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It's time to talk about family planning

March 27, 2019

Perhaps you are newly married, or perhaps you are still busy getting ready for the big day. Issues and adjustments of all kinds demand your attention, and it is easy to let some things just slide. Even so, starting a new life together is the perfect time for the two of you to have a heart to heart talk about family planning.
Really? Wasn’t that all settled at the doctor’s office? Well, that is the first thing to consider: being a healthy fertile woman is not a disease that needs medical treatment.

In fact, any woman can learn to understand her own fertility through easily observable physiologic signs. This knowledge gives her an entirely safe, highly effective (98-99 percent), healthy and readily reversible way to plan a family, simply by abstaining during the fertile time. Furthermore, since a woman is fertile only a few days in each cycle and a man is continuously fertile, it hardly makes sense that she should bear the burden of risky contraceptives.

So, yes: learn all you can, even if you may need a magnifying glass to read the fine print in the package inserts. This information will alert you to some of the immediate medical hazards faced by women using the Pill and other chemical contraceptives, including Norplant, patches, rings, IUD’s, Yaz, and Plan B.

In addition to raising the risk of blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, gallbladder disease, and depression, these chemicals substantially increase the lifetime risk of breast cancer. (See www.bcpinstitute.org for more on the Pill/breast cancer link. Google http://thepillkills.org to learn more about the hundreds of side effects associated with chemical contraceptives.) After all, knowing the facts is essential to good decision making.

And there are other things to consider as well – like the effect contraception can have on your relationship, especially in the long term.

When you stand before God at the altar on your wedding day, you promise yourselves to one another in a love that is free, permanent, faithful, and fruitful. This is the kind of love with which God loves us, and it is the unconditional love for which we all long. It is the love that God intends should be embodied in every act of sexual intercourse, an act that by its nature says: “I love you. I give all of myself to you forever, and I accept all of you.”

Contracepted intercourse says something different: “I love you, but I withhold my fertility/I will not accept your fertility.” In this way, married love can become conditional and divisive rather than uniting the couple in complete and joyful acceptance of one another.

Little wonder then, that the church calls our attention to nature, to the way God made us, to that awesome design that allows us to live in harmony with our fertility.

Natural Family Planning educates couples to recognize, record, and interpret the physical changes that reveal the fertile window in each cycle. The couple then uses this knowledge to postpone or to achieve pregnancy according to their family planning intention in a way that is safe, healthy, and effective. NFP is a lifestyle that has the potential to enrich a couple’s communication, deepen their love, and strengthen their faith and families.
Modern methods of Natural Family Planning have been developed through more than half a century of careful scientific and statistical research. A variety of methodologies offer real choices for couples wanting to learn and live Natural Family Planning.

From in-person to online classes, from CyclePro charting software to new apps, NFP is more accessible than ever before. But in any form, NFP remains the option of choice for couples concerned with respecting nature, one another, and the loving plan of the Creator.


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