Do you practice NFP?


#1

I’m learning about NFP with my serious boyfriend. As I do this, I hear mutterings from teachers of NFP about “dirty looks” from engaged couples in their Catholic marriage prep classes.

I’m curious, how many Catholics out there actually believe in the value of NFP and practice it? What do you do?


#2

My dh and I practice NFP for several reasons. We both agree with what the Church says about it and the first point is a key one for us.

"The spouses have the inalienable right to found a family and to decide on the spacing of births and the number of children to be born, taking into full consideration their duties towards themselves, their children already born, the family and society".

“The use of the natural methods gives a couple an openness to life, which is truly a splendid gift of God’s goodness. It also helps them **deepen their conjugal communication **and draw closer to one another in their union - a closeness that lasts throughout their lives”

The Church does not give exclusive approval to any one natural method, but urges that all be made available and be respected. The ultimate reason for any natural method is not simply its biological effectiveness or reliability, but its consistency with a Christian view of sexuality as expressive of conjugal love


#3

So GREAT that you are learning about NFP with your serious bf! It is so important to talk about all sorts of marriage and family related issues with someone who you are discerning marriage with.

As for my vote, I went with the first option. My fiance and I have been learning NFP for about 6 months now, and we both love it so far. I have learned so much about my own health (there’s more to those simple observations than you might think!), and I can’t imagine introducing hormones or other chemicals into my body. I have seen just how a little bit of stress can affect my cycle…but introducing massive amounts of hormones to try to control it? No way!

As we’re not married yet, we haven’t used NFP to avoid or conceive yet, so no experience in that department, but we both have studied the theology of the body and have talked a lot about discerning God’s will for our family. We know it won’t always be easy, but trust that God has a great plan for us!


#4

I’m menopausal but I have to admit that ABC was always a part of my marriage since at the time I got married the question of contraception never came up. In a previous encounter with a priest a few years before I got married, we had been told that ABC was fine as long as we had a valid reason to use it (this was in the early 70s and priests all over Canada were saying the same thing). I never heard of NFP until after our 3 child was born and DH had had a vasectomy. At that time my pastor was a priest whose Master’s Degree thesis was all about why ABC was fine for Catholics.

It seems pointless to say that if I were starting over today NFP would be part of my life. I’m sure most people would just think “Easy to say when you don’t have to use it.”


#5

We struggled with NFP as newlweds–wanted to follow the Church’s teachings, but lacked discipline. We toyed with condoms, thinking that they might be o.k, but knowing in our hearts that they weren’t. We did not have good examples of couples who were open to life. After much discussion, talking with couples we respected… reading the Catechism, we decided to follow the Church’s teaching on married love. We had 5 boys in 6 and 1/2 years. My cousin was worried about using NFP when she got married saying to me, “but it didn’t work for you.” I shared with her that NFP had indeed worked for us, we had 5 beautiful sons! They may not have been our plan, but i am most certain that they were God’s plan. He knew our hearts and He blessed us with the most precious gifts on earth–even though we were reluctant to receive those gifts.

Children are a blessing, not a curse. Our society treats them as trophies–put your 2 children trophies up on the mantle for all to see. Isn’t it funny that people celebrate that 1st baby, then the 2nd baby, but when you start having more than 2 they start asking rude questions. What are you doing? trying for a girl? How many times I have heard that one? No we aren’t trying for a girl, we would gladly accept another boy from the Lord. They just don’t get it. It isn’t about us and what we want. It is about being open to life and being generous with our fertility to God. He wants these souls for heaven. He calls them into being, but we must be open to life and cooperate with Him.

We now have 8 boys ranging from ages 18 down to 1 yr. old. I am 44 years old and wouldn’t change my life for the world! The last 3 have been spaced 3-4 yrs. apart from each other using NFP very loosely. We give God plenty of room to sneak in another one if it be His will. It is not an easy road, but it is a most fulfilling one. Our children sanctify us, we are better people because they are in our lives.


#6

My answer is not there ‘None of the above’

You see, we tried NFP (Billings and Sympto-Thermal) and couldn’t pinpoint ovulation even with several tutors who all said ‘Looks like you’re not ovulating at all’, but as we have 2 girls we know THAT’s not true…obviously I’ve ovulated sometime!

So…we don’t use ANYTHING, I got too frustrated trying to track my cycles and in the end we just thought ‘What will be will be!’…3.5 years of ‘unprotected sex’ later and I’m still not pregnant…:shrug:


#7

The third poll option is very negatively slanted. Not all who use artificial birth control would agree with that. It could be used the same way as NFP, with the same intent (and yes, I know all the arguments against ABC - just saying that using it does not necessarily equal not giving that area over to God).

I’m in a serious relationship which will probably lead to marriage sometime in the next two or three years. I took a one-credit class which ended up being an NFP class, but the charting doesn’t really make sense to me.

I know that in the future I will NOT be using birth control pills because of the side effects. It’ll probably be condoms, NFP, or nothing - and right now I’m leaning heavily towards the nothing. God has a reason for each of us to be born - we don’t often have any idea what that reason is, but there is one. I believe that He is very involved in the conception of every child. If we can’t leave to God the planning of our families, then we have serious trust issues. He takes care of us.

It probably helps that my parents have this same philosophy (or had - but then again, they just had baby number 9, so…). I also know that people do this and do NOT immediately get pregnant…no birth control/NFP DOES NOT MEAN automatic large family.

I would probably use NFP in the event of serious health issues on my part. I would probably not use it if my reason was just that I didn’t quite know how things would work out if another baby came. But again, this is all a couple years in the future, I guess it could change… :slight_smile:


#8

How WOULD you phrase it, since in fairness, contraception violates Church teachings? Is there a nicer way to sugar coat what amounts to disregarding the Church?

I think it is a pretty apt option, as worded. It doesn’t talk down with regards to the option, but states the prevailing attitude with regards to not choosing abstinence or NFP.


#9

My husband and I are in the process of converting from protestantism, and we were encouraged to use birth control at one of our pre-marriage counseling sessions. We never knew any different. So we used contraceptives until last week when we were reading one of Scott Hahn’s books and there was some talk of birth control and the Catholic teachings. We decided then and there to stop using contraceptives.

I’ve been charting my cycles for over a year so switching to NFP will be good. We’re trying to delay pregnancy for a little bit because I don’t have medical coverage yet (I should get it at some point this year, and once I have it we’ll probably use NFP to achieve pregnancy).

Oh, I should add that both of us would be thrilled if I got pregnant now, though we would have to put a lot of trust in God to help us provide financially, considering medical bills would be pretty steep. :slight_smile:


#10

This poll is missing the norm, which is nothing! Ideally a couple would be able to welcome children as they come, naturally spaced 2-3 years apart. Unfortunately, sometimes the natural spacing does not work in this fallen world. And sometimes there are circumstances which necessitate postponing pregnancy.

NFP is not an intrinsic part of marriage. It is a an exception, a tool, given to us by a benevolent Creator for those times when Nature does not work as designed, or when the circumstances of a fallen world lead us to postpone pregnancy.


#11

Even if Hell froze over and the Catholic Church allowed contraception I still wouldn’t use it.

One, because hormonal contraception (pills, IUDs, etc) mess up your body’s natural harmony of hormones.

Two, barrier methods is more like making war than love. “Let me put on a latex sheath to PROTECT MYSELF from YOU.” Nah, not for me. Make love, not war.


#12

My wife and I feel the same way.


#13

Since you were so brave to write this I shall admit to *exactly *the same – except I was in the US, not Canada. So that’s two of us . . . at least.


#14

Stratus, you crack me up…but I couldn’t have said it better myself!

I think there is some confusion in how people are talking about NFP here. In itself, NFP is neutral; it is neither used to achieve nor avoid. I am practicing NFP right now…in a chaste/celibate pre-marital relationship. I think every woman should practice NFP, simply because it is SO good for your health to be able to understand your cycle. It is when you get into the realms of either trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy that it becomes a moral question.


#15

Rach620

I know exactly what you were saying, but I suggest we use different terms. You are using the acronym “NFP” to mean charting cycles. Remember, NFP = Natural family planning, so it seems that we should assume that when someone says they are using NFP, they are actually trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy.

I agree that every woman should chart to observe health. I have found 3 problems from charting alone that I never would have without it!

Anyway, just a suggestion for clarity.


#16

I could not vote because there was no appropriate option for me. We do not contracept in any way and we do not use NFP of any sort. I do not believe it is possible for me to conceive, based on my history, so we just don’t use anything to prevent or avoid pregnancy.

It’s all up to God - but if He’s going to do this, I wish He’d do it soon, I’m not getting any younger!!! :rolleyes:

~Liza


#17

Hey, where’s the option for “used NFP to get pregnant”

:smiley:

We, uh, don’t use NFP right now. :smiley:


#18

Awesome!! :thumbsup:


#19

This is exactly the sort of attitude about NFP that is so problematic. There’s an assumption that it’s either Natural family planning, or artificial family planning, but the family must be planned and controled by the couple. This poll ought to have an option for Catholic couples who have no need to use any family planning method.


#20

I voted that we use NFP…we’ve been using it for the last year to try to conceive and are currently using it to avoid as I recover after another miscarriage.

One huge bonus that doesn’t always come up is that using NFP has given me a lot of knowledge about my female health that I would not have had if I had been on the pill or been using a barrier method. :thumbsup: I have two problems: PCOS and low progesterone–both of which I strongly suspected after months of charting and both of which were later confirmed by my doctor.


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