Natural Family Planning

This is a guest post from Suzette of Jambalaya and a continuation of the talk about natural birth control.

Part 1: Let’s Talk about Contraceptives

Part 2: Fertility Awareness Method

When it comes to fertility and living a lifestyle that is pleasing to God as well as good for the earth, any form of contraception is in question.  Truly, the only sure way to keep our bodies healthy and open to God’s plan for our families is to follow and track the signs that our body uses to communicate fertility and infertility. As with anything else in life, there are seasons of ease and difficulty, but we have found that our marriage is firmly mounted in trust, thanks to using Natural Family Planning (NFP).

NFP is defined by The Couple to Couple League (CCL) as “using knowledge of man’s constant fertility and woman’s changing fertility to plan or postpone pregnancy.”  That is NFP in a nutshell.

To touch on the main points, but not to attempt to teach anything, as I am not a certified teacher and I have been practicing NFP just shy of four years.

A. Menses (period)

B. The short (and/or sometimes non-existent) infertility that follows is Phase One.

C. Following phase one, phase two is the “pregnancy seeking” phase.  Phase two is characterized by fertility, ovulation and more fertility.

D. Phase three (honeymoon phase) is the substantial phase of infertility.

I can’t give you a set amount of days for each cycle.  Before my first child my cycles were 28-30 days but post partum my cycles were 31-34 days.  The lengths of the phases vary according to the signs you record and your cycle length. I’m currently seven months post partum with our second child and this time around have no cycle as of yet.  We have been mainly using cervical mucus and cervix position signs, although my cervix seems harder to “read” this time around.  

How do you know when each phase begins and ends?

Using charts to record readings of the cervix, cervical mucus and basal body temperature (BBT) a woman is usually able to determine when she is infertile and fertile.

This method of fertility awareness doesn’t cost more than the ink and paper you will use to print charts as well as the cost of a BBT thermometer (approx. $10-15).  It leaves no chemical residue in your urine, it isn’t linked to cancer, and it fosters deep and meaningful conversation as well as respect and awe between couples.

Love your spouse, love yourself, love your children, love this one Earth and love your Creator!  Explore the option of using NFP!

Note:

This is a synopsis of the Sympto-Thermal Method.  There are also three other methods of Family Planning: Billings, Creighton, and Marquette.

This post is not shared as medical advice.  If you have an interest in following NFP, you need to educate yourself on the matter. 

Rachel

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