What should we know about NFP?
All NFP methods are fairly similar because understanding the woman’s reproductive system is common to all methods. Here is what they share in common:
1. They all rely on the charting of observable signs of fertility and infertility in the woman and abstinence from all genital contact during the fertile time in order to avoid a pregnancy.
2. They are all reliable, highly effective, and free from side effects and the abortifacient nature that haunt all chemical forms of contraception and IUDs . We want to make assure you that these methods are NOT the old-fashioned rhythm method. Each of the national USCCB approved methods has its own organization that promotes the method, publishes materials, does research, and trains teachers. Each NFP method has excellent websites for more information. However, most charting apps for your cell phone don’t have those decades-long use and research as the methods we teach. In addition, most apps are based on the “rhythm method” and so can be prone to inaccuracies. Here is an excellent article that assesses the performance of these apps to avoid pregnancy. You might be surprised by their results! Performance of Fertility Awareness-Based Method Apps…
3. All NFP Courses are fairly lengthy because it takes time to learn and chart cycles in order to make sure you are charting correctly. It also takes time for both of you to understand the woman’s pattern of fertility and the fertility rules for your particular circumstance. We want you to feel empowered and confident in this knowledge, which isn’t something you can cram into a weekend study session!
4. All methods are couple-based and educate both of you to learn the method and to know how to chart and make decisions together about your fertility. Many married couples experience NFP as a blessing to their marital relationship because it is truly a shared method of family planning that also respects God’s wise and beautiful design in the woman’s body.