(Closed) NFP- reassure me!

posted 7 years ago in Catholic
Post # 32
Member
914 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@SoontobeMrsKB:  DH and I are using it and have several of my friends, successfully.  My best advise would be to learn something science-based, like Marquette or Creighton, and get a teacher.  If you’re like me and your cycles aren’t perfectly by-the-book, having a teacher will be invaluable and help prevent mistakes.  I’d have been lost learning just from the book, although I give huge props to those Bees who can.  At least for Creighton, they can teach it over skype and there is a sliding scale for payment, so it’s available to just about anyone.

 

A lot of times, doing really thorough charting can help figure out what’s wrong and causing problems too, whereas hormonal BC can mask the problems.  Just my 2 cents 🙂

ETA – Yes, some BC is harmful to you.  See the package insert on common brands, or look it up.  “The use of oral contraceptives is associated with increased risks of several serious conditions including myocardial infarction, thromboembolism, stroke, hepatic neoplasia, and gallbladder disease, although the risk of serious morbidity or mortality is very small in healthy women without underlying risk factors. The risk of morbidity and mortality increases significantly in the presence of other underlying risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemias, obesity and diabetes.”  This is from http://www.drugs.com/pro/apri.html.  Definitely do your research tho; you have to make these decisions for yourself so that you can be comfortable and confident in them!

Post # 33
Member
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think the science works, but it can be hard to figure out. I wanted to do NFP(ish) because I didn’t like the side effects I had on the pill. I got a LadyComp which is a fertiliy computer basically. It’s a little device about the size of a portable CD player with a thermometer attached. You set an alarm to wake you up every day and you take your temp before you sit up or do anything else. If you are possibly fertile you get a red light (literally, a little red light lights up). If you are not fertile you get a green light. When the device is still learning your cycle and/or if it is not sure, you get a yellow light. This method appealed to me because it took human error out of the equation. I had seen enough people on the boards struggle with figuring out their charts and I just didn’t want that pressure. The down side is that it is a bit pricey (about $500), although our HSA paid for it. 

Actually using the device was very simple. We followed its guidelines and on “green light” days did absolutely nothing to prevent. The biggest downside of using it is that your fertile window is sort of big, so especially if you have a longer period you dont get as many green light days as you’d hope. For me, I generally would have my period for about 6 days, then have like 1-2 green light days, then like 9 red light days, then only about 10 green light days before I got my period again. Because of that we decided to have sex during my fertile time and just use “pull and pray” (although to be fair, we were in a position where we accepted the risk of an “oops” and decided to be okay with that). We used this method for a full year with no scares. 

Then we had a little miscommunication (one time!) about if it was a red light day or a green light day, and did not “pull and pray” and now I’m 6.5 months pregnant lol. So I guess my final thought is— it obviously totally worked for a full year because we never had any issue until we (accidentally) ignored the lights. But on the other hand if you don’t totally abstain during your fertile window (which sucks to do) then the chance of getting pregnant is definitely ever-present. And if you are NOT using a fertility computer like LadyComp then it increases your chances because you add in the possibility of human error in figuring out when you are fertile to start off with. 

Post # 34
Member
914 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@CorgiTales:  I wondered if those worked!  We couldn’t swing the cost, so I went the creighton route, but I’d heard a lot of good reviews about the LadyComps.  Interesting to hear from someone who used it. Cool.  And congrats on your LO!

Post # 35
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

OP- I just wanted to post a resource that might be helpful.  There is a forum for women who use NFP, where they can answer questions you have about it and give help and support. You can find it here: http://livingthesacrament.com/Forum/index.php

You have to register to see posts. It looks like their home page is being worked on, but the forum should still work. They also have links to NFP resources.

 

 

 

 

Post # 38
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

We’ve used the CCL sympto-thermal method for nearly 16 years. No surprise pregnancies. First baby born just before our 3rd wedding anniversary, all 4 pregnancies conceived within a month or two of trying. We know many other couples with similar experiences.

 

Learn from a teacher, make sure you understand the method, chart daily. It’s really not rocket science once you understand how your fertility works, and it’s great not to have to rely on hormones, barrier methods, etc.

 

Most people who don’t believe it could work have not taken a class; most people who take a class, even if they still aren’t motivated to use the method, will admit they get why it works.

Post # 39
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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@SoontobeMrsKB:  just an FYI shouldn’t be an issue as you don’t seem to be considering an IUD but if you have a history of heavy periods, non-hormonal IUDs can make bleeding worse. 

Post # 39
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

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SoontobeMrsKB:   My husband and I are heading into our 4th year of marriage this April.  We have one child who turned 3 in Feburary.  I am actually far more confident about NFP than I was when we were learning it, and I thought I was pretty confident then.

My advise is this.  The earlier you learn NFP (especially when you’re not sexually active), the better.  I personally plan on teaching my daughter the basics of charting around the time she reaches puberty. It’s not because I expect her to have sex and want to safeguard her from pregnancy.  It’s that I believe women should not be forced to live in generic ignorance over the functions of their bodies.  It’s one thing to know basic human biology.  It is another thing to understand your own body.  It’s also a great health record. I chart, regardless of intentions.  This, I believe, makes it less obsessive.  It’s more like tracking your finances before making a purchase versus and impulsive buy.

I would say, using NFP can be stressful in the beginning.  I definitely have a lower libido than my husband, and often I found I wasn’t all that interested during my infertile time.  In the beginning, it felt like rejection.  We didn’t always mutually want to have sex on our non fertile days.  My husband complained about not feeling desired, and I felt at times like it was all centered around my husband.  It wasn’t about what I wanted because when I wanted, we abstained to avoid pregnancy and when I didn’t want it,I had to have sex with him because there was this deadline before another period of abstinence.  What if the desires didn’t come back before we hit another abstinence period.  What if other things in our life interferred?

It also took me awhile for me to adjust to having sex.  Totally unrelated to the NFP, both my sister and I found sex to be painful not just the first time, but for the first few months of our marriage.  Lubricant didn’t seem to help, though I realize now part of this was how we approached sex and my level of ignorance.  I didn’t know when my body was ready and anxiety made it difficult for me to be ready.

I could definitely see others in our situation resorting to contraceptives.  We were determined to stay faithful and prayed a daily rosary together.  It was while praying the Joyful mysteries, and was meditating on the annunication in view of the Nativity, that I felt called to trust God.  I felt like God intended for us to have a child right away even though our economic situation was anything but ideal.  My husband felt the same way and at some point, I felt pretty certain we were going to have a little girl.  We also thought that on a practical side, the fertile time might be less painful (considering the CM during that time). This was the best decision for us.  We got pregnant right away and had a very stressful year, but it was worth it. 

Our daughter has been the light in our lives, a sign of God’s grace.  There was one day where I thought I was miscarrying her, and we both cried terribly.  We knew it still wasn’t ideal, but we wanted this baby.  She was important and now we have her. 

It’s not the planning can’t be important.  We have only one daughter and she is three.  We feel right and justified in our decisions now.  We also feel more at peace with NFP and our sex life has improved dramatically.  NFP is really no big deal anymore to us. Remember to pray about your decisions together, and to not be afraid of where God calls you.  After all, most of our control is an illusion anyway. 

I had a friend who struggled with infertility for the first few years of her marriage.  They were finally blessed with a baby, but in her six month of pregnancy, her husband got laid off.  My sister and her husband also struggled with infertility for the first couple of years.  When they got pregnant, things were economically okay for them.  It wasn’t perfect, but they felt stable enough.  He worked two jobs: part time police officer, part time jail work.  She worked at a day care center, but she started having back issues.  It got to the point where she was forced to leave her job, but between his two and his military stipend (he’s a retired vet), they decided it’d be best to allow her to be a stay at home mother.  They even got to the point where they were economically well enough for her to quit her job during the pregnancy.  About a month after she gave birth, he got an offer as a full time police officer.  He quit his two other jobs and worked that for awhile, but the stress of the job was getting him.  Someone found out he was going to talk to his VA counselor about handling the stress of the job, and they terminated his employment saying that he should reapply once he resolved his issues. They’re now living off the savings they were going to use to make a down payment on a house.  And you know what?  Their little boy is a bright shinning star.  When the world is crashing down around you, young kids are pretty clueless.  Her son is full of smiles.  Just like my daughter, his joy helps his parents to have hope in God’s divine providence, to see all the wonderful little blessings in this life. Have faith in God and don’t be afraid of where He might lead you.  God may have different plans for you.

Summary:  The method of NFP is reliable, but keep an open heart of discernment when using it.  Don’t get set in your ways and your will.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  twoangels.
  • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  twoangels.
Post # 40
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I also want to add that I use a mucus only method.  Abstinence is typically a week long.  I also discovered I experience premenstrual spotting during my lutael phase.  My body doesn’t produce enough progesterone during the lutael phase.  This actually can contribute to early miscarriages, but most clinics won’t test your progesterone levels in a first pregnancy.  They only test them if you’ve had a history of miscarriage.  Creighton can thus save you the experience of a miscarriage if you’re working with a doctor who doesn’t dismiss your charting.

Creighton is a bit more challenging to learn (honestly, they overcomplicate it a little), but well worth it.  I now use MyFertilityMD to chart.  It does tell me that my days of premenstrual spotting on fertile, but as I worked with my teacher, I know what’s up. 

I’ve been trying to research going on progesterone suppliments during my luteal phase, but the only napro doctor in my area is not an in-network provider.  As such, I’ve been reading a lot and have been trying to change my diet and practices.  I recently have been reading books about how the xenoextrogens in our environment screw with our menstrual cycles.  As such, I’ve been avoiding buying products that contain a lot of xenoestrogens whether its shampoo, detergents, purfumes, deordarant or other cleaning products. 

If you had cycle issues, I would definitely recommend learning Creighton and seeing is there is a napro physician in your area.  http://www.fertilitycare.org

Post # 42
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Great thread; also something my husband and I have been talking about. There’s such a mixed-bag of information out there, and truly the only thing you can be sure of is that your body will do what your body does (I’m trying to say that everyone is different). I’ve had friends who were on the pill for 10+ years, and friends who have never been on hormones both successful and unsuccessful at getting pregnant/cycling off pregnancy. It scares me a little as I go into this next phase in my life, preparing to (hopefully) be a mother that there are no guaruntees as to what our experience will be. 

Anyway, thanks for posting, and good luck to everyone trying to get pregnant and to those trying to wait! 

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