If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (HV 20)Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the method of birth regulation that Pope Paul VI was referring to. While he may not have known the all the benefits of such a method, with Humanae Vitae, he confirmed and proclaimed the 2000-year consistent teaching of the Church that artificial methods of contraception were immoral. NFP provides many benefits that not only promote healthy living, this remarkable method of birth regulation fosters authentic married love and is also environmentally friendly.
NFP is safeThere are no harmful side effects for either the husband or wife. It is completely safe, 100 percent natural, and involves no potentially harmful devices or drugs.
NFP is healthyThere are no pills, invasive procedures or long-term drugs. Women who use NFP know more about their bodies and can discover health problems sooner.
NFP is effectiveUsed and taught properly, NFP can be 99 percent effective in avoiding pregnancy. In our experience as an NFP user couple, we have never had an unplanned pregnancy in 36 years. NFP can also assist some couples in achieving much-wanted pregnancies without chemicals and operations.
NFP costs very little to useIn this economy, NFP is very cost effective. Other than the cost of the course, materials, and the replacement of thermometers, NFP costs very little to use over a couple’s 20 to 30 years of fertility, compared to purchasing condoms, diaphragms, pills, and other chemicals or operations over a period of 20 to 30 years.
NFP is environmentally friendlyNFP does no harm to the environment like some of the chemical methods of contraception. There are now software programs (like Cycle Pro and Kindara) that keep track of all pertinent information on a woman’s iPhone, Android, iPad or computer. If using paper charts, they can be recycled and there are no chemicals or other devices used.
NFP is marriage insuranceOne of the most incredible benefits is that NFP is marriage insurance. In a study done by the Couple to Couple League, couples who used NFP had a less than two percent risk of divorce compared to the national secular average of 50 percent. On average, couples who use NFP have better communication than couples who contracept.
NFP is morally acceptableMarried couples who use NFP are spiritually healthy because NFP fosters authentic marital love and allows a couple to love as Christ loves: freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully.
NFP works with irregular cyclesNFP is not like the old rhythm method, which depended on regular cycles. NFP’s charting system works with a woman’s present signs of fertility. For more information on NFP: Couple to Couple Leage International Serena WOOMB.org CreightonModel.com Cartoon copyright 2010 Full Quiver Publishing/James and Ellen Hrkach[/caption]
Copyright 2018 Ellen Gable Hrkach
About the Author
Ellen and her husband, James, have been certified NFP teachers for the Couple to Couple League since 1984 and teach Theology of the Body to teens. She’s also an award-winning, bestselling author of ten books, an editor, a publisher and a self-publishing book coach. Her newest novel is Ella's Promise. The mother of five adult sons and grandmother of one precious grandson, Ellen lives in Pakenham, Ontario with her husband. Contact her at Full Quiver Publishing.