I’ve read, what seems to be THOUSANDS of pieces of literature on the topic, but NFP, in practice, doesn’t seem to be that good. No offense, but nearly everyone I’ve ever encountered who uses it has had an unplanned pregnancy! Is there anyone who has used it without an unplanned pregnancy for at least a few years?

The reason I ask, is that my fiancee and I are getting married in just 4 short weeks. I have a medical condition that requires I take birth control, and the issue should kind of “fizzle out” around the time I am 25 and my body is on a level field again (I have hormonal problems that cause…really dibiltating problems and ABC is the only thing we can afford as far as treatment(and it works)) now, when I am 25 (or younger) we want to start having tons of kids, but when we want to stop (given that I won’t need BC anymore) what can we do? Should we start learning and practicing when we are working on those 4-6 kids we want? do we wait until we are ready to stop?

I really don’t want to end up with children we can’t support, or having a kid when I am…well too old to care for that child until it’s old enough to care for his or herself. And NFP scares me because I don’t know a single person who has used it and went any more than a year without a pregnancy.


Have you read this article? [/FONT]

Firstly, no method of birth control is 100% effective. The only way you are guaranteed you will not get pregnant is through abstinence and the removal of ovaries in a woman and testicles in a man.

Many of the statistics on the effectiveness of birth control puts “natural methods” at an 80% effectiveness rate. This is because many of these surveys lump natural methods and no method in the same category which skews the credibility of natural methods.

It seems obvious that you have not taken a NFP class. Why don’t you and your fiance at least give it a chance. Many of the things you are saying are out of ignorance.


If you have the type of relationship with the NFP users that you can ask frank questions, see if they got pregnant because of “system failure”, that is, the charts said Non fertile, but turned out they were, or due to “user failure”, it’s hard for young, healthy, in love individuals not to “push” the boundaries.

I did have a “system failure” pregnancy while I was nursing.

Other times…we knew we were “pushing” it, by making love at that time, but we were open to pregnancy.

I like NFP for many reasons.

I’d suggest that you begin to chart your signs ASAP, and get familiar with your cycles and body signs…both physical, emotional and your “desire” cycles. Keep records. If/when you begin to use NFP to plan your family you’ll be that much ahead of the game.

NFP is great for acheiving pregnancy as well, and it helped me grow in respect and awe of my reproductive system, and how amazingly fine tuned it is.

Also…when looking at the responsibility of parenthood from an “outsiders” perspective, and thinking of all the responsibilities, risks, costs, etc involved, it appears impossibly overwhelming. But parenthood, like the rest of life is something done on a moment by moment basis. And while I don’t want to downplay the enormity of the job, it is so much more than costs, responsibility, etc. So much more.

We had our kids while we were young and poor. They didn’t have all the cushy accoutrements. In fact we had no crib, changing table, playpen, diaper genie…etc, etc. People will lead you to think that many things are critically important, that really aren’t.

I chose to stay home and raise them. Working part time after they entered school, and now full time (my youngest is in highschool). We don’t own our own home, but that hasn’t stopped the kids from succeeding. Love, sense, faith, humor go much further than stuff.

My children have raised me. I am smarter, stronger, have more interests, talents, friends, joy, in my life because of them, than I ever would have without them.

I have no doubt that raising my kids is the most important and fulfilling thing I will ever have done, and the most enjoyable.

I didn’t want any kids when I was young. I always heard my mom complaining about us. Parenthood was the most wonderful surprise and gift in my life.



Yes, it is effective.

You should consult an NFP instructor about when to learn the method. Due to being on birth control pills, you cannot learn it unless you come off the pills and give your system several months to return to normal. Get the advice of a professional.

Look into the Creighton Model and the Pope Paul VI Institute.

My personal opinion-- taking birth control pills is a bad idea as “medicine”. There are many women here who have rejected that “easy fix” and gotten a real fix by working with the Pope Paul VI Institute and/or their NFP instructor.

Lastly, remember any time you are having sex there is a chance of pregnancy. Don’t be lulled by contraceptives. They all fail. Just as you know people who have had an unplanned pregnangy using NFP, I can name off people who had unplanned pregnancies on the pill, using condoms, and even after a tubal ligation.

Don’t kid yourself.

NFP is actually the best method for a serious reason to avoid pregnangy because YOU are in control of when you have intercourse and you know whether or not you can become pregnant (and whether or not you are “taking a chance”). Using contraceptives, it’s really quite an unknown-- you have a false sense of security that you are “safe”.


I’m sorry to hear that you’ve encountered bad feedback from NFP…
Are you sure you have the full story from all the people you’ve talked to? Often times couples KNOW they’re acting during a “risky” phase of their cycle, yet will vocally blame it on the method… when really they weren’t using it correctly in the first place.

NO method of birth control is 100% effective other than abstinence… but when used properly, NFP can be just as effective (if not more so) than any other method out there.
There are so many reasons why the pill can be so detrimental to your health… not to mention the opportunity for an unintended abortion to occur (yes, that’s the way the pill works)…

I think you’ll get some very good news here about NFP… so many posters have such wonderful successes… LOTS of positive stories here!
In our 6 1/2 years of using NFP we’ve had 2 wonderful (and planned) children… we’ve been able to avoid every month we’ve felt the need to.

Get educated in NFP before you dismiss the idea… it DOES work!
I highly recommend the Sympto-Thermal method.


Check out this thread for many NFP-users who have successfully avoided pregnancy for years:

Also, remember that Catholic teaching requires us always to be re-examining our openness to life, ensuing we still have sufficient reason to be avoiding pregnancy. It is a sinful, contraceptive mentality to “know” in advance that we want X number of kids and then we’ll be stopping. We are to take one baby at a time, then go from there.


Hi. My name is Mary. Nice to meet you.
Okay, now you know someone that has used NFP for more than a year without a pregnancy.

I have health reasons to not have another child. I was very concerned about using NFP because everyone I knew that used it, had lots of children. Not a great advertisement for someone charting to avoid pregnany.

Sometimes it is also hard to talk about charting to avoid. Both sets of teachers that I know, had never charted to avoid. They charted for health information and to conceive.

If you are serious about not conceiving, charting can be as effective as any other type of birth control. Go to a class, learn about it and give it a try. You can start charting before you get married, that way you will have some experience before it really matters.


The birth controll pill is an abortificant. It would be infanticide to engage in sexual relations within 3 months of taking the pill.

If you must take the pill, it would not be acceptable to get married at-that-time, unless it was clearly understood by both parties that you may never be able to have sexual relations.

To get married with the hope of later being able to have sexual relations, it a horrible idea, because if then you are unable to, that is grounds for annulment.


That is not what the church says. What you have said is personal opinion.

The church states that using hormones for medical reasons is acceptable. It it also does NOT state that you must abstain from relations during that time. Abstaining might be advisable because someone would not be sure they are not fertile, but the church does not require it.


Actually, that’s not quite true.

The use of a treatment that is primarily for a diseased state, but that has the unintended side effect of sterility is clearly covered under Humanae Vitae.

The Pill, however, is well known to have not *just *a side effect of sterility but of an *abortifacient *nature.

In this case, the Principle of Double Effect must be employed using the factor of *gravity *and *proportionate *good. All of the principles under Double Effect must be met. Most moral theologians agree the Pill does not meet this criteria and what Vatican documents there are on the subjec support that position.

The Pill to make your period “regular” or to avoid cramps and heavy bleeding is not proportionate to the risk of taking the life of the child.

The Vademecum for Confessors touches on this in an oblique way. It twice mentions the gravity of cooperating in the evil of a contraceptive that has abortifacient properties.

The abortifacient nature of the Pill puts it in a *different *category, morally, than something that merely renders the woman infertile.

One must seriously discuss this with their priest, read all that the Church has to say on the matter, and conform themselves to the mind of the Church.


**Just wanted to add our NFP story…

DD (4) was our honeymoon gift, we weren’t trying or avoiding, we just got married, of course we weren’t going to abstain! WE were open to God’s gift of life.

However, DS (2) was definitely us trying (we were wanting to get pregnant)

And the same with this pregnancy, we were once again trying to conceive and did!!

NFP doesn’t fail very often, it is the user that fails!!! Just my :twocents: **


Try the book: Taking Charge of Your Fertility. If you purchase the new version, you can get a trial of the CD too. This book is basically the sympto-thermal method, which is quite effective. You can also download the program. Note that FAM requires use of a barrier method during the fertile period, while NFP requires absitinence.


Very true.

But this:

The birth controll pill is an abortificant. It would be infanticide to engage in sexual relations within 3 months of taking the pill.

If you must take the pill, it would not be acceptable to get married at-that-time, unless it was clearly understood by both parties that you may never be able to have sexual relations.

To get married with the hope of later being able to have sexual relations, it a horrible idea, because if then you are unable to, that is grounds for annulment.

**Is personal opinion. **

When talking to people about NFP, scaring them into either leaving the church or going against her teachings is not the way to reach them. Telling them that they must stop the pill 3 months before having sexual relations is not even medically correct. Women have conceived one period after stopping the pill. And telling someone that their spouse will have grounds for an annulment is not the way to start a conversation with someone either.

Rather we should talk about NFP and how it works. We can recommend the OP talk to her doctor or try to get a doctor that understands and agrees with NFP. This is the way to bring someone in line with Church teaching. NOT the way that chrysostom15 tries.


jut to clarify a few points:

  1. I do not desire the abortificient property of the pill. Nor the sterility. A pregnancy before I am ready scares me to death, but if it is God’s will I’ll take it. It seems that God is allowing me to have to go through this to help me have kids when I am ready.

  2. My “dibilitating problems” are a bit more serious than simple cramps and bleeding. FAR more serious. I don’t give details, but it is enough to make my whole family very concerned.

  3. My reason for not trusting NFP where the couples I talked to thought they were safe, thought they had it down, but oops…the got pregnant.

  4. The doctor I talked to about treatment told me why the pill is the best option for me (cost, therapy etc…) and that it is possible to use some kind of self restraint to make sure the abortion option of the pill doesn’t kick in. My fiancee and I both looked at it, and found that there is a time we will have to abstain (and it turns out to be more time than NFP would require, I believe) I know the pill is an abortificient. This horrifies me. More than anyone can know, but I’d rather be alive, safe, and doing my best to make sure this doesn’t happen, than…well you know.

Basically it boils down to, I don’t trust it. My fiancee and I are at a loss. We plan on taking the classes when there is something we can actually do about it (like when I am ready to go off the pill) We are both devout in our faith and want to do the right thing, we are ust at a loss. Is there a way to learn how to use NFP without having to pay a lot of money for a class? The only one we have ever heard of in our area cost $300!!

Also is it really true you have to wait 3 months to do anything about it??? I don’t think there is any human way I could talk my then husband into that…


[quote=Delphinus85;2401318 ]jut to clarify a few points:

  1. I do not desire the abortificient property of the pill.

Whether you desire them or not, they are a fact. You have talked to your doctor, but you also need to talk to your priest.

It is good that you are aware of the issue and looking at ways to avoid it.

Well, what it basically boils down to is that you can choose total abstinence or you can choose periodic abstinence. What you cannot choose is contraception.

NFP is an alternative to complete abstinence, not to contraception.

Use the most conservative rules if you have a serious reason to avoid a pregnancy. Or abstain completely.

Why? You are creating a hypothetical situation where you might need to avoid a pregnancy and then you are adding to that the idea that you might get pregnant anyway. You are giving yourself an awful lot of stress over something that may never come to pass at all.

Yes. The people at offer Sypmto-Thermal classes inexpensively. Creighton classes are more in the range of what you quote-- but they are one-on-one instruction, unlike Couple to Couple. HOWEVER, every Creighton instructor I know has a sliding scale fee so if you were truly unable to pay you would get a reduced rate.


I realize that you cannot start charting/observing now because of the pill. Perhaps you can attend a class together. I don’t know how other methods work it, but you could attend a FertilityCare (Creighton) Introductory Session. There is usually no cost to attend, you could see what it is about and get some of your specific questions answered. You can do that NOW (well, maybe sometime after the wedding since it is probably a very busy time for you now;) ) and have your mind eased some.


While there may be more of a cost to Creighton (I don’t know prices for anything else), the cost is usually spread out over the course of a year (depending on the teacher). It is not usually a one time fee and can be worked to fit your budget.


okay I’ll add again, I HAVE consulted a priest about the ABC, and given HIM all the details, and he agrees it may be the best option for us, for the time being. My concern in coming off of the stupid thing. I keep having people tell me my husband and I won’t be able to beintimate AT ALL for 3-6 months!! This is REALLY worrisome…


I would say 6 months is rare. Yes, to learn NFP you will need to abstain completely-- both to avoid pregnancy and to learn your fertility signs. You do not want seminal fluid to be mistaken for mucus or vice versa.

Every person is individual regarding how long it takes their fertility signs to return after discontinuing hormones. For some, their signs return in one month, but I would say 3 is typical. In the first months off the Pill, your temperature is erratic and you may not have much, if any, mucus.

Again, these are questions that you should definitely ask an NFP instructor-- they aer trained to help people in just such a situation… converting from the Pill to NFP.

So, yes, there will be abstinence required to learn the method, but no one can say how much because it’s unique to the individual.


You may want to PM rayne89. She has been using NFP for 10 years to avoid a pregnancy. If I remember correctly, she has a serious heart condition that means pregnancy will kill her (and the baby). Hopefully, she’ll see your thread and chime in! :smiley:

My DH and I used NFP to avoid pregnancy for 1 year, had trouble conceiving, and then used it for 6 months to achieve pregnancy. It definitely works both ways. :thumbsup:

I know there are other women on the forums here who also have medical issues that they once believed were only relieved by the Pill. Hopefully, your situation will allow you to break free of it, too. :gopray:

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