Compared to Chemical Birth Control, here is a fair description of the natural family planning Sympto-Thermal Method (STM):
**Effectiveness depends upon how correctly the STM is used:
Of 100 couples using the STM correctly for one year, one or less will become pregnant.
Of 100 couples using the STM but with some not following the rules, anywhere from 3 to 15 will become pregnant depending upon the frequency of "taking chances", i.e., intercourse during the fertile time.
**All natural; no drugs or devices are needed. The body is not polluted.
**Inexpensive. No continuing cost after the initial training, thermometer, and charts.
**Normally involves spouse in mutual fertility awareness.
**Tends to increase spousal "romance" during abstinent times.
**Acceptable to all religions.
**A scientific method based upon systematic observation and recording of the natural, periodic signs of fertility and infertility.
**Requires systematic charting.
**Requires mutual decisions about abstinence.
**No physical effects.
**Most couples report improved marriages and improved sex lives.
**Some couples do not accept periodic abstinence.
Health Factors to Consider.
**No health risks.
**Increased body-awareness can lead to early detection of physical disorders.
Long Term Effect on Ability to Have Children.
**No adverse effects.
Increased fertility awareness can help couples of marginal fertility to conceive.
Proponents of natural family planning (NFP) can find much more to say about the advantages of NFP, but the above was written in the style of a birth control comparison chart published some years ago by the FDA and adopted or adapted by many popular magazines in recent years.
The time has come for ACOG, the government and the media to be fair in their treatment of natural family planning. It is not a panacea for anything, but the STM is a highly effective, healthy, and inexpensive form of family planning that enables most married user-couples to state they enjoy improved sex lives and better marriages. It's a fact that deserves both attention and fair coverage.
["The Effectiveness of Natural Family Planning", The Couple to Couple League International Inc., www.ccli.org]