Following are some of the most common comments this author has heard about NFP, and some commentary for each.
“It’s the Rhythm Method. It doesn’t work!” and “It’s a ‘guess and pray’ method. I need something scientific.”
Rhythm Method really doesn’t work! That method is based on counting and assuming that all women ovulate every month on the 14th day of their monthly cycle. Current NFP research already shows that the day of ovulation can vary per month and is different for every woman. That is why it is important to chart one’s cycle every month. Women cannot assume they just need to abstain a few days before day 14 and a few days afterwards. If, for some reason (i.e. stress, travel, etc.), their day of ovulation moves to day 16 or 21, then they can get pregnant.
NFP is scientific. According to one NFP advocate, just as cancer research and technology have progressed, so have the research and technology of Natural Family Planning. Websites on the matter abound! Readers may want to check out the following sites: www.ccli.org, www.tcoyf.org, www.nfpaware.com, and www.engagedmarriage.com. It’s now up to couples to do their own research.
Is NFP effective? Couple to Couple League explains, “For Natural Family Planning method effectiveness, this means that the couples correctly followed and applied all of the rules. A parallel example of method effectiveness involving the birth control pill would assume that the Pill is taken exactly as prescribed every day without exception. Another example involving condoms would mean that a condom was used correctly and consistently every single time.”
We all know of the couple who got pregnant “accidentally” while practicing NFP. Toni Weschler, author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility, says that the failure of NFP would be “user failure,” not method failure. If a couple adheres to the rules, NFP is 99 percent effective. (Note: No birth control method can ever claim to be 100 percent effective. If husband and wife have sex during the wife’s fertile days, they really have a greater chance of conceiving no matter what birth control method they use.)
“I have irregular menstrual cycles. So, NFP just won’t work for me.”
Surprise, because it can! Dustin Riechmann, the man behind the blog www.engagedmarriage.com, once explained when he was interviewed that “My wife has very irregular cycles that can be anywhere from 28 to 50+ days in length. We have had two children in the six years that we have used NFP, and both were planned…. Modern NFP methods do not depend on a calendar, and they accommodate irregular cycle lengths easily.”
What Do People Commonly Say about Natural Family Planning? Part 2