NFP: sexual disorder?


#1

Regarding the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception, it’s been likened to an eating disorder. When a bulimic regurgitates her meal in an effort to receive the pleaure of eating without the nutrition, this is considered an eating “disorder”. Likewise, when one contracepts, this is a “disorder” in that one desires the pleasure, without fulfilling the purpose of the marital act.

I have practiced NFP and often wonder, when I am following the seminal fluid instructions, why this is not also disordered. When one is eliminating seminal fluid, how is this not similar to a bulimic regurgitating one’s meal?

Aren’t women in essence “regurgitating” the seminal fluid? Would this then not be an example of a sexual disorder?


#2

Regurgitation is not natural.

Gravity naturally eliminates the majority of the sperm. Neither gravity nor SFI eliminates all the sperm. Only the sperm that does not make it into the cervix. Sperm that get into the mucus, or past the cervix, will not be elminated by gravity or by you.

You are not doing anything unnatural by eliminating it in the toilet instead of having it run out over a period of time and potentially cause UTIs (and the ick factor) in the process.


#3

so, if you don’t like it, don’t do it! :confused:

Jennifer


#4

Here’s what my Creighton Model booklet says (5th edition, p.57):

[quote=]Seminal fluid will be dischared following intercourse. This discharge will begin immediately following intercourse but may continue for up to 72 hourse. Frequently, this discharge has the visual and sensual characteristics of Peak-type mucus. As a result, a woman may experience confusion relative to the interpretaton of her observations…If a woman urinates within one houre following intercourse, bears down and does several Kegel exercises in alternating fashion, and wipes until the seminal fluid is gone, she will usually not observe seminal fluid the day following intercourse.
[/quote]

Some things to keep in mind, that may give you a little more to think on:

–It takes 1 (and only one) sperm to conceive. If the woman is in a fertile phase, that one sperm could potentially show up at any point during genital contact, not necessarily only during orgasm, and be the winner. :slight_smile:

–According to your stated concern, elimination of the seminal fluid is likened to somehow not allowing for fulfillment of the marital act. My understanding, however, is that the marital act has been completed, and been open to new life & unity between spouses. If a new life results, fantastic!–but expelling the seminal fluid is not going to prevent that (i.e., SFI is not in any way a form of avoiding pregnancy, much like the so-called “withdrawal” method has no validity/effectiveness either.)

Does that make any sense? I didn’t want to get too technical / graphic.:o


#5

I didn’t say I didn’t *like *it. I have no emotions attached to it whatsoever.

My question was simply why it was allowed, why it’s not considered “disorded”, as a bulimic who regurgitates her food.


#6

It has to do with intention. We eliminate seminal fluid for practical purposes, not for contraceptive purposes. The idea is to chart our fertility and seminal fluid can often be mistaken for fertile mucus. So, part of the instruction is to eliminate that which is easily expelled so as to not inhibit charting. As Stephanie said, it takes one sperm to create a pregnancy and it is very difficult to expel all the seminal fluid. God can work with whatever is left behind if He so chooses. But, if one is avoiding pregnancy and only having sex on days in which their fertility is not thought to be present, the vagina is a very hostile environment to semen anyway and the sperm will die out very shortly. Again, expelling the seminal fluid for the sake of charting is not contraceptive in it’s purpose or intention.


#7

Looks like you’ve already received some helpful answers. It seems to me that perhaps this question stems from a mistaken notion that semen is sort of “ingested” into the cervix, that the whole quantity “belongs” up there after marital relations. As other posters noted, this is simply not the case, biologically speaking. Except for the most minute quantities, what goes in will come out the same direction. As I understand it, the semen that is expelled in the process you mention is semen that would not ever impregnate the wife anyhow. It would be naturally expelled no matter what, just much more slowly.


#8

Semen does not enter through the uterus, just sperm that can swim up there. This eliminates bad or defective sperm that cannot make it and therefore is good because it is natures way of cutting the risk for bad sperm to fertilize an egg. So I would not worry about it because it was part of God’s plan intentionally that not all of it can travel through the female tract and so things like gravity and your analysis are not trying to remove sperm in a contraceptive matter. It would only be sinful if after being intimate with your husband you purposely tried to washout/remove the semen in order to decrease likelihood of conception, but what you are doing will not change the chances of pregnancy because that sperm would probably not make it to fertilize an egg.


#9

If you’re so sure that they absolutely “cannot make it,” then how can there be any “risk” of them fertilizing an egg? :confused: Either there *is *a chance that they could be part of God’s plan for the conception of a new human life… or there isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.

The fact is, they *can *make it. In other words, if the couple were trying to avoid pregnancy – but they made a mistake in their charting, and the woman happened to be fertile at the time of intercourse – following the SFI would, in itself, significantly reduce their chances of pregnancy. This information can be found right there in the Creighton handbook (5th ed., p. 58). Under the general rules, it says that the SFI should be followed “within one hour” of intercourse. Later on the same page, though, it mentions that “during the time of fertility, the couple should wait 30 minutes before employing the instruction. This assures that the sperm have an adequate opportunity to migrate through the cervical canal to the fallopian tubes where conception can occur.” It seems as if – at the very least – they should be telling *all *couples to wait 30 minutes. Otherwise, the woman will be deliberately engaging in unnecessary behavior that has a contraceptive side effect.

(I say “unnecessary,” because the basic reason for following this procedure is to avoid an extra day or two of abstinence. Other forms of the Ovulation Method – e.g., Billings or FOAF – don’t teach the SFI; they teach the “alternate days” rule instead. Even with Creighton, couples have the option of just waiting an extra day or two, instead of doing the SFI.)

Of course, the woman could say that she doesn’t “intend” this potentially contraceptive side effect; she’s just doing the procedure to help with the charting. But, if (like most NFP users) her reason for charting is to avoid getting pregnant, that argument rings rather hollow. So, although I’m not in a position to judge whether or not the procedure is “objectively disordered,” it does seem problematic to me.

Besides which… well… the procedure itself is just weird. Not what I’d call a “natural” way to end each and every romantic evening… KWIM? :whacky:

Finally, my third objection to the SFI is that it seems to predispose many people to graphic discussions of their bodily fluids and marital activities on public internet forums. :eek: (For anyone who thinks this thread is icky, rest assured that it can get a lot worse. :rolleyes: ) I’m inclined to suspect that this has something to do with the overall way that the Creighton method is often taught. Even the introductory slide show we went to – which was open to the general public, male and female, Catholic and non-Catholic – was presented in extremely graphic and clinical detail, with no sense of modesty or decorum whatsoever. I mean, sure, our reproductive system is God’s marvelous handiwork… but **private **parts are private, folks! Let’s save the up-close photos and in-depth analysis of different classifications of bodily fluids for the **private **consultation!

(For the record, I have no problem with discussing these topics, as long as the language is carefully suited to the context. My husband and I have given talks on marital sexuality and NFP at our parish… so I know that it’s possible to get the message across, while still being discreet. :cool: )


#10

Maryceleste,
Thank you for your discreetly worded post, and thank you especially for including the note about Billings and other methods not using this technique. I don’t particularly like NFP, (I prefer natural “unplanned” family :slight_smile: ) but I’m familiar with a couple different methods. I *never *read or heard of SFI until this thread. Enough said.


#11

[quote=maryceleste;] So, although I’m not in a position to judge whether or not the procedure is “objectively disordered,” it does seem problematic to me.

Besides which… well… the procedure itself is just weird. Not what I’d call a “natural” way to end each and every romantic evening… KWIM? :whacky:

[/quote]

Yes! SFI just doesn’t seem to correlate with Catholic teaching on natural law. It seems to contradict the “openness to life” concept.


#12

Sorry, I guess I am confused and need to read more on the exact procedure; I thought it was something else, so I retract my statement until further enlightenment.


#13

SFI isn’t unique to Creighton, or to NFP. I am the only person in my circle of friends who charts Creighton. The others all learned Sympto-Thermal through Couple to Couple League, and they were also taught SFI.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with SFI. It does the same thing that gravity does.


#14

If that’s your opinion, then you can refrain from SFI.


#15

It’s good to eliminate after relations anyway to avoid UTI. I’m prone to UTI, so I try to use the restroom after relations whether we’re trying for a baby or not. UTIs are no fun.


#16

But maryceleste, you didn’t include the part that says that the above is also included in a paragraph beginning with remarks for couples with limited fertility!

[quote=]It seems as if – at the very least – they should be telling *all *couples to wait 30 minutes.
[/quote]

Um, I think they are?

[quote=]Otherwise, the woman will be deliberately engaging in unnecessary behavior that has a contraceptive side effect.

(I say “unnecessary,” because the basic reason for following this procedure is to avoid an extra day or two of abstinence. Other forms of the Ovulation Method – e.g., Billings or FOAF – don’t teach the SFI; they teach the “alternate days” rule instead. Even with Creighton, couples have the option of just waiting an extra day or two, instead of doing the SFI.)

Of course, the woman could say that she doesn’t “intend” this potentially contraceptive side effect; she’s just doing the procedure to help with the charting. But, if (like most NFP users) her reason for charting is to avoid getting pregnant, that argument rings rather hollow. So, although I’m not in a position to judge whether or not the procedure is “objectively disordered,” it does seem problematic to me.

Besides which… well… the procedure itself is just weird. Not what I’d call a “natural” way to end each and every romantic evening… KWIM? :whacky:
[/quote]

:confused: No, I don’t know what you mean.

[quote=]Finally, my third objection to the SFI is that it seems to predispose many people to graphic discussions of their bodily fluids and marital activities on public internet forums. :eek: (For anyone who thinks this thread is icky, rest assured that it can get a lot worse. :rolleyes: ) I’m inclined to suspect that this has something to do with the overall way that the Creighton method is often taught. Even the introductory slide show we went to – which was open to the general public, male and female, Catholic and non-Catholic – was presented in extremely graphic and clinical detail, with no sense of modesty or decorum whatsoever. I mean, sure, our reproductive system is God’s marvelous handiwork… but **private **parts are private, folks! Let’s save the up-close photos and in-depth analysis of different classifications of bodily fluids for the **private **consultation!
[/quote]

Ah, well, there’s the rub! (<–sorry, didn’t mean to offend you;) ) Creighton Model is too clinical for your preferences. Okay, got it!

[quote=](For the record, I have no problem with discussing these topics, as long as the language is carefully suited to the context. My husband and I have given talks on marital sexuality and NFP at our parish… so I know that it’s possible to get the message across, while still being discreet. :cool: )
[/quote]

But the problem here is that when we are so focused on getting the message across in creatively descriptive and artfully discreet language, basic information gets mis-conveyed and misunderstood. Even in this thread, it is pretty clear to me that the thread participants (never mind those who are reading along but not posting) have different understanding of reproductive anatomy, functions & process. I’d rather be frank and accurate and avoid the tip-toe-ing.

Look, folks: either you need to be clear about your cervical mucus or you don’t. If you don’t, don’t do SFI.


#17

This is exactly my point. They don’t recommend the “30 minute wait” to all couples… just to those who **want **to get pregnant. For all the other couples, we’re somehow supposed to pretend that it doesn’t matter. I think this is naive.

[quote=StephanieC; 1590989]Ah, well, there’s the rub! (<–sorry, didn’t mean to offend you;) ) Creighton Model is too clinical for your preferences. Okay, got it!
[/quote]

It’s not just a matter of preferences. Are you aware of *any *Vatican document, past or present, on life and family issues – or *any *pre-1960’s marriage guide, or book of “sex education” advice for Catholic parents – that advocates speaking graphically about such topics in a mixed, public setting? I’m not, and I’ve read a large number of them. On the contrary, they always advocate great discretion, only giving the amount of information that’s necessary for the person’s current needs and state of life.

Some people are so gung-ho about NFP that they believe that these supposedly “old-fashioned” guidelines no longer apply. Then we end up with such bizarre developments as homeschoolers doing “brother/sister charting,” or Catholic schools where the boys chart the girls’ cycles. Or graphic “Introduction to NFP” talks that visually demonstrate the wonders of G-, L-, and S- mucus to all and sundry. I don’t believe that this constitutes “progress.”

According to the Church’s traditional teaching, it is certainly possible to convey necessary facts about human biology without violating modesty. Yes, it does require some creativity at times. Creativity isn’t a bad thing; it’s a wonderful human characteristic, which reflects the fact that we were made in the image and likeness of God. Given that Creighton encourages couples to be “creative” in communicating their marital affection during times of abstinence, to preserve chastity… what’s wrong with expecting them to be “creative” in communicating about NFP during public discussions, to preserve modesty? :confused:


#18

Amen to that! :thumbsup: I agree. I don’t think it’s immodest in the least to exchange information about the human body in a public forum without veiled terms that open the door to misunderstandings.


#19

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Can you link me to a site that details the practice of this in homeschooling groups or Catholic schools? I’ve never heard of such a thing.


#20

Okay, let’s start again. Here’s the whole paragraph we’re both referencing from p.58

[quote=]“This instruction (*SFI)should be used for couples of normal as well as abnormal fertility. The couple with an infertility problem should use this instruction so that confusion does not exist regarding observations which mark their true fertility. Because of this, it is a very important instruction for htem. It should also be pointed out that whenever the instruction is used during the time of fertility, the couple should wait 30 minutes prior to employing the instruction. This assures that the sperm have an adequate opportunity to migrate throught the cervical canal to the fallopian tubes where conception can occur.”
[/quote]

*my insert
Again, just for clarity: the seminal fluid instruction according to Creighton Model recommends that during the time of fertility, the couple should wait 30 minutes prior to use.

[quote=]It’s not just a matter of preferences. Are you aware of *any *Vatican document, past or present, on life and family issues – or *any *pre-1960’s marriage guide, or book of “sex education” advice for Catholic parents – that advocates speaking graphically about such topics in a mixed, public setting? I’m not, and I’ve read a large number of them. On the contrary, they always advocate great discretion, only giving the amount of information that’s necessary for the person’s current needs and state of life.

Some people are so gung-ho about NFP that they believe that these supposedly “old-fashioned” guidelines no longer apply. Then we end up with such bizarre developments as homeschoolers doing “brother/sister charting,” or Catholic schools where the boys chart the girls’ cycles. Or graphic “Introduction to NFP” talks that visually demonstrate the wonders of G-, L-, and S- mucus to all and sundry. I don’t believe that this constitutes “progress.”

According to the Church’s traditional teaching, it is certainly possible to convey necessary facts about human biology without violating modesty. Yes, it does require some creativity at times. Creativity isn’t a bad thing; it’s a wonderful human characteristic, which reflects the fact that we were made in the image and likeness of God. Given that Creighton encourages couples to be “creative” in communicating their marital affection during times of abstinence, to preserve chastity… what’s wrong with expecting them to be “creative” in communicating about NFP during public discussions, to preserve modesty? :confused:
[/quote]

These 3 paragraphs of your post might have a lot of validity, but for the purpose of this thread, are a bit of a straw man, since no one has said anything about the admittedly bizarre things you describe. I’d be glad to join the discussion on a new thread, though!:thumbsup:


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