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Natural Family Planning (NFP) Builds a Culture of Life

The new counter-cultural call is for couples to joyfully open their marriage to the gift of life.

In our secular contraceptive culture, it is assumed that a married couple will, as a matter of course, avoid pregnancy. Only for very narrow windows of time does a couple welcome the conception of a child, if they do at all.

Marriage by its very definition ought to make openness to life the default position.
Many couples are learning that, instead of resorting to contraception, they can rely on one of the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and abstain from marital relations when conception is likely.

As an added benefit, when the couple is ready to resume having children, the same fertility awareness system will identify when sex is most likely to result in pregnancy.

There are multiple systems of Natural Family Planning.

The Billings Method and the Creighton Model follow symptoms and changes in a woman’s cervical mucous to identify fertile periods.

The Symptothermal method adds the tracking of a woman’s basal body temperature to the cervical mucous observations. They all teach a woman to know her own body and to recognize the signs and symptoms of fertility.
Unlike artificial contraceptives, NFP is side-effect free and does not pollute the waterways with active hormone metabolites.

The greatest benefits of NFP, however, do not necessarily lie in its usefulness to achieve or avoid pregnancy, in its safety, or even in its ecological benefits.

An often forgotten feature of Natural Family Planning is that it strengthens both the spiritual and emotional aspects of marriage.

Couples who practice Natural Family Planning have a divorce rate of about 5%, markedly lower than the 50% divorce rate of couples who utilize contraception. Using NFP requires couples to communicate.

They have to talk to each other about whether or not reasons exist to postpone pregnancy.

They have to talk about whether or not it is a fertile time in the woman’s biological cycle.

They do not treat their conjugal relations as mere recreation, but as a very serious, basic union that identifies them as two people become one, for life.

Rather than distort their relationship with contraception, they exercise self-control as necessary for prudent parenthood.

July 22-July 28 is National Family Planning Awareness week. Use this week to strengthen your resolve to have a contraception-free marriage. Take advantage of the many resources available to learn about NFP and share this information.

Let’s build a culture where using NFP is normal, not radical. It enables virtue in both men and women.

NFP fortifies marriages. Natural Family Planning lifts children up as generous gifts.

NFP lays the foundation for an authentic culture of life.

[27 July 12, Denise J. Hunnell, M.D.,,]