Why isn't there REAL help for NFP'ers?


#1

I thought of this while reading the other NFP thread and wondered if I am off my rocker or what.
A few weeks ago, while waiting to pick up a prescription, I saw a ginormous package for sale behind the pharmacy counter that was called “Ovulation Predictor”. It cost $200. I believe it worked with saliva?? My eyesight isn’t all that great so I couldn’t see if it was a one time thing, or something you could use again and again, but I started thinking:

Why isn’t something like this available to Catholic families, at a reasonable price? Why don’t we use the vast resources of the Church to make it EASY for couples to naturally plan their families. Note that I’m not saying that NFP is hard but the perception is that it is, and that is the reason that many Catholics shun it. I think I read somewhere that 90% of Catholics use ABC…how many more would use it if they had a quicker or less messy or more reliable (or pick your objection that people currently use)?

The idea, in my mind, should be that we use our resources to make it as easy as we can for people to not sin.

I would like to see the Church hire scientists to come up with a method and an apparatus to determine fertility that is accurate and cheap.

To me, the equivalent would be if the Church was saying, Know the Bible and the Catechism but there were no printing presses and only certain people had the drive and the wherewithal to obtain a Bible and the rest had to do the best that they could and if they were not particularly driven in the first place, just flat out sin.
I know this is not a perfect analogy but I hope you know what I mean.

Incidentally, I am an infertile woman who charted for about a year in the hopes of becoming pregnant. I know the ins and outs of what is involved. While it is not all that time consuming or difficult, I do believe that with some properly funded research an even better and easier method could be developed. Now, I don’t use NFP at all (we have never conceived on our own, but would certainly welcome it if it happened!) and have always felt a little sad about that. I think I would be one of those people who embraced it and saw the beauty in it.
Some people don’t, though, and rather than turning a blind eye to their confusion, I think it would be better to give them an alternative.

What do you think?


#2

You don’t need a ovulation predictor kit to successfully use NFP and I don’t find it difficult once properly taught. But even if you did spend $200 on a kit, that’s still a cheaper investment than using artificial bithcontrol over any reasonable amount of time.


#3

Sounds great to me! But also highly doubtful. There’s no one-size-fits-all easy method for NFP - the female body is astoundingly complex and each woman, unique. The infamous (quick and not-messy)rhythm method was a dumbed-down version that took about 3 minutes to learn and virtually guaranteed that the opposite outcome from what was intended occurred.
Curiously, the Vatican was a chief instigator behind modern NFP methods, and encouraged scientists to develop a more accurate method of charting a woman’s fertility than the calendar method, from which came Billings, etc.

I sympathize, however, with your wish that NFP be “marketed” in a more attractive way; it does carry the stigma of being frightfully complicated or unreliable, both of which are gross misconceptions. I disagree that a more simplified and equally reliable method exists, but I do think that clearer information and more enthusiastic proponents (especially in the medical community) would help encourage its use.


#4

It really has to do with education. The more people understand the teachings of the Church, the more people can understand the options.

Scientists have come up with a very easy and effective method of NFP and it requires no “apparatus” besides a pencil, paper and thermometer.

It is also very easy to learn. There is CCL that has teachers all over the world than can teach it directly to interested couples. In the U.S., the cost is only the supplies and effort to put the supplies together ($75). Less than half of the price of the option you saw in the pharmacy.

The difficulty is in advertising NFP. Who does it? The Catholic church or support organizations. Is the “mainstream” going to listen to the Catholic Church? No. Are we going to get the health care industry or pharmaceutical companies advertise this? Why when it takes away from their profit?

But there is hope. HMOs are learning how much money they save from breastfeeding mothers ( for 6 months or longer) and are now trying to encourage the practice. As we get more witnesses to NFP, the same will happen.


#5

[quote=carrieloon]I thought of this while reading the other NFP thread and wondered if I am off my rocker or what.
A few weeks ago, while waiting to pick up a prescription, I saw a ginormous package for sale behind the pharmacy counter that was called “Ovulation Predictor”. It cost $200. I believe it worked with saliva?? My eyesight isn’t all that great so I couldn’t see if it was a one time thing, or something you could use again and again, but I started thinking:

Why isn’t something like this available to Catholic families, at a reasonable price? Why don’t we use the vast resources of the Church to make it EASY for couples to naturally plan their families. Note that I’m not saying that NFP is hard but the perception is that it is, and that is the reason that many Catholics shun it. I think I read somewhere that 90% of Catholics use ABC…how many more would use it if they had a quicker or less messy or more reliable (or pick your objection that people currently use)?

The idea, in my mind, should be that we use our resources to make it as easy as we can for people to not sin.

I would like to see the Church hire scientists to come up with a method and an apparatus to determine fertility that is accurate and cheap.

To me, the equivalent would be if the Church was saying, Know the Bible and the Catechism but there were no printing presses and only certain people had the drive and the wherewithal to obtain a Bible and the rest had to do the best that they could and if they were not particularly driven in the first place, just flat out sin.
I know this is not a perfect analogy but I hope you know what I mean.

Incidentally, I am an infertile woman who charted for about a year in the hopes of becoming pregnant. I know the ins and outs of what is involved. While it is not all that time consuming or difficult, I do believe that with some properly funded research an even better and easier method could be developed. Now, I don’t use NFP at all (we have never conceived on our own, but would certainly welcome it if it happened!) and have always felt a little sad about that. I think I would be one of those people who embraced it and saw the beauty in it.
Some people don’t, though, and rather than turning a blind eye to their confusion, I think it would be better to give them an alternative.

What do you think?
[/quote]

Ovulation kits are used to achieve pregnancy, not to avoid pregnancy. They can test for certain hormones to determine if ovulation has occurred. However, as you know from your NFP classes, sperm can live in fertile mucus for up to 5-6 days before ovulation. Therefore, the ovulation kit is not a solution to avoiding pregnancy even if it only cost $20 instead of $200.

The best, most reliable method is observing the woman’s signs of fertility every day.

Easy, cheap, reliable and already available to all Catholics.


#6

To track fertility, all you need is your husband’s clean hand. It’s called the Billings Mucus Method. It’s easy. It’s free. It’s reliable.


#7

I think this is a wonderful idea. I did read somewhere about a thermometer with a computer chip to determine fertile times. I’d like to see more products for nfp developed and promoted. I know once the habits are established nfp can be simple, but so many rely on other artificial devices. Something like what carrieloon suggested might help many who fear nfp’s reliance on just their own observations and provide them with a substitute for their contraception. I think there would be a market niche for these types of products.

And I want to express my sadness at reading of your infertility. So many of us take our fertility for granted and sometimes even see it as something unwanted. Knowing infertile couples provides such a powerful witness to the rest of us. You know more than most what a blessing a child is. May God richly bless you in the manner of His choosing.


#8

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