The Top 5 Challenges Of Natural Family Planning



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.

NFP is also not standardized enough to give an assembly-line approach to patient care. It's easy for a doctor to write (well-sponsored) prescriptions for birth control pills all day long and never give a second thought to the individual needs of each patient. Well, NFP requires attention to each patient's fertility cycle and some time to educate them on how to do it. That takes both time and interest, and remember that doesn't pay the bills! There are also doctors out there who are simply ignorant about the effectiveness of NFP and never take it seriously. My wife's doctor (who is Catholic, by the way) laughed at us when we told him that we were using NFP. Rather than switch docs, we decided to show him it works. Three purposely-planned pregnancies later, he shows us a little respect.

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3. NFP Requires a Daily Commitment When you hear about how you actually practice NFP, you find out that you have to take your temperature each morning before you get out of bed to get an accurate basal body temperature. This actually doesn't apply to some methods of Natural Family Planning, but all methods do require some fertility awareness during most days of a woman's cycle. Frankly, when I hear people use this as a reason not to practice NFP, I have to chuckle. Most birth control pills must be taken each day (unless you get a shot of some sort), and barrier methods (like condoms) require you to have a contraceptive on-hand at all times. Taking your temperature is just not that big of a deal.

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