(Closed) Does NFP really work? Future mum in law is a GP and says I am screwed

posted 7 years ago in Catholic
  • poll: Are we crazy for relying on natural family planning to avoid pregnancy.

    Your future mother in law is right...start prepping that nursery

    She is wrong. We have/are using NFP successfully- it just takes a little self control

    You should use NFP and something else (like a barrier method)

    Can't think of a fourth option...

  • Post # 139
    Member
    2453 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

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    @red_rose:  That is true.  So really, the only thing that truly 100% prevents pregnancy is complete abstinence (including avoiding all contact where any sperm could end up inside, not just plain ol’ sex).

    Post # 140
    Member
    256 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    One of my best friends does NFP.  She has four kids.  I feel like she’s pregnant all of the time.

    Post # 141
    Member
    454 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @iloverocks: 

    That comment was insulting because it shows a complete lack of knowledge of what NFP/FAM is. It does *not* reley on luck at all. It relies on temperature, cervical fluid, cervical position and other secondary signs.

    Post # 142
    Member
    454 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @Julybride88:  

    I have used it for *seven* years, and no pregnancies. Sometimes we used FAM, and sometimes NFP.

    Post # 143
    Member
    454 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @Rachel631:  Yes, most women feel they don’t have side effects. However, if you read the aforementioned books above, you will likely see that many minor issues are related to the pill. Plus, even if you don’t have any short term side effects right now that does not change the long term effects of the pill. 

    I seemed to have *no* side effects from taking the pill on and off for ten years. It never affected my mood, my sex drive or any of that. I thought all was well.

    It was only years later that I found out that there is a direct link between:

    If you would like more info on such topics, check out:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/35663.php

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-the-pill-can-harm-your-future-childs-health/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-k-comstock/the-pill-and-what-else_b_877875.html

    The Pill: Are you sure it’s for you?

    The Bitter Pill

    I strongly believe in women’s rights and the right to choose the pill for their contraception if they want. HOWEVER, it should be informed consent and it never is. My BFF and I sometimes have discussions about how angry we are that we were given the BCP like it was water. Especially since we know many ppl who have successfully used barriers for years, and I myself have used FAM for 7 years with no babies. If only these safer options were advertised more widely and there wasn’t such misinformation spread about them, as evidenced by this thread.

    Post # 144
    Member
    1326 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

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    @Bainise2013:  Thank you for posting this. I, too, was given BCP’s like they were water from the age of 14. I stopped taking them 1.5 years ago when I began to have very severe health issues. I feel pretty stupid for waiting until I had major problems to do the research, but I never put 2 and 2 together before then. 

    These are my main issues with hormonal birth control. I do not believe they are as safe as the public has been made to believe over the years. I also think they’ve caused some social implications that haven’t been positive. But we can save that conversation for another time, LOL.

    As a Catholic, I do not take issue with birth control in general. I think it’s responsible. I don’t care what other people do, really. But I wish women were more aware of the risks of using artificial hormones. 

    Post # 145
    Member
    7976 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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    @Bainise2013:  I am aware of the medical effects of the pill. It also has long term positive effects, of course… for example, it lowers your risk of developing various cancers, reduces your risk of anaemia, and improves a variety of skin conditions.

    I’m trying to be a voice of reason on this thread, really… the pill is not a universal evil, as some people (not necessarily you!) seem to think here. This demonisation of what is basically an extremely safe and reliable medication concerns me somewhat, which is why I chimed in on the thread.

     

    Post # 146
    Member
    454 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @Rachel631:  

    I am sure you are aware of the long term severe risks (as most people are), but were you aware of the more moderate side effects, i.e. insulin resistance, interference with thyroid hormones, reduction in testosterone? Also, the study linked above actually talks about how it interferes with nutrient absorption. It only reduces anaemia in women who have heavy periods, and women who have heavy periods need treatment of the root cause. That is another damaging side effect of the pill: the fact that it is used as a masking agent and that most doctors don’t bother to do any real tests. They just throw the woman on the pill, as happened to me. It was later discovered that I had hypothyroidism, Addisons’ s disease and PCOS. All of these cause heavy periods!!! Heavy periods are a result of imblanced hormones or even food allergies, and putting fake non bioidentical hormones into the body may stop the heavy periods, but itdoesn’t deal with the root cause at all. Plus, as stated above, the BCP interferes with nutrient absorption, so one is just exchanging one problem for another. As for skin conditions, again there are other treatments with less side efftects that can help the skin.

    I do however think that the BCP should be reserved for contraception *only* or for severe acne that has not responded to anything else (including gluten/dairy/alleren free diets, herbs, natural progesterone etc.). I have nothing against the BCP on a philosophical level. However, I disagree that most women are fully informed of the side effects and risks. They simply are not.

    As for cancer prevention, eating an organic diet, exercising, enjoying spirituality, balancing hormones, reducing stress, using chemical free products as much as possible and avoiding carcinogenic fats help to reduce cancer risk without the side effects of the pill. Using natural progesterone also reduces cancer risk.

    Post # 147
    Member
    7976 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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    @Bainise2013:  With respect, I don’t require further education in this field. I am aware of the pros and cons.

    The pill is a very safe and effective medication which women have been using for years. Side effects are comparatively minimal, and I find much of the fuss around it’s usage to be completely disproportionate…. and also very “American”, if that makes any sense.

    Post # 148
    Member
    4 posts
    Wannabee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I am a former NFP teacher (taught for six years). NFP does work. I used it successfully for nine years to acheive pregnancy when I wanted and avoid when I wanted. Additionally, NFP and only NFP is the only form of birth control permitted by the Catholic Church. If you feel less inclined to rely solely on chartin, use the Marquette Model with the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor is a great option. A better discussion resource for NFP support is the NFP Discussion Board on Delphi Forums.

     

    Post # 149
    Member
    578 posts
    Busy bee

    I’m so happy to see so many Bees who can vouch for the validity of NFP 🙂 

    Post # 150
    Member
    3080 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

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    @Julybride88:  I don’t think you’ll be pregnant using condoms. They are pretty effective. 

    Post # 151
    Member
    347 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    @Julybride88:  I say this as a woman who has been married almost three years and whose parents gave up on NFP because it “didn’t work.”  IT WORKS!  But let’s categorize this.

    The method effectiveness of Fertility Awareness methods is as good as hormonal methods.  (Typically 1% failure rate).  But the user effectiveness tends to be low (25% failure rate).  DON’T STOP READING!  That means, 25% of couples don’t consistantly use the method per instructions and thus end up pregnant.

    With NFP, this isn’t not using a condom once or like forgetting a pill.  The effects of those decisions are don’t have the exact same implications. 

    So what things are considered user failures?

    1.  Not charting consistantly (Woman gets complacent with checking fertility signs and leaves a few days blank or fills in several days from memory)

    2.  Not adequately understanding the rules and thus not charting fertility accurately

    3.  Engaging in intercourse on a known day of peak fertility while intending to avoid pregnancy.

    Now, there are two methods that amazingly have low user failure rates.  Billings Ovulation Method came out with a study with a .5% failure rate.  NFP actually outperformed the IUD. (See here:  http://www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org/how-effective-is-the-billings-ovulation-method%E2%84%A2/effectiveness-in-preventing-pregnancy.html)  Creighton Fertility Care System came out with a 3.2% user failure rate.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creighton_Model_FertilityCare_System)   

    So why the discrepancy?  Well, for Billings Ovulation, they accredit their success to having conducted the study in China where they are big on population control.  They are also one of the oldest symptom based methods of Natural Family Planning.  The method was developed by two Catholic physicians (husband and wife team) in Australia.  Compass had an interesting documentary on them, but it was done before the study was completed in China.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6In0cgRrsU  But overall, they say that they’ve improved the user effectiveness by better training and by focusing their study on a nation more motivated to practice the periods of abstinence.

    The Creighton method removed couples who engaged in sex on their known fertile days from the user failures to get to their 3.2% user failure rate.  Their explanation is that when completing their study on the method effectiveness for getting pregnant, they found that “76% of couples achieved pregnancy during the FIRST CYCLE in which the time of fertility was used.  It is because of this experience that we say that there is no such thing as “taking a chance” when using this method.”

    In both studies, the user failure rate out performed many typical artifiial contraceptive methods when we took away the category of having sex on a known fertile day.

    SO HOW PRACTICAL IS IT TO ABSTAIN FROM SEX DURING PEAK FERTILITY

    It depends on your cycles.  If you have regular cycles, than its a week period of abstinence between two cycles.

    The people I know who complain the most about NFP are women suffering with PCOS.  I have heard some success stories from women with the condition seeking help from physicians associated with http://www.fertilitycare.org/.  But I know other women who are still trying to find something natural that works.  And then I’ve known women who’ve tried out multiple methods, persisted all while saying it didn’t work and then finally found the right physician and method that worked for them.

    My husband and I originally married with the intent of avoiding pregnancy.  A few months into our marriage, we changed our minds and actively pursued pregnancy.  It took two cycles of trying for us to conceive our daughter.

    My cycles returned to regularity two months short of a year after she was born.  NFP was a bit of a chore while we were waiting for cycles to return.  Especially as you get close, your mucus patches get longer.  I also had spotting for 5 days and got confused.  Did that count as irregular bleeding or my period, as the rules would depend on what it meant. (This is also where my mother made her mistake.  She thought irregular bleeding was her period.  Granted she likely got confused because learning NFP after a pregnancy is like taking a crash course in advanced NFP without taking the prerequisites)  Anyway, I consulted both my NFP only physician and my NFP instructor.  Until medium flow, I was to assume I hadn’t ovulated and thus treat myself as if i was constantly prepeak.  Eh!  End of day only and only if no mucus is present.  Any mucus shows up and its 3 additional days of abstinence.  If you have mucus every forth day, you can never have sex.  Thankfully that didn’t happen.  But toward the end, I got longer and longer mucus patches.  Each patch you have to assume is fertile because the hormones to cause ovulation are there.  Annoying!  So happy when I started having cycles again!!

    So I started regularly cycling and for a year after we continued to avoid the fertile mucus and we didn’t get pregnant.  After that, we went back and forth on a casual approach and avoiding.  And for the past several months, we’ve taken a completely casual approach and tell people we’re sort of trying (though not actively seeking out our fertile days).  I chart and it just happens that we tend to rarely use our fertile days and when we do its early in my fertility cycle.  The cards just have seemed to play that way.  Sometimes I see a fertile day and am like “Ok, if we want to get pregnant, we should use today” and we just don’t feel like it.  My sister found knowing she could get pregnant also got her out of the mood even when she wanted pregnancy as well.  So anyway we continually don’t time it right.  We just don’t stress out about it, but from looking at my charts, I can say that NFP works. Its either that or I’m suddenly totally infertile whereas, before it took only two cycles.  Personally I’m completey confident I got my cycles down.

    Getting pregnant is largely about the timing.  The chart is learning to read your own inner clockwork.  That’s what needs to be understood.  And By The Way, that 76% chance of getting pregnant during peak fertility exists whether you have sex without a condom, whether it slips off or breaks.  Its all about the presense of the semen in your body and that mucus protecting it.  I  have yet to find a study that includes statistics on the effectiveness of Fertility Awareness in conjunction with barrier methods.  But there are people who specifically use condoms strictly during their fertile period.

     

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