth Control. There was a report about it on one of the news magazine shows a few years ago, about how doctors prescribe it as birth control, but its not intended or tested or approved as such. I read everything in the little info sheet that comes with the Diane-35 and if you notice, there is not ONE mention of birth control or effectiveness. Its a cycle regularity/acne treatment – hence why I was on it myself (before birth control was needed :) ) and I TOTALLY relate about wanting that acne-free skin back!! But read the fine print. Unless things have changed, its not actually at a high enough dose to be effective birth control. Just thought you should know….

    ~Jennifer

  5. Batrice Adcock says:

    I meant to mention also that I read research recently that points to a second time in the cycle of increased libido for women, during the luteal phase, which is infertile. I hear so often women pointing out that NFP is problematic because it denies women the opportunity to be with their spouses when they most want to, but this research, obviously, is in support of NFP on this point. I cannot find where I bookmarked the article. NFPWorks, can you locate that article?

    Also, and interesting article on increased cost of contraceptives on college campuses over the last year at:
    http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=7685&wf=rsscol

  6. Andy Jobst says:

    Ok, time to hear from a guy about this? Kathleen, I would encourage you to make sure that your husband learns just as much about NFP as you have and that he fully participates in the process. Without him it is going to be something that is always on you to be the gatekeeper of your sexual relationship. Since my wife and I have practiced NFP I have a much more profound and deep love for her than I could have ever imagined. I am less selfish about what I want(in and out of the bedroom) and can focus on her needs, especially during times to abstain, it truly does deepen a relationship. There is so much more to go into about NFP from a husband’s perspective, so maybe that would give you some fuel to put together another great article…enough for now. :-) Many blessings-Andy Jobst

    • Thanks for mentioning that, Andy. I have been communicating so much with other women on the subject that I have forgotten to talk about it just as much with my husband. You probably make an excellent point when you say that without his full involvement, I could end up being the “gatekeeper of [our] sexual relationship,” which is a role I definitely would not want. I really appreciate how you and Dustin both talk about how important it is to you, as husbands, to fully participate in the whole thing. It’s romantic. I would love that for our marriage, too. Thanks for your comments!

  7. I shared the same skin issues and found significant relief while on hormonal contraception… however, since I’ve found BareMinerals make up (and use the foundation every single day no matter what) my skin has had DRAMATIC improvement. Just a thought…

    NFP can also HELP you get pregnant when you are trying… knowing your cycles and body rhythms can be of huge assistance.

    As for the crazy, irregular cycles… I was also right there with you (have you been checked for PCOS? Irregular menses and acne are both symptoms). But with PRAYER, things have changed! I can’t believe I never thought of praying for my reproductive help before.

    Also… diet changes help a ton! Especially if you have PCOS which is often linked to insulin resistance… bye-bye refined sugars!
    .-= Polka Dot Mommy´s last blog ..Gluten Free Dumplings =-.

  8. Kathleen, I liked your post so much I linked to it over at my blog. Well done. I thought it was authentic and well written. I love that you get how much of a money maker the Pill is. If you ever watch PBS’s “The Pill,” you’ll see one of the biggest motivators for Pill manufacturers was and is CA$H. Did you know doctors get rebates for prescribing the Pill?

    I had some thoughts about your trying to get pregnant, which Batrice also picked up on.

    I’m going to jump on the “here’s a link/ resource you can check out” train, but I think you’ll find them insightful and perhaps helpful.

    A great resource for achieving a pregnancy or even just getting that reproductive cycle health in order is Marilyn Shannon’s “Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition.” It’s an NFP Classic, and super helpful for figuring out how your diet affects your fertility. If you want to give a financial nod to Dustin for being a good blogger-buddy, you can click any one of his Amazon links, look for Shannon’s book, and he gets a little credit!

    Most or all NFP methods are excellent for learning about your cycle in order to achieve pregnancy or figure out sub-fertility (a year of “random” intercourse unsuccessful or 3-5 months of “targeted” intercourse using NFP), but the Creighton Model (an Ovulation method) is sort of the Gold Standard for achieving/ figuring out wacky fertility (I have ‘wacky’ fertility). http://www.fertilitycare.org

    Lastly, please don’t think I’m judging or being a nag, but if you consider yourself pro life (awesome–way to be counter-cultural, you liberal arts lady!), you should do some more research and discerning on the abortafacient factor. There’s a good YouTube video on it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiCU46_lWeE .
    .-= Nfpworks´s last blog ..An Educated, Artsy-Fartsy Protestant on NFP =-.

    • Thanks for pointing me to these useful resources. I am definitely interested in getting an actual BOOK I can read rather than so many websites, so thanks. I’ll look into the one you mentioned specifically.

      And you’re right, I should do more research into the abortifacient factor. The truth is, since my fellow evangelicals have never given it much thought, I’ve just kind of ignored the issue until now. I know that’s no excuse — I’ve just been lazy. I really intend to think about it more seriously now that you guys have brought it to my attention. Thanks so much!

      • You’re welcome. It’s only by God’s grace and providence that *I’ve* been introduced to these resources, so it’s a responsibility to spread the love!

        Again, your honesty about your discernment on the abortafacient effect is refreshing. I’m glad that you take that seriously. I’ll be praying for your journey. As you progress, I’d love to hear from you, and if you feel like giving the guest post thing another go, I’d love to have you guest post over at Natural Family Planning.
        .-= Nfpworks´s last blog ..New Feature: Think Again Thursdays! =-.

  9. Great post! I was not raised Catholic (am Catholic now), and was unaware of the bad things of the Pill until I’d been on it for years. Now I’m a Billings Ovulation Method instructor. :-) (As a side note, I think it’s great that there are many different methods of NFP that fit different personalities and such). I’ve always had weird cycles, so I can relate to that bit. Oh, and we used the BOM to conceive as well. I’m also quite the geek and love knowing what’s going on with my body at any given day. lol

  10. It does seem as if people using NFP have larger families than those using contraception, which gives rise to the perception that NFP doesn’t work that great. But I think the real reason is that abstinence is a big sacrifice. It hurts enough that many couples probably realize that the reasons they had though were so serious for avoiding children, were maybe not as serious as they thought and so they choose not to abstain. Hence the larger families.

    It’s like nature’s way of ensuring that one’s motivation is truly grave and serious for avoiding a pregnancy. It’s simply not doable if your reasons are stupid and superficial! They won’t hold up to that inexorable force pulsating through Nature to generate life. Contraception just lets couples indulge their more selfish motives for avoiding children.

    I wouldn’t say that not being able to have sex during the woman’s fertile time is unfair. I would say it “sucks”. However, one should ask the question: “am I really getting what I want?” when you indulge in a contraceptive sex act? Does that kind of act really satisfy the desire of your soul? Is that desire really reducible to physical satisfaction, or is it really a longing for communion with your spouse? And does the desired communion with your spouse really have nothing at all to do with one’s fertility?

    What I am suggesting is that the barrier in sex during the fertile times may actually be acting as a barrier to more than just sperm. It may also be a barrier to love, a barrier to communion, a barrier to participation. It’s a counterfeit lovemaking. It’s not really an option.

    I totally understand the temptation — because abstaining during that time really does suck. But I think if a person is really honest with himself/herself, they can see that they are not giving themselves what they really desire, and that the actions they are engaging in are not very satisfying.

    And thanks for the link Kathleen.
    .-= Brian Killian´s last blog ..Making the Body Love =-.

    • Andy Jobst says:

      Lots to agree with here Brian! Brian mentions that contracepting is accepting a counterfeit lovemaking. This is very true. One of the best speakers that explains this concept is Christopher West and his explanation of how it fits in with the Theology of the Body. Another person is Patty Schneier who uses his material in her talks. Please google either one of them if interested in more resources about that, but basically the litmus test of “real love” has to be:
      Free (giving of oneself to another freely, not guilited or forced into intimacy)
      Faithful (marital covenant-not just the person that makes me feel good at the time)
      Total (Not holding anything back-contraception is not a Total giving of one’s self)
      Fruitful (not only being open to conceiving and bringing forth new life, but also building up the spirit of one another)

      Living an NFP lifestyle as a married couple is the only one that passes the test!

      – Some additional food for thought…
      Enjoy & REJOICE!

      • I LOVE PATTY SCHNEIER! She’s a hero of mine. We brought her to Madison last year for part of our Humanae Vitae Lecture series, and she was a hit–with a variety of people. Plus, personally, she’s just a lovely, holy woman. http://www.pattyschneier.com. Favorite CDS: “Prove it, God!” and “Parents, Get Real!” The latter is a talk for parents on how to talk to kids about love & sex, which frankly is really a talk for the parents because she includes a section on contraception, which most parents are using.
        .-= Nfpworks´s last blog ..New Feature: Think Again Thursdays! =-.

    • I’m with Andy – you make some terrific, thought-provoking points (as usual). I think you make a brilliant observation: barrier contraceptives may be creating more barriers in our relationships than we realize. I also love the thought that the sexual drive is nature’s way of forcing us to rethink our reasons for avoiding children. Awesome stuff here. Thanks for your insights in the matter!

  11. As I get the time that each incredible comment deserves, I do plan to go through and leave some individual replies. However, I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who has read this post, shared it with friends and social networks, and commented above.

    It is absolutely thrilling to see such a committed community of friends sharing and working together in the interest of improving marriages and shedding some much needed light on the power and practicality of Natural Family Planning.

    And Kathleen, I offer you a heartfelt thanks again for your open, honest and entertaining perspective on this counter-cultural topic. It is normal, non-dogmatic folks like you that will help advance the cause of NFP into the mainstream. You Rock, my friend!

    Please everyone tells your friends about this post and about Engaged Marriage. You can use the “Sharing is Sexy” buttons below to make it easy to spread the word!

  12. Hey Everyone! I thought you would think it was cool that Engaged Marriage and Project M have been featured in an article about Natural Family Planning! You can read it here:

    http://www.naturalfamilyplanningchicago.com/2009/12/22/new-marriage-blog-draws-thousands-to-discuss-sexuality-nfp/

  13. Great post, I stumbled it! I came to the same conclusions a few years ago and haven’t looked back!

    *also, as to the irregular cycles, that has always been my biggest problem reproductively speaking, but through dietary changes I was able to go from a couple cycles randomly throughout the year to regular cycles!! It’s all about nourishing our bodies and feeding it what it needs! It also helps with acne. :-) Toxins in = toxins out, your body has to get rid of excess hormones and toxins somehow.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Donielle! I love to find others with such passion and knowledge about this topic. Your site looks fantastic! I just followed you on Twitter.

  14. For those who need/appreciate a little hard data: Use Effectiveness for Avoiding Pregnancy http://www.reproductivemedicine.com/toc/auto_abstract.php?id=9549
    Overview of Creighton Model and NaproTechnology http://www.popepaulvi.com/PDF/AgentsofChange.pdf
    Infertility and Naprotechnology Success http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/content/full/21/5/375?eaf

    These studies are specific to the Creighton Model of NFP. For more info see http://www.fertilitycare.org
    To note, the above listed 1998 effectiveness study has been redone and will be published this 2010 (same great results!)

  15. What a wonderful post. Thoroughly enjoyed it and every comment as well. I can’t tell you the last time I saw so much positive feedback. I am going to add another thought; a few years ago my husband and I purchased a book called “Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving” by Gregory Popcak PhD. It touches on the values of NFP, but gives a beautiful and wholistic approach to how awesome sex really is. Don’t let the word Catholic throw you. For a non-Catholic reader, you would be surprised what the Church teaches about sex. I cannot say enough good things about this book and what it has done for our marriage.

    • Thank you so much, Kate! I’ve heard some many good things about the Holy Sex book, and I’ll have to check it out. I agree that most people have NO idea what the Church teaches about sex.

  16. great post- I think you have given people a lot to think about

    —if you listen to birth control and IUD advertisements with all the warnings and such, it makes NFP even a better choice!

  17. Loved this post! Don’t have time to read all the other comments, so please forgive me if I repeat anything. You can definitely use NFP to GET pregnant – check it out! Also, my daughter went off all gluten and her face cleared up in 1 week! Strange but true! Hope it helps!

  18. Deborah B. says:

    This was an excellent post. I’m happy to see a protestant take the side of NFP (I am Roman Catholic, so I’ve taken NFP’s side for awhile now. . .). I only want to point out one thing, as far as having a regular cycle goes. The Pill often suppresses ovulation, which means that any bleeding you have while on the Pill, isn’t a real true period. The reason a woman will still have bleeding, is because the Pill thickens the walls of the uterus, and it still needs to shed each month, and thus, you have bleeding. But, if ovulation didn’t happen, then it isn’t considered a real period, but vaginal bleeding instead.

    Thank you for writing this post, I very much appreciate seeing someone who isn’t Catholic write about NFP.

  19. Vanity or not, did you know that acne and irregular cycles are both signs of a hormonal imbalance? Not only does NFP help with avoiding or achieving pregnancy, but tracking your fertility can offer a legitimate head’s up when there’s a health problem, so you can correct it. Correcting an underlying problem can assist with conception, but is also important for overall health. The Pill can alleviate acne, but it doesn’t address why you were experiencing it in the first place. Just thought I’d let you know that!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] on the subject! Maybe I was a little too enthusiastic. I wrote a lot. Nevertheless, you can find my response over on his cool blog. He gave me the thumbs-up on entitling it “An Educated, Artsy-Fartsy [...]

  2. [...] View original here:  An Educated, Artsy-Fartsy Protestant’s Thoughts on Natural Family Planning [...]

  3. [...] January 14, 2010 by Kathleen Quiring If you’ve been reading my blog or engaging in real-life conversation with me in the last couple of months, you know that I’ve been reading, thinking, writing, and even starting to practice Natural Family Planning (NFP). You know that I came across the idea when I came across Engaged Marriage, and after having Dustin tell me more about it, I began writing about it myself. [...]

  4. [...] can work with such a natural method of planning a family.  I’ve even encouraged an artsy-fartsy Protestant woman to share her own thoughts on [...]

  5. [...] previously contributed an awesome post called An Educated, Artsy-Fartsy Protestant’s Thoughts on Natural Family Planning that you should also check [...]

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