Monday, February 20, 2012

The Benefits of Natural Family Planning

The Family Life Office of the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina has a web page which provides a nice overview of the benefits of Natural Family Planning:
Fertility Appreciation is the foundation of Natural Family Planning. It is the ability of a couple to understand and respect their fertility.
Many couples find that the love and respect each holds for the other grows as their understanding and appreciation of their fertility grow.
They accept fertility as a normal and healthy process, a precious gift from God to be loved, respected, understood and wisely used.

Advantages of NFP:

1) It is medically safe.
2) It is highly reliable.
3) It is morally acceptable.
4) It is easy to learn.
5) It is inexpensive.
6) It is highly versatile - it can be used at any stage of a woman's reproductive life.
7) It precisely identifies the true days of fertility and infertility.
8) It is a valuable aid for couples who are having difficulty in achieving pregnancy.
Shared Responsibility: Unlike contraceptives, this method is equally the responsibility of both the husband and wife. Couples learn to understand their combined fertility.
A True Method of Family Planning: The method can be used both to achieve and to avoid pregnancy, making it a true method of family planning. It has the added benefit of being a record of the woman's reproductive health.
Enhances One's Sexuality: The couple learns that true sexuality is spiritual, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional in its dimensions. The use of Natural Family Planning assists the couple in developing balance in their sexual life together.
Loving Cooperation: The method helps build a more loving cooperation in the important matters of sexuality and family planning. It builds a stronger partnership between husband and wife, as well as increased communication, intimacy and respect.
Effectiveness: The effectiveness of NFP is over 99% in avoiding pregnancy when the instructions are properly taught by a qualified teacher and then correctly applied. The method is also highly effective to achieve pregnancy when couples identify and use the days of fertility. In addition, it is an essential aid in the evaluation and treatment of those couples who are experiencing infertility.

Natural Family Planning Resources:
-- Key Church documents on human sexuality, marriage, and family life

-- Links to other helpful resources:

The Couple-to-Couple-League is an excellent organization that provides NFP resources, classes, and educational materials. They have affiliated local teaching couples throughout the country.

Contraception, Why Not by Dr. Janet Smith is the most persuasive presentation of the Church's teaching on artificial contraception I have come across. The first time I heard it, it really blew away any reservations or misunderstandings I had about the issue. Contraception, Why Not? is available here in CD, DVD, and MP-3 formats. I highly recommend it.

One More Soul is another excellent organization that has a variety of resources related to natural planning including and invaluable on-line directory of NFP only physicians.

A list of NFP benefits that speaks to a modern, secular audience can be found HERE.

My blog post, Why the Catholic Church Opposes Contraception, be found HERE.

An excellent (and short) explanation of the Church's teaching on contraception can be found HERE.


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