Natural Family non-Planning


#1

I was just wondering something. I know there are a number of people who either would say they practice NFP or nothing at all, but do not feel they have serious reason to avoid.

I’m just thinking about the necessity of having that track record if a serious need does arise, and wondering if there is a way to collect at least the temperature data without having to actually see it. It seems like if you’re charting at all, you’d have that thought at least in the back of your mind, but if you’re not charting, you don’t have any of the information handy if something serious does come up suddenly.

I know there’s always the option of extended abstinence while you figure things out, but it really takes at least 6 months of good data before you really get to know your cycles again. Thoughts?


#2

You don’t really need temperature do you? You could just start charting the mucous signs and avoid during those signs. Although, even that would probably require a least some prior knowledge of the method and being familiar with your own mucous signs. I never thought of this before. I think I always assumed that people who said they don’t practice anything, already learned the methods prior and then discontinued them. I think it is a good resource to have.


#3

We never used anything at all before our first 5 dc. We didn’t even know about NFP back then and were just fine with it. After our 5th we took a NFP class, but we rarely use it at all.


#4

I don’t understand why you would want to do what you describe? Are you suggesting that knowing impacts your behavior?

I use Creighton, which is taught as life-long health care. You chart not only to “achieve or avoid” but also for health care.


#5

well, I was thinking more along the lines of, if you know your mucous signs, you’ll already have a good idea when you’re fertile.

If you’re not trying to pay attention at all, wouldn’t it be kind of distracting to know well, we’re probably going to get pregnant this time… kind of like trying not to think about anything- you end up thinking about trying not to think.


#6

[quote=1ke]I don’t understand why you would want to do what you describe? Are you suggesting that knowing impacts your behavior?
I use Creighton, which is taught as life-long health care. You chart not only to “achieve or avoid” but also for health care.
[/quote]

Yes.

Example: husband and wife aren’t actively trying or avoiding, just open to whatever God gives them. If they don’t know, their decisions can’t be affected by that knowledge. If they do know, it could help them out not only in terms of future avoidance if necessary, but also in terms of diagnosing a problem, this idea of long-term health care.


#7

[quote=vluvski]I was just wondering something. I know there are a number of people who either would say they practice NFP or nothing at all, but do not feel they have serious reason to avoid.

I’m just thinking about the necessity of having that track record if a serious need does arise, and wondering if there is a way to collect at least the temperature data without having to actually see it. It seems like if you’re charting at all, you’d have that thought at least in the back of your mind, but if you’re not charting, you don’t have any of the information handy if something serious does come up suddenly.

I know there’s always the option of extended abstinence while you figure things out, but it really takes at least 6 months of good data before you really get to know your cycles again. Thoughts?
[/quote]

My husband and I practiced NFP faithfully for the first year and half of marriage and then threw it out the window so to speak. We always have a rough idea of where we stand during the cycle without any charting or anything else. If we need concrete data, we can take temperatures for a couple of days and know where we stand. I think knowing does have an impact on our behavior but the funny thing is that at times when we think we could possibly conceive things are actually much better than times when we cannot. During infertile times, things are so dry that it is almost painful. It is definitely good to know some method of fertility monitoring so that you can have some way of checking things out. Knowing my temperature trends helped me identify an impending miscarriage and has also raised some flags regarding health issues. We like the more hands off approach so that we are not focusing on the charts rather than each other. When we have no real need to prevent pregnancy, we try not to pay attention to the charts or signs because it really takes the romance out of things for us. In our case, knowing too much definitely impacts our behavior. It is one thing to have a vague idea as to where you stand but a whole different ball game to know that you are most likely to conceive if you do not abstain on day X. It makes something so natural and beautiful become mechanical and almost scientific. Oh, as far as collecting the temperature data without having to see it goes is pretty easy. My husband takes my temperatures and writes them down in the morning. If there is a need to interpret or nail things down, then I go look and see exactly where things are. A lot of mornings we don’t even take temperatures. Of course, I am so regular that I can almost look at what day we are in the cycle and know exactly what it going on without any charts or anything else. I am very blessed in that regard.


#8

[quote=vluvski]Example: husband and wife aren’t actively trying or avoiding, just open to whatever God gives them. If they don’t know, their decisions can’t be affected by that knowledge. If they do know, it could help them out not only in terms of future avoidance if necessary, but also in terms of diagnosing a problem, this idea of long-term health care.
[/quote]

I would have to agree. I think it would be difficult to throw out the self-knowledge and not have it effect relations between spouses. I teach Creighton and would suggest that there are different conditions where it would be extremely important to know fertile times. There are pregnacies where certain testing is dependant on knowing when the conception date is and in a woman with long/irregular cycles, the doctors could easily be off by weeks.

(I think specifically of my own situation. My last two pregnancies began in weeks 9 and 11 of the cycle. Any testing would have been off by weeks and would have resulted in nine months of concern–had they not ended so early. In fact, I knew the last one was off because I knew exactly when conception took place. Also, as a diabetic, they usually try to deliver by the 38th week because diabetic women tend to have stillbirths closer to week 40. Even being off by a couple of weeks could be detrimental.)

As another poster pointed out, FertilityCare is largely concerned with the health aspects that can be seen in charting. If you are comfortable with your health, have fairly regular cycles and see no reason to actively persue times of fertility or infertility, I see no reason why you should feel obligated to chart.


#9

I wonder if I am the only one who used NFP to know when my period would begin. I was so irregular that it always caught me off guard. My cycle went from 18 days to 36 days I hated the whole thing then I learned NFP and found that my cycle was regular for me. The cycle was the same each month just longer or shorter. It is to bad imho that this ever got tied up with birth control.


#10

I agree that “fertility awareness” can sometimes interfere with the joy of leaving things in God’s hands. We learned the Billings Ovulation Method. Once a woman learns about the significance of the change in mucus, she’ll naturally tend to notice it without any conscious effort. The rules for fertility are so simple (“wait and see, 1-2-3”) that, even if she doesn’t chart, she’ll pretty much always have a sense of what’s going on.

What I like about Billings, though, is that they treat this as the woman’s knowledge. Unless we’re actively trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy, there’s no reason for me to discuss my observations with my husband. From his perspective, things can be totally spontaneous.

(I have to admit, too, that I enjoy having my fertility be “my little secret.” After two kids, I need all the mystique I can get!!! :stuck_out_tongue: )


#11

[quote=adrift]I wonder if I am the only one who used NFP to know when my period would begin. I was so irregular that it always caught me off guard. My cycle went from 18 days to 36 days I hated the whole thing then I learned NFP and found that my cycle was regular for me. The cycle was the same each month just longer or shorter. It is to bad imho that this ever got tied up with birth control.
[/quote]

I found it helpful for this too as my cycles could go anywhere from 36 days to 60 days! In charting I found that I usually had only one or two 60 day cycles a year, the rest were closer to the 36 days. Now that I am peri-menopausal though, I am more regular than ever - 26-32 days, finally within the “norm”

Brenda V.


#12

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.