How effective has NFP been for you?


#1

I have been in conversation with other Christians and non-Christians about NFP. They all insist that it is ineffective and won’t look at any of the studies showing otherwise, because they believe them to be biased (although they are quick to point to studies to show that it is ineffective).

So, I thought I would turn to you all and ask how effective has it been for you. In addition to answering the poll, if you’d like to post comments on how long you have been practicing NFP, any benefits you have gained from it, if you think it is too complicated for people to regularly practice, or anything else that you would like to share, would be much appreciated.

Also, if you have any links or info on studies done by non-NFP or non-Christian sources, that would be great too.

Thanks
KB

edited to say: In the poll I put “While practicing NFP” I mean that you followed it to a T, always check your signs and always charted, only had sex during what you thought were infertile times.


#2

It has been very effective for us during the time we have needed to avoid/space.

We use the Marquette Model of NFP: nfp.marquette.edu/

the updated website includes a ton of info on NFP from a scientific standpoint, the program is from the Institute for NFP (INFP) out of Marquette University’s School of Nursing.

It was extremely easy for us to use and understand, the only downside is the initial start-up cost of the CBE monitor that us the cross check. But on Amazon or Ebay you can save a lot off the store price, I also order testing sticks online to save money. The store is too pricey. It was worth the extra cost to get the monitor because we more confidence in our charting, really at this point CM alone is something I feel I have a better read on from using Marquette than I did before. However, the CBE monitor just helps confirm it for us. There are methods out there that don’t require as much out of pocket, but for us we needed that extra crosscheck (temping wasn’t an option I was as comfortable with due to my lack of regular sleep).

IMO anyone can learn the basics of NFP but I would always recommend help from an instructor to help with that because sometimes it can be confusing when special circumstances arise or you are starting out and might not be sure of the rules. There are a variety of good methods out there to choose from with instructors that you can turn to whenever you have a question. We just felt this one clicked & gave us a good cross check (we needed that confidence of a cross check).


#3

We’ve been practicing NFP (charting for means of avoiding and achieving conception at various times) since we were married, 7 1/2 years ago.
We’ve never had an “unplanned” pregnancy.

We use the sympto-thermal method of NFP… we were taught the method in a small class given through our diocese using home-made teaching materials (the teachers preferred their own instruction versions). After the classes I also followed up the instruction with lots of personal reading and studying. I’ve found lots of great resources online that have contributed and added to our sympto-thermal NFP education:

nfpandmore.com/ (great online free how-to manual)
ccli.org/ (nice take-home course. not thrilled with the book, though)
tcoyf.com/ (fantastic medical resource on the ST-method of NFP… although this is NOT religiously based, so ignore the parts where they allow for barrier methods during the fertile phase)…


#4

I am hoping to one day have the opportunity to practice NFP. Until then, it is celibacy.


#5

We’ve been using Sympto_thermal for 18 years or so.

We have conceived three children during that time and avoided during that time.


#6

We’ve been using it for about a year now, and it works. Of course, we knew it would work going into it.


#7

I’ll get very particular for you in case you want the stats:

We’ve been married for 117 months (almost 10 years).

In that time I have been pregnant or infertile due to being post-partum for 44 months.

Of the 73 remaining months, we were used NFP to avoid pregnancy for about 59 of them. We have been 100% successful all 59 of those months.

There are 14 months left in this equation. About 1/2 of those months (obviously spread out over the years), were spent using NFP to try to get pregnant, and for the other 1/2, we didn’t really use NFP at all - we just let babies come if they did. In all of that time, I got pregnant 5 times.

I think NFP works great.

www.ccli.org has pamphlets you can buy that talk about the effectiveness of NFP compared to that of other methods of birth control.


#8

I voted that we use NFP and have never had an unplanned pregnancy. But I have to say this - we had one baby during the 6 years we’ve used NFP that we didn’t plan on but we knew we were “taking a chance” when she was conceived. And we thank God for her each and every day even though we didn’t plan on her!

So I hope I voted the right way. I assume that when you say unplanned you mean surprise! baby due to NFP not working. That’s not what happened with us. NFP worked fine - that’s why we knew we were “taking a chance” that might end in pregnancy and we were open to that.


#9

Thanks for the links. I agree about tcoyf.com, that is really how I learn about NFP, from her book. To me, it was much easier to follow and understand than the NFP course book (at the time, I couldn’t make it to the classes, so I could only rely on the books). I suggest the TCOYF book to anyone who has trouble understanding NFP (but to beware that barrier methods are not acceptable in fertile times for NFP, only abstaining).

That is a great link, I have never heard of before! Thanks for posting!

Yes, this is exactly what I meant. That is how I conceived my baby too, we were prepared to get pregnant, but not really trying yet. And I am so happy every time I look at my baby’s face!


#10

I voted no unplanned pregnancies.

We married in 2003, so we’re going on 5 years of NFP, but over 3 years of that time has been spent pregnant or ecologically breastfeeding. :smiley: We have 2 children, the first of which was conceived with the specific help of NFP. The second baby is a “let’s just give our fertility over to God, and only chart to estimate our due date” baby. The kids are 8 days shy of being 2 years apart.

So I’d say that, so far, it’s been 100% effective in achieving pregnancy (which took longer than expected), estimating due dates, and spacing children through breastfeeding.

I don’t think it’s complicated at all, but I prefer not to use it for avoiding, because, well, I simply don’t like avoiding pregnancy… I love being pregnant and holding newborns. And since I currently am not aware of any health issues that would complicate having more children, I say bring 'em on!

(Somebody’s got Baby Fever already, and her baby is only 5 months old. :whistle: )


#11

We use the STM method and have had 2 unplanned pregnancies in 5 years of marriage. I am currently expecting #2. At least it worked for avoiding pregnancy for almost 4 years after my first child was born.

I have PCOS so my fertility signs are confusing. NFP has been extremely difficult. I think we’re going to use a different NFP method after I have this baby, because STM just doesn’t work for me.


#12

I didn’t vote, although we have been using NFP for 3 years for trying to get pregnant. Obviously it isn’t working for us :confused: (that is a whole different thread)

I just wanted to point out again, that NFP is not just used to prevent pregnancy!!


#13

Well, I think NFP is WAY too effective for me! For a while my husband wanted to use it to avoid pregnancy, but I didn’t feel we had a valid reason and wanted to get pregnant. But he wanted to wait and I decided not to thwart him. So I took my temperature every morning. I’ve been charting for years so I don’t bother writing it down anymore. I have long, irregular cycles but that didn’t make a bit of difference because every single time like clockwork my temp would rise right before I ovulated and we’d abstain and I didn’t get pregnant. This went on for probably 7 months at that time. It has also worked in the past. I was hoping it would fail!! But it didn’t!!

Finally I convinced hubby that we should have another child and the first day my temp spiked we tried and …well I am 4 months pregnant now!! Worked for me both ways.


#14

LOL I feel the same way. I just wish my husband did. Oh well he will come around. Guess who else has baby fever…even though I’m pregnant haha. I was so disappointed to find out it wasn’t twins!!


#15

I have yet to meet a couple who conceived while monitoring fertility correctly and abstaining correctly.

I bet if you dig a bit deeper with those who claim NFP is ineffective, you will find that one day Preggo Wife forgot to temp, or didn’t temp long enough, or faked her chart, or that the husband misinterpreted the discharge, or that they “took a chance” on an iffy day.

We’re not talking about voodoo magic here. It’s basic biology and basic monitoring procedures.


#16

Pretty much my thoughts. Only been married a few weeks so I can’t speak from personal experience on the effectiveness of TTA, especially since I have verrryyy longgg cycles so we ahem take chances occasionally, since I’m quite certain it’s not my real fertile time. But we know we’re taking a chance- if we got pg I wouldn’t blame NFP, it’s us not following the rules all of the time :o :wink:


#17

I voted “no unplanned pregnancies,” but I don’t know if I like the way it is worded. I’m pregnant now and we weren’t really planning on another baby right now, but it’s not NFP’s fault. We knew we were fertile and we did it anyway on that day. I think the way it’s designed, NFP only fails if you have a freak ovulation thats not accompanied by any signs of fertility (I don’t even know if this is possible) OR if the NFP user makes a mistake in identifying fertility signs or ignores them.


#18

The problem here is the mis-understanding of what NFP is all about. The focus of NFP should not be on avoiding pregnancy. The focus should be on openness to God’s Will in our lives. If we practice NFP with that in mind, then there is no such thing a an unplanned pregnancy because with God every pregnancy is a planned pregnancy.

We’ve been practicing it for 14 years and have five definitely planned by God. A couple of them I might have thought were unplanned, but God knows what he is doing. Each one of them an infinite blessing to me and my wife, and we accept them as wonderful gifts from Him. This is what NFP is all about.

Just think how it would be if we had used some sort of artificial birth control to avoid pregnancy, then got pregnant anyway. I might resent my child, and God, for intruding on our “perfect” lives.


#19

Well said! I have a hard time when people ask me if my pregnancy was planned. I really don’t know how to answer for this reason. I’m catholic and I practice NFP, I’m prepared for any baby that enters my womb. The words “planned” and “unplanned” just don’t fit in with that attitude.


#20

Like it’s anyone else’s business anyway.

Since our youngest is now 2, we do get questions on whether we’re “done” or not. I just smile and say, “That’s not our decision.”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.