Use NFP: It Doesn't Work


Funny Stuff. I find Crocker’s approach to NFP much more refreshing than the standard lines of the NFP advocates. If only the NFP instructors that my wife and I had had been so honest . :smiley:


Refreshing? Eh… His slogan is based on his own experience and anecdotal evidence of “most catholics I know,” but he neglects the hundreds of published peer-reviewed literature that shows that NFP is effective for spacing or preventing pregnancy.

I share his opinion of “the more the merrier” and I agree that children are blessings and that pre-marital preparation needs to better focus on the joy of having children, but I think we do a real disserve to marriage and marital love if our approach is to tell engaged couples that the real reason the Church promotes NFP is because “NFP doesn’t work.” I think that, among other things, this slogan would needlessly tempt married couples with just reasons to avoid pregnancy to contracept.

In any event, I found the tone of the article to be very sarcastic and patronizing. I’m glad I didn’t write it.


I enjoyed the article. Gave me a few chuckles.

Of course, I sure some NFPers will be along soon to properly chastise you.


Yes, I am sure they will be along with the standard responses from the NFP users handbook


That’s what I’m here for. :thumbsup:


It gave me a chuckle as well! It sounds like you better get your guns drawn though! (Metaphorically only please!!!)


Funny article… with some interesting points. :slight_smile:

I think the writer’s perspective is important to consider… his wife doesn’t work, there were obviously not any financial or medical concerns that *required *prudent use of NFP… it was just a matter of “number of children”… in which case - I totally agree! Why put effort into something that isn’t necessary!? :shrug:

However, there are situations when NFP may be necessary… and when it is necessary, it’s nice to know it DOES work - you just have to DO it RIGHT! :wink:

Another aspect that I didn’t like was his insinuation that “big families” were automatically “good Catholics”. That could be a slap in the face to struggling infertile couples. :frowning:

Cute personal account… but nothing more. :slight_smile:


I remember reading that article 5 or 6 years ago when it was in some Catholic magazine (can’t recall which). I know Crocker just has that sort of (mildly irreverent) sense of humor, and he certainly plays it up in this article, but I’d have to agree with Nodito. NFP does work.

If we approach it as a humor piece rather than a serious foray into the NFP discussion, then that’s fine. Crocker is a funny guy and a gifted writer. But I think that anyone who is already prone to dismiss NFP will look at the article, laugh, and consider it one more reason why Catholics are screwy for not allowing contraception. Not very helpful IMO.


I liked the article. It was pretty funny and honestly, pretty true imho. I just found out that I’m pregnant with #5 (and we use NFP). It wasn’t NFP failure, but user failure. NFP is hard to use!!! I wish people would be honest about that.


Hmmm, I see people say this all the time…but I guess my husband and I have just been blessed that it hasn’t been hard to use. I just don’t understand why it would be hard to use. :shrug:

Matter of fact, we’ve discovered a new model of NFP since our 4th child that is even easier for us than Sympto-Thermal method (we are using Marquette) and we love it even more!

I guess I just wish I knew more specifics as to why people think that it’s hard…is it hard to abstain? is it hard to figure out your CM readings or cervix readings? Is it hard to read your chart? Is it hard to take your temperature?

anyway…my DH and I have found ourselves more open to children using NFP. I never would have dreamed I would have 4 children…but we intentionally opened our embrace for each one of them (i.e., none of our chlidren were conceived when we didn’t expect it).

Maybe God decided we didn’t need NFP to be a cross, so it hasn’t been…as a matter of fact it’s been such a joy and blessing in our marriage. We keep those who struggle with it in our thoughts and lift them up in prayer regularly.


If NFP doesn’t work, I must be infertile. :shrug:


I just don’t understand why it would be hard to use.

Well, a couple of things… my physical drive is strongest when I’m fertile. When I’m not fertile, I don’t desire sex. I do enjoy it once it gets going, but the feeling isn’t as umm, intense. Also, my husband and I are very busy with our children and our business. Many times when we do have the time, I am fertile and we have to abstain. That may be when there is a lull in our workload or my parents happen to take the kids off our hands. I seem to be very fertile and tracking my fertility signs is burdensome and stressful. Tracking my temperature is very problematic for about the first 18 months of having an infant because I night nurse and don’t get the solid block of sleep before taking my temp.

Frankly it doesn’t seem like it should take so much work to get to be physically intimate with my husband. Just the other day we were talking about this baby and my potential many years of future fertility. I told him that I wasn’t very worried about having this baby (after all what is one more?) but I was worried about how many more babies I might have after this because the women in my family have a history of looooonnnnnggg fertility. (My grandmother was born when her mother was 54). My husband ended up saying to me “maybe we shouldn’t worry”. I have to tell you this was an amazing statement coming from this man, because he was pretty much a nominal “cafeteria” Catholic when we were first married. At first, he was just goin’ along to get along with this NFP thing. He has grown so much in trusting God about our family size. Nevertheless, NFP is tough!!! That is our experience.


NFP won’t work for us… but it’s how we got our 4th wonderful son so… :slight_smile:


While his article actually managed to convince me even more that my decision to not have any kids at all is definately the right one. I enjoyed how honest he was on NFP effectiveness. Or lack there of. Not saying it doesn;t work for some people. But I think it;s effectiveness is way overblown sometimes. And it would be nice if more people would be willing to admit that not all NFP failures are just due to people misusing it or using the wrong method…that sometimes nfp just doesn;t work.


I think you missed the whole point of the article. He wasn’t really talking about NFP not working as a method. Do another read.

He’s talking about everything around NFP made people value children more, made people rethink their reasons for not having kids, etc etc.


Nice. I like NFP because I want to have a big family. My boyfriend read this book where this couple used NFP and it was four years before they got pregnant now he thinks it is a great too. But he knows I want atleast four kids someday. :thumbsup:


Hmmm… this thread begs to differ.


As far as a stronger sex drive during the fertile time…I experience that, too…I think that is pretty common for women. But how we view the stronger sex drive makes all the difference.

I have often felt that when my drive is so high that it feels like a cross not to give in…that is probably God calling me to be open to adding another member to our family. IT often is something that builds over a period of months (cycles) and DH and I start talking about it…and finally…when that strong desire is so hard to resist…we often look at each other with a tiny gleam in our eyes and realize we are ready and God has been calling us. But maybe that is just where I am in my walk with my husband and with God…not saying it’s better or worse…not saying it’s easier or harder…just how I have come to look at it…



I’m glad you have a positive perspective on it, but do you get where I’m coming from? You asked why some people say it is hard. I was explaining why it is hard for us. And the part that bugs me is not that I have a strong sex drive while I’m fertile, its that I have a very low one when I’m not. So, when I have virtually no desire and little time, making the time and getting into it feels like alot of work and it is hard! I would just like to enjoy making love with my husband spontaneously. KWIM? And I’m a little scared of how fertile I am and the possiblity of getting pregnant in my fifties (plus my husband is 13 years older than me, so think of how old he would be)! That is hard.


I can definitely see your point of view. I, too, am a Fertile Myrtle (I call myself)…and could potentially conceive later in life…my mother didn’t go through Menopause until her 50’s. I also have a low drive when not the fertile time…and both DH & I work full time (he on nights…me on days to keep kids out of daycare) and we’re so busy with the four we have…so yes…I know I would love the ability to be spontaneous, too…

There are times I think we are absolutely finished bearing children. There are times…when I have time to think about it…that I worry we’ll go 10 years successfully avoiding and then WHAMMO…we’ll be in our 40’s with an obvious surprise blessing…then when I have time to think about it…I worry that our new method might not be as easy/safe as we think … and what if I get pregnant within this next year?

And, as I type all that…I realize how grateful I am that I really don’t have a lot of time to think about it. and I figure…I’ll be in my mid-50s one day…menopause starting and/or finishing…and sponteneity will be there and I pray for my health and my husband’s health that we will be together, in love and still want each other regularly…

So, yeah, I get it. Prayers for you and your husband.

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