Looking for ways to plan and manage your fertility and family size naturally? For our part, we have chosen natural family planning (NFP). We don’t use hormonal or barrier methods; instead, we track my cycles and plan our sex life accordingly. Every couple is different, but it has worked beautifully for us.
These are the top 11 things that I have gained from managing my fertility with NFP for almost seven years:
- It helps me get pregnant. Not only that, but I don’t ever have to delay if I want another baby. No removing a device, waiting a certain number of cycles, etc.
- It helps me not get pregnant.
- It brings me and my husband closer. Consequently, our communication and trust are wonderful because of it. Divorce rates for couples who use NFP are very low. We are bonded together in our commitment to express our love with an eye to where we feel our family is meant to be at any given time.
- It takes a weight off my shoulders. It makes family planning our shared responsibility, not just his or mine.
- It’s empowering! It makes me feel in control because I always know what’s going on with my body.
- It’s natural. I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t want hormones in her meat and dairy, so I obviously object to them being in my body from an external source.
- It’s fun! In a non-fertile time of your cycle? Have no fear about doing (and, ahem, completing) the deed. Super fertile and not looking for another squishy baby? Have a good old-fashioned make-out sesh or just cuddle.
- It makes me feel good. I know that my husband respects and values my fertility. This isn’t for everyone, but something that really matters to me is that I do not have to cover up or sacrifice my body’s innate abilities, and one of those is fertility. I wouldn’t be comfortable asking my husband to suppress his fertility or if he asked me to suppress mine.
- It’s crunchy, just like me! The health of the environment is important to me, and not adding more artificial hormones to the ecosystem is a huge benefit.
- It’s healthy and proactive. Women (often with the help of their instructors and fertility care providers) who practice NFP can recognize things like endometriosis, PCOS, and thyroid issues.
- It’s never a hassle. I don’t have to get my prescription renewed or refilled, get my IUD put in or taken out, take a pill at a certain time, etc.
Want some great fertility & NFP resources?
- This book is a great jumping-off point;
- Marquette Method is the specific method that I use;
- These are some other methods: Billings, Creighton, STM
- This website can help you find an NFP-trained doctor (I also recommend calling around to local midwives, many of whom are knowledgeable in NFP or may know someone who is).