Personal Question about NFP


#1

I posted this on a thread in the Apologetics section, but got the advice that maybe it was better suited over here. The thread involved Marriage and Contraception--pretty exciting thread if you're interested in perusing it--and I wanted to know a bit more about the people who actually use NFP as a form of contraception.

For those who use NFP, do you mind if I ask a somewhat personal question? First I want to provide some data--it's from a subscription-based service called Up To Date, but it's the website that many docs use to keep current on medically related subjects.

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Fertility awareness-based (FAB) methods of pregnancy prevention involve identifying the fertile days of the menstrual cycle by assessing cycle length and/or observable signs of ovulation (cervical secretions and/or basal body temperature) and avoiding unprotected intercourse on those days. (See 'Overview' above.)

  • We recommend that women choose a fertility awareness-based method based on their preferences regarding the procedures involved in using each method and the number of days per cycle during which the user needs to avoid unprotected intercourse (Grade 2C).

  • The Standard Days Method (avoid unprotected intercourse from day 8 through 19) is only appropriate for women with regular cycles (mostly 26 to 32 days long). It is the easiest FAB method to teach and use. We do not suggest this method for women with frequent cycles shorter than 26 days, or cycles longer than 32 days (Grade 2C). This may be a particular consideration for women nearing menopause [30]. The Standard Days Method involves approximately the same number of days during which the user abstains or uses a barrier method, and fewer days than the Ovulation or Symptothermal methods. (See 'Standard Days Method' above.)

  • TwoDay method users are counseled to avoid unprotected intercourse on all days when they note the presence of secretions and on the first day following a day with secretions. It is the easiest cervical secretion method to learn and apply. The TwoDay method can be used by women with any cycle length, as well as irregular cycles. Users of the TwoDay Method avoid unprotected intercourse for approximately 10 to 14 days each cycle. (See 'TwoDay method' above.)

  • The ovulation method requires women to observe and evaluate their cervical secretions several times each day and avoid unprotected intercourse based on their findings. This method may be used by women with cycles of any length, as well as those with irregular cycles. Based on the rules of the ovulation method, the user a*voids unprotected intercourse for approximately 15 days each cycle*. (See 'Ovulation method' above.)

  • The symptothermal method requires women to observe and evaluate their cervical secretions several times each day and take their temperature with a BBT thermometer each morning before rising. This method can be used by women with cycles of any length, including irregular cycles. Users of the symptothermal method avoid unprotected intercourse for approximately 12 to 15 days each cycle.

I bolded the number of days to avoid sex. For the first method, if we put in abstinence on menstruating days (assuming people are adverse to the blood), that's NINETEEN out of 28 days of a cycle to be abstinent. The other methods are between 10-15 days (not including menstruation). How, as a newly wed or even a couple together for years and years, can you say no to sex for half of a month or more? That gives you a time period of about 10 days a month. Couple that with a busy work schedule, kids to take care of, obligations outside of marriage...how is sex even possible with these methods?? (sorry if this is an offensive question...)


#2

I hope it's OK if I answer this question as someone who never had to worry about NFP because we were Protestant and during my fertile years, we used condoms until my husband had a vasectomy at age 35. We regret this, BTW, and wish that we had had more children. But we didn't know back then.

When my husband and I were young, thin, fit, and beautiful during our 20s and 30s, we tried for sex once a week, but more often than not, we averaged about 1-2 times per month. We were just too busy and too tired. Even though we used condoms and even after my husband had the vas.

In case you're wondering how I know--we've kept a "log" for years, ever since we got married. We still keep the log. So I know how often we were having sex back during those hectic and wonderful days of babies, toddlers, and school-aged children, and it wasn't often, even though artificial contraception supposedly gave us the "freedom" to have sex whenever we wanted. Some freedom. :mad: Contraception did NOT give us free babysitting, or the ability to say "no" when someone asked us to take on yet another time-consuming and exhausting ministry, or keep our kids from catching the latest cold/stuffy head/sore throat that required all-night rocking for them to be able to sleep, or stop our septic tank from backing up and costing all our savings to fix and making us upset and worried over our finances.

But it turns out we weren't/aren't that far off the average in the U.S. I subscribe to a lot of secular women's magazines, and it seems that most couples have sex about once or twice a week. That's 4-8 times a month for most couples in the U.S., including all the couples who are "free" because they use artificial contraception.

According to Glamour Magazine, the average sexually-active male (single and married men) in the U.S. has sex about 82 times/year. That's only 6.8 times per month. And that's GLAMOUR Magazine, which advocates open sex with as many partners a person wishes to be with. Only 6.8 times/month, even using birth control.

So it seems to me that NFP will probably not result in couples having sex less than all of the contracepting couples in the U.S.

What it seems to me that NFP might do is encourage a couple to plan for their non-fertile days instead of counting on sex happening "spontaneously". When they know that the non-fertile days are coming, perhaps they can leave the children with grandma or a sitter (if possible) for an evening or weekend, or at least make sure to keep those ten un-fertile days free of excess activity so that there will be enough energy left to enjoy sex.

I've been married 31 years this summer, and I believe that in the first year of a couple's married life, the biggest surprise is learning that you won't have sex every night like it seems that the couples on television do. I think that a lot of men are totally surprised by this, as they assumed that once they were married, they would get some whenever they wanted it. But it doesn't happen that way. Even when there are no children yet, a couple still finds plenty of reasons not to have sex. Work exhaustion is probably the main reason, or other forms of exhaustion. Sickness, injuries, bloating stomach, pimples, cramps, tension, money worries, too much to do, too hot, too cold, etc.--there are a lot of reasons why even newlywed couples decide that they would rather just cuddle for a few minutes and then fall asleep.

Does this make sense? Basically what I'm saying is that using artificial contraception does NOT guarantee that any couple will have sex more than a few times a month.


#3

You simply don’t have sex. That is why NFP is so effective if you follow the rules properly and so ineffective in practice. :stuck_out_tongue:

There is no way around NFP being tough to practice, and anybody who sells you a pie in the sky version of NFP is simply lying to you. I don’t know what to tell you, some things you have to do no matter how difficult.


#4

First, NFP is not contraception. So, when you state that you want to hear from people who ‘use NFP as contraception’ you are missing an important point. Would be happy to discuss this in another thread, as it is not the main part of your question.

Any day that blood is present should be considered a fertile day. Therefore, the abstaining numbers should include menstruation days. The quote you cite is ambiguous. It doesn’t specifically state whether the numbers it is giving include menstruation or not. But, it should.

Every woman is different. The number of abstinence days in any cycle depend upon the length of the fertile phase. This can be as few as 5-7, and as many as 15+.

It depends upon the length of the cycle, number of days of menstruation, fertile days, and luteal phase.

(BTW, Throw out the Standard Days Method (calendar rhythm). It is not a method based on scientific observation. Also throw out Two Days Method, which is crazy. The science doesn’t support only one day of abstaining after mucus is present!)

How do people abstain? Well, they have prayerfully discerned that for serious reasons they are unable to welcome a child at that time, and therefore they are *motivated *to abstain. If they have no serious reason to avoid pregnancy, they can decide to abstain or not and may choose ‘not.’


#5

Hmm, for DH and I it really isn’t that bad. In fact, even though the abstinence sucks at times, when we are finally able to make sweet, sweet love, it’s really, really good. I get the impression that contracepting couples take sex for granted, since NFP couples avoiding pregnancy can’t be together when ever they want, sex is really seen as more of a priviledge…I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s like this. What would happen if you ate chocolate cake every day? You would get tired of it, right? Well, if you only had it occasionally then you would appreciate it more and savor every bite. :wink: That’s the way I see NFP, my DH and I can’t be together whenever we want, but when we are finally able to, the sex is awesome. In fact, this is one of the reasons why my DH likes NFP so much, he loves the anticipation of Phase III. :slight_smile:

There are going to be times in a couple’s married life when they can’t always be together. Perhaps the wife has given birth or one of the sposes is sick. What if one is out of town or deployed? Practicing abstinence is a great benefit to marriage. Learning that self mastery builds respect between the spouses.


#6

StatusRose - that was a very good post. It explains the dynamics well.

Like going out to dinner, it is more enjoyable when you are at least a little hungry.

Thanks!


#7

[quote="1ke, post:4, topic:198632"]
First, NFP is not contraception. So, when you state that you want to hear from people who 'use NFP as contraception' you are missing an important point. Would be happy to discuss this in another thread, as it is not the main part of your question.

Any day that blood is present should be considered a fertile day. Therefore, the abstaining numbers should include menstruation days. The quote you cite is ambiguous. It doesn't specifically state whether the numbers it is giving include menstruation or not. But, it should.

Every woman is different. The number of abstinence days in any cycle depend upon the length of the fertile phase. This can be as few as 5-7, and as many as 15+.

It depends upon the length of the cycle, number of days of menstruation, fertile days, and luteal phase.

(BTW, Throw out the Standard Days Method (calendar rhythm). It is not a method based on scientific observation. Also throw out Two Days Method, which is crazy. The science doesn't support only one day of abstaining after mucus is present!)

How do people abstain? Well, they have prayerfully discerned that for serious reasons they are unable to welcome a child at that time, and therefore they are *motivated *to abstain. If they have no serious reason to avoid pregnancy, they can decide to abstain or not and may choose 'not.'

[/quote]

thefreedictionary.com/contraception

con·tra·cep·tion (kntr-spshn)
n.
Intentional prevention of conception or impregnation through the use of various devices, agents, drugs, sexual practices, or surgical procedures.

By its very definition, NFP is contraception. People use it to avoid pregnancy.

The methods I gave were a very brief overview of a very long-winded article, so I understand that maybe the ones I quoted were not the most effective or the most commonly used. However, I'm not asking about the reasons why people choose this method of contraception; I'm asking about the practical logistics. The first responder gave a very good personal opinion of what it means to use NFP in a marriage. But, from my unmarried and virginal perspective, it seems to me that it takes the spontaneity out of sex and then boils it down to 10 days every month. That's a lot of abstinence and assumption that the desire will be there during non-fertile times. So does it ever stress you out? Do you ever think it's not worth it? Do you ever just decide to abstain because it's too hard? Again, sorry if these questions are too personal, but inquiring minds want to know... :blush:


#8

Awesome response. Good to see that it works in real life and not just on paper:)


#9

[quote="plinko, post:7, topic:198632"]
thefreedictionary.com/contraception

con·tra·cep·tion (kntr-spshn)
n.
Intentional prevention of conception or impregnation through the use of various devices, agents, drugs, sexual practices, or surgical procedures.

By its very definition, NFP is contraception. People use it to avoid pregnancy.

[/quote]

One must be certain that one is using terms in the context of the Church's moral teaching, not in a general way or as the secular world defines things. Keep in mind, the secular world redefines terms on a whim, for example *redefining *pregnancy as "implantation" rather than "conception" to avoid calling oral contraceptives abortive in their action. In addition, I do not believe *abstaining *is considered a "sexual practice" in this definition. It seems to be referring to sex acts-- practices such as withdrawing, oral/anal copulation, and other disordered acts that seek orgasm in a sterile way.

By contraception, the Church means an action taken by the couple before, during, or after sexual intercourse to render it sterile. NFP does not do this. In NFP, if you choose to engage in intercourse, you do not alter it in any way or take any action to sterilize the act.

[quote="plinko, post:7, topic:198632"]
The methods I gave were a very brief overview of a very long-winded article, so I understand that maybe the ones I quoted were not the most effective or the most commonly used.

[/quote]

Well, they are ambiguous as to what is included in the 10-15 day number given. As I stated, this seems right if you are including menstruation days. But, if you are adding menstruation on top of the numbers cited, that seems out of line with average use.

[quote="plinko, post:7, topic:198632"]
However, I'm not asking about the reasons why people choose this method of contraception; I'm asking about the practical logistics. The first responder gave a very good personal opinion of what it means to use NFP in a marriage. But, from my unmarried and virginal perspective, it seems to me that it takes the spontaneity out of sex and then boils it down to 10 days every month.

[/quote]

Spontaneity, on the whole, is a myth. Ever seen When Harry Met Sally? Her discourse on her disillusionment in her relationships vis-a-vis spontaneous sex on the kitchen counter ("not once") is very revealing. Cosmopolitan and the secular media perpetuate this idealized notion of 'hot' sex every minute of the day, and it's just not a reality.

T

[quote="plinko, post:7, topic:198632"]
That's a lot of abstinence and assumption that the desire will be there during non-fertile times. So does it ever stress you out? Do you ever think it's not worth it? Do you ever just decide to abstain because it's too hard?

[/quote]

No.


#10

In the beginning, it is tough. That is why you should take a class with a teaching couple who can help you with interpreting your charts and when the fertile and non-fertile days are.

Now, as someone who has been doing it for over 8 years, you get to a point where you know your body and can read the signs pretty acurately, at least I can. We only have to abstain for about a week if we are trying not to get pregnant. I have known for the last 3 pregnancies when I could get pregnant. And, not every time do you get pregnant just because it is a fertile time, btw.

As for how it affects, well, my hubby is Navy. We have had to deal with deployments. So, next to that, what is a week? :shrug:

BTW, menstruation for most people is not a fertile time. So, it is not counted as part of the abstaining days.


#11

Here’s where I have a problem. The Church can do many things, but it cannot redefine words to fit its own notions. Without words with clear and unchanging definitions, we cannot communicate effectively as people. NFP is a sexual practice designed to prevent pregnancy, therefore contraceptive. I don’t understand what “context” I’m missing here.

Additonally, you say that “pregnancy” has been redefined, and that isn’t entirely true. The reason why it is called pregnancy only after implantation in the medical world is to make it clear what stage is being discussed. Spontaneous abortions result from half of the conceptions that take place; there was no change to the woman’s body in any way. The term “pregnancy” makes it clear that implantation has taken place and the trophoblast has begun releasing hCG. It’s not to avoid calling oral contraceptives “abortifactant”, it’s to make it clear what exactly is going on in the woman’s body (clears up confusion for the medical staff).

By contraception, the Church means an action taken by the couple before, during, or after sexual intercourse to render it sterile. NFP does not do this. In NFP, if you choose to engage in intercourse, you do not alter it in any way or take any action to sterilize the act.

You’re indirectly sterilizing the act by choosing to have sex only on days where you have the least chance of getting pregnant. NFP sterilizes the act, but I can see where people would disagree.

Spontaneity, on the whole, is a myth. Ever seen When Harry Met Sally? Her discourse on her disillusionment in her relationships vis-a-vis spontaneous sex on the kitchen counter (“not once”) is very revealing. Cosmopolitan and the secular media perpetuate this idealized notion of ‘hot’ sex every minute of the day, and it’s just not a reality.

I am not naive enough to think that Cosmo is the sexual standard. But are you telling me that sex is planned out? “Oh honey, I’ll be late at work today, so maybe can we pencil in some ‘snuggle time’ tomorrow at 9PM?” By spontaneity, I mean you get into bed and it just kind of happens. If you’re on a ‘fertile day’, I imagine that would be hard to say no to.

This is coming from an infertile virgin though, so what do I know?:shrug:


#12

DH & I have been practicing the symptothermal method of NFP for 11 years. We first learned through a secular book, then once we moved to a diocese that offered NFP classes we took those. Starting out is tricky, but once I learned how my cycles operate, it became easier.

My cycles are extremely irregular and long: The earliest I’ve ever ovulated was day 19, and at least once a year I will have an anovulatory cycle. We are trying to avoid pregnancy, but are being pretty lenient w/ the rules so allow intercourse up until day 15, then abstain until 3 days after I ovulate. Abstinence lasts anywhere between 7 - 14 days, but our days open to intercourse are 35+ days. The only time abstaining is a bummer is when I have those anovulatory cycles - I’ve gone 80 days, then had untrue menstruation. But like Stratus Rose said, we savor every moment we get together. A bonus to having these cycles charted on paper is that my OBGYN has agreed to test me for PCOS every year.

Your insert “…requires women to observe and evaluate their cervical secretions several times each day…” makes NFP sound labor-intensive and only for those who have extreme patience. Checking cervical mucus requires no more work than to wipe w/ toilet paper before using the restroom. And taking a morning temp is so much easier to remember than to take daily vitamins or remembering to call in a prescription refill at a pharmacy. NFP is truly a second nature to me.:thumbsup:


#13

Just to let you know, both husband and wife know exactly what part of the cycle she is on, so middle-of-the-night spontaneity will only be asked during non-fertile times.

If someone becomes aroused during a fertile phase, we remember that sex isn’t a need, just a want/desire.

Have you read Sexual Wisdom? It’s a totally fantastic book!


#14

You have it backwards. It is not the Church who has “redefined” anything.

NFP isn’t a sexual practice. It is information. With that information, one may choose to engage in intercourse (a sexual practice) or abstain (not a sexual practice as there is no sex).

Um, no.

Until 1965 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defined pregnancy as beginning at fertilization. They changed this definition from fertilization to implantation in 1965 specifically to avoid having to tell women they were aborting via birth control pills that prohibited implantation.

Not accurate. You need to study more history of how, when, and why the definition was purposely changed.

Spontaneous abortion is not the topic. There is nothing immoral about spontaneous abortion.

No you are not.

The woman is either fertile or not. There is nothing directly or indirectly sterilizing the act if the couple engages in it. The cycle is a natural occurrence, just as is the natural sterility post menopause and the infertility of an already pregnant woman. Any time the couple engages in the act, it is as God designed it-- a completed act of intercourse.

A couple is free to engage in sex any day they choose. They are also free to abstain on any day, and for any reason, they choose.

Whenever they engage in the act, it is complete natural and ordered to procreation by its nature.

NFP is information, it doesn’t sterilize anything.

For a lot of couples, yes, it does indeed happen that way. Couples have to “pencil it in,” as in discuss it and negotiate time to be intimate.

If you are fertile and needing to avoid for a serious reason, you don’t start down that road. If you are either not trying to avoid, or are on an infertile day, then certainly you can just get in bed and see where it leads.

It’s not wrong to ask, but I would suggest you not dwell on it overly much.


#15

I totally agree with you. I think it’s so funny when Catholics get so testy at hearing that word in conjunction with NFP because that’s basically what NFP is. You are purposely abstaining on certain days to avoid conception. How is that not contraception? Maybe there is a deeper reason why Catholics get so defensive. Maybe they know somewhere deep down inside that there is something wrong with it.

Catholics can trust God with everything else but they don’t believe that God will send them the amount of children that they can handle. Seems hypocritical to me…


#16

NFP Mentality

So there has sprung full-grown from pagan propaganda this vicious NFP mentality —a state of mind that won’t trust God. Our moderns concede God knows how to balance the universe in the palm of His hand, knows how to harness atomic energy, can dangle stars and planets at His fingertips, but children? Oh, no, God just doesn’t know how to arrange things there. We’ll take care of that through family planning. But the planning centers about how not to have a family. So our do-gooders extol either the practice of total sexual abstinence (oh, so piously), even when the other partner is unwilling and is being unjustly defrauded, or the practice of methodical NFP. They don’t admit or don’t care about the mortal sins such systems produce. They are determined: No Pregnancy Now! There is the state of mind that despairs of God’s help.

These bleeding hearts, especially busybodies-in-law, and nosey neighbors, scream protestingly: "Who’ll take care of the next baby?" The simple answer is: The same God that takes care of you even when you resist His Will. "But we must give our children security and education." Just because God doesn’t give parents and children all today’s phony materialistic standards require, doesn’t mean He fails them. He didn’t give His own mother much in material security. But heaven, not security, is the goal set for the babies God sends. God established marriage primarily to give children life in this world that would bring eternal life.

Too many people are trying to play God. God alone is still the Author of new life. And God doesn’t need alarmist doctors, despairing parents, nor even thoughtless priests trying to run His affairs and deciding when new life shall be born. What God wants from us is free will co-operation with His Will. That’s the one contribution we alone can make. What God demands from married partners is willingness to have the children He shall decide to send. People go to heaven only by doing God’s Will, not by planning things for Him.

Well, then, should every couple have a flock of children? That’s up to God. Every couple should have the children God wants them to have. But they are not having them. Forty-four percent of American families have no children. Twenty-two per cent have only one child. And Catholics living in cities now have far fewer children than the families in rural areas (which are about eighty per cent Protestant). Obviously, family planners are planning families out of existence. That certainly is not God’s Will. The use of NFP by so-called "devout" Catholics is a major factor in that falling birth rate. You say the birth rate is up higher now? Yes, on the first and second babies. But it continues to fall steadily in the number of third, fourth and later babies.


#17

I responded to your initial post here and here.

[quote="plinko, post:7, topic:198632"]

But, from my unmarried and virginal perspective, it seems to me that it takes the spontaneity out of sex and then boils it down to 10 days every month. That's a lot of abstinence and assumption that the desire will be there during non-fertile times. So does it ever stress you out? Do you ever think it's not worth it? Do you ever just decide to abstain because it's too hard?

[/quote]

In my experience, "spontaneity" is not all it's cracked up to be. Who says that for sex to be wonderful every encounter must be completely spontaneous? That's just not realistic, IMO. NFP, as 1ke said, is about information--shared information between a husband and wife about their fertility. It must be a joint effort with full and open communication in order for it to work, so when that is the case there is never a situation where one spouse is getting "spontaneously" amorous and it is up to the other to say "no, honey". It's totally normal for my husband to know when I'm on my period, when I'm fertile, when my cycle is long or short or just plain weird. He knows the signs almost as well as I do, because he's learned NFP with me and because we communicate in order to share the information. I'm not sure most contracepting couples have this same openness on these same topics (though I'm open to being wrong on that).

So no, NFP never has stressed us out (it's not rocket science), and I think it is totally worth it. NFP provides information necessary for a woman to fully understand her body and live a healthy life. I don't regret it one bit, and I can't imagine ever putting a barrier between my husband and I or taking synthetic hormones that would wreck my fertility.

[quote="plinko, post:11, topic:198632"]
Here's where I have a problem. The Church can do many things, but it cannot redefine words to fit its own notions. Without words with clear and unchanging definitions, we cannot communicate effectively as people. NFP is a sexual practice designed to prevent pregnancy, therefore contraceptive. I don't understand what "context" I'm missing here.

[/quote]

1ke answered this best. The Church is not the one redefining language--Merriam-Webster is. For specificity, it is necessary to differentiate between "birth control" or "the regulation of births" and "contraception". "Birth control" pertains to a couple's life; "contraception" pertains to individual sexual acts. NFP is not a "sexual practice" because it does not affect the sexual act between a husband and wife in the least bit. Whatever time of the month they have intercourse while using NFP, both husband and wife are offering their full, natural, procreative ability and the entire gift of their fertility to their spouse. This cannot be said when they are using a condom or when a wife is using the pill, the patch, the shot or an IUD.

[quote="plinko, post:11, topic:198632"]
You're indirectly sterilizing the act by choosing to have sex only on days where you have the least chance of getting pregnant. NFP sterilizes the act, but I can see where people would disagree.

[/quote]

How is a woman "sterilizing" the act? I have no control over when I ovulate or when I menstruate. God designed women to be fertile at certain times of the month and infertile at others. I have control over choosing to sterilize myself (as in hormonal contraception or tubal ligation), sterilize my husband (as in a vasectomy), or over putting up a barrier between sperm and egg sterilizing the act itself (as in condoms and diaphragms). I have no control over when I am fertile or infertile, I only have control over when I choose to have sex with my husband, and there is no 'rule' that we must have sex at every opportunity.

[quote="plinko, post:11, topic:198632"]
I am not naive enough to think that Cosmo is the sexual standard. But are you telling me that sex is planned out? "Oh honey, I'll be late at work today, so maybe can we pencil in some 'snuggle time' tomorrow at 9PM?" By spontaneity, I mean you get into bed and it just kind of happens. If you're on a 'fertile day', I imagine that would be hard to say no to.

This is coming from an infertile virgin though, so what do I know?:shrug:

[/quote]

This is probably a situation where experience with married life would change your perspective.

We use NFP and are not currently avoiding, but I'd say that more often than not we plan sex. Not as in "let me put that in my calendar," but we'll communicate about it and talk about it beforehand. Honestly, the sexual standard most often presented in the media is that sex just sort of happens--a burst of passion and then there the lovers are. But in real life, when people have jobs and school and children and business trips and vacations? :rolleyes: If spouses have open lines of communication about sex (and stress and work schedules), they will be able to make plenty of time for one another, and sex will be just as awesome as it is for the next guy.

And, um, who says 'snuggle time' has to lead to sex? There are other ways to be spiritually, psychologically, and physically intimate that don't involve sex.

Finally--Cat made a great point when she posted that the average man has sex 6.8 times/month. I read some other stats broken down by age group regarding the frequency of intercourse for 'typical' Americans of different age brackets, and none of them hit the double digits. If an NFP-using couple takes advantage of every infertile day in the cycle, they'll easily have more sex than the 'typical' American. Combine this with the ease of communication regarding sex and openness to developing true intimacy that isn't strictly physical, it's no wonder NFP users report higher levels of sexual satisfaction than contracepting couples! :thumbsup:


#18

You know, there is pressure of a certain kind if you practice NFP to have sex during the infertile times, if you are trying to avoid.

But, conversely, there is a total lack of pressure during the fertile times. We can cuddle, lay together, have skin to skin contact, but we know it’s just for closeness, not one of us trying to get the other in the mood. It’s incredibly freeing to be able to be physically close and not have to have sex. Example - it’s not, “Why is he rubbing my back like that”,but simply, “Ah, backrub - that’s relaxing”

Don’t get me wrong, abstinence isn’t easy, but there are rewards that come with the lifestyle. Knowing that you are going to bed and going to sleep, and no one will feel rejected, is sometimes all you want after a hard day, you know?


#19

I will have been married 10 years in June, and we have used NFP for our entire marriage, both to achieve and avoid. There's so much I want to say, but for now I have to keep it short.

Number one, using NFP has been a tremendous blessing - - it has encouraged our growth in holiness as a couple, changed our outlook on sexuality completely, and fostered much greater communication between us as a couple, to name a few things.

Number two, as I recall, our abstinence was usually less than 10 days. I say as I recall because my bride is nursing #4 and has had no return of fertility yet. We have two adoptions and two natural births, and each time we have gotten pregnant, we have known that we were fertile - - one time we weren't trying to avoid or achieve, and did achieve, and the other time we were actively trying.

Number three, regarding the woman's observations of cervical secretions, my bride explains it like this. If you knew nothing about brushing your teeth, and were told, hey, you have to brush morning and night for healthy teeth, it might seem like another chore added on to your day, time-consuming, or a big deal. But how many of us think about brushing our teeth? We don't, it's just a habit. Observing the signs of fertility becomes second nature.

plinko, just so you know, even if one is objectively infertile, if the spouses do not take any action to render the act of intercourse sterile, the act of intercourse is still ordered to life. I recall you are having difficulty with the concept of being "open" to life when one is infertile, and people sort of condescendingly telling you a miracle could happen. While a miracle certainly could happen, I think I understand that you are saying it is no way to approach one's life.

The term "open to life" is sometimes used as a shorthand way to describe Church teaching, but it is really not accurate. 1ke is actually, in my experience, one of the posters on CAF who can explain this concept most clearly and succinctly. If you want to take the time to look up posting histories, the poster manualman also has many good, clear, practical posts regarding the understanding of NFP and its practice, among many other posters, of course. Janet Smith also has good stuff regarding the "ordered to life" concept, and Chris West ("Good News about Sex and Marriage", "Theology of the Body for Beginners" and related TOB authors are beneficial to look into as well.

Oh look, this post is "short" for a lawyer, only seven paragraphs. Oops.


#20

NFP does NOT prevent.

It is avoiding. There is a difference between preventing and avoiding.


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