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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2007
New Here
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Sun, 03-27-2011 - 8:53am

Hi Jen and everyone.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
In reply to: terrismitty
Sun, 03-27-2011 - 10:18am
Welcome to the board. I don't have any answers for you, but there used to be some people who knew quite a bit about NFP. Also, check with your diocese. Couple to Couple League would often have classes and retreats on it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: terrismitty
Mon, 03-28-2011 - 11:00pm
Hi Terri, and welcome. I use NFP. For us, it has been reliable. In fact, once I learned all the details of NFP, I became more comfortable using it to avoid pregnancy than I was with other methods. From a completely practical standpoint, it isn't an abortifacient like the pill, and it isn't messy like barrier methods, which are often also unreliable.

We use the Creighton Method. Google it and I bet you'll be surprised by how much research and real science is behind NFP today, as well as by how reliable it is. It is tricky to get good statistics, because most secular ways of measuring consider it a failure of NFP if a pregnancy results, regardless if the couple was following the rules.

That's the hard part, really. It requires a certain amount of discipline, and that can be hard to deal with. But if you're looking for one person's specifics, here's mine. We conceived our first when we knew we could get pregnant, but didn't care. I then used NFP to avoid pregnancy. When we were ready for another and the time was right, I got pregnant the first cycle, by using NFP to plan the pregnancy. Those children are 27 months apart. We then used it to create space before our third, who is 3.5 years younger than the second. Like with the second, we used NFP to time that conception. The fourth child was really the result of us knowingly taking a chance, and trusting God to give us another if he wanted. (And, to be completely honest, because everything I read told me the chances of a pregnancy at age 41 were very slim. I figured we could probably break the rules. ;-) No dice.) People asked me if my last pregnancy was planned (a rude question, I think) and I always laughed to myself, because I thought, "Kind of." Because we had used NFP for so long, we knew, but it wasn't planned like the other two, where I pored over the calendar. That was a very happy pregnancy, despite the surprise, because I felt so certain that God wanted us to have a fourth child.

With my cycle, we have to abstain about 9 days/month to avoid a pregnancy. It isn't a huge burden, although sometimes it seems those nine days are the only days where the kids go to bed early, no one is working late, etc.!

If you're looking for reading, I'd start with Paul VI's encyclical on birth control , as well as Humana Vitae. That will give you the religious reasons. If you'd like a secular point of view, try "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." I haven't read it, but it is highly regarded by those who practice NFP for non-religious reasons, as well as Catholics. We actually took a class at a local Catholic hospital. I thought that was helpful, because the teaching method itself was based on research into what was most effective. (That's pretty much what distinguishes Creighton -- not what you do, but how you learn.) Couple-to-couple league seems to work with a lot of people too.

Lastly, if I were you I'd come to your priest with your health concerns. Sometimes artificial birth control is justified.

While I focused on the practical in this post, I do think there is a lot of benefit in trusting God to know what is best. One of the best side effect of NFP for me is that once I trusted God with that part of our lives, I found it easier to trust Him in other ways. I encourage you to hear a speaker, take a class, etc.

Polly
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2007
In reply to: terrismitty
Tue, 03-29-2011 - 9:48am

Thanks Polly and everyone for your replies.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: terrismitty
Wed, 03-30-2011 - 1:29pm
For now, I'd suggest praying about it and learning more. I actually came back here to correct my post. For many years, we had to abstain for 9 days/month usually. Now it is 11-12. Not that there's a huge difference, but after I thought it through I realized I was wrong, and I didn't want to be misleading.

As for giving up the right to your body, that's where learning more can help. I actually think of NFP as quite the opposite. It requires learning to know yourself so well that you can trust your body, rather than relying on chemicals. Part of the appeal of NFP for me was that it appealed to my counterculture side. BTW, I wasn't sold on NFP when I first started looking into it, and no one pressured me while I was researching it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
In reply to: terrismitty
Fri, 04-01-2011 - 7:32am
Hi, Terri! Welcome to the board! Polly gave you some great information. There are some older threads on NFP I'll find. There was some good information there, too.