Natural Family Planning has its challenges. I've shared the story of our journey to Natural Family Planning (NFP) and made a really big deal about the benefits of NFP for marriage. I've shared an informational video, explained what Natural Family Planning is in my own words, and talked about how technology can work with such a natural method of planning a family. I've even encouraged an artsy-fartsy Protestant woman to share her own thoughts on NFP.
Do I love Natural Family Planning? Yep, guilty as charged. But I also understand why NFP is practiced by less than 5% of couples in their child-bearing years. If Natural Family Planning were the easy choice, everyone would use it, right? Well, probably not, but I recognize the challenges of using NFP because we live with them every day. Engaged Marriage is a place for no-B.S. information on topics that effect your marriage, and your family planning choices are certainly a big issue. And so, in the interest of fairness and full disclosure, I present to you the top five challenges of using Natural Family Planning.
1. NFP is Misunderstood by Others Trust me when I tell you that this is a big one. It can be very frustrating to be pigeonholed as some mindless, Pope-worshiping, chauvinist, old-fashioned father of 20 children whenever someone hears that you practice Natural Family Planning. Fortunately, with so much good information being spread online and through new communities, some of the die-hard myths about NFP are finally starting to be broken down and replaced by the truth. Here are a few examples in case you were curious:
- NFP is NOT the damn Rhythm Method!
- NFP is not just a "Catholic thing"
- NFP is just as effective as any form of artificial birth control
- NFP empowers women and lets them take charge of their fertility (i.e., the Pill is not a provider of liberation despite all those slick television commercials)
2. NFP is Not Encouraged by Most Doctors The sad reality is that most OB-GYNs in practice today either don't understand Natural Family Planning or simply dismiss it as a viable birth control option for their patients. The reasons for this are a matter of opinion, but I have a few. There is no money in "selling" NFP since it is a free method of family planning. By contrast, birth control pills are a HUGE industry (have you seen all the contraceptive commercials during an NFL game?) with many well-paid pharmaceutical reps knocking down the door of every doctor's office in the country.
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