When it comes to your body do you listen? Your healthy body sends signs and signals to let you know that os it needs something or that something isn’t quite right. If you pay attention it will also let you know when things are good and it is functioning at its best. Most of us are pretty in tune with these signs. However, when it comes to our hormone health and family planning things are not always so clear. Too often our mothers and our doctors tell us that we should rely on medicine for these things instead of our intuition. With Natural Family Planning you can trust your body?
In 1960 the FDA approved the first oral hormonal contraceptive tablet. Women were looking for an option other than the outdated “rhythm method,” diaphragms that required a physician visit for fitting or relying on male condoms. With “the pill,” women got to take control over family planning.
While it was empowering to have this kind of control, I question whether the women of this time realized the trade-off? Consider this, “The pill” was and still is the only medication approved for a healthy person to take to alter the natural function of her body. Is it really empowering to shut down your body?
According to an American Experience article, the male scientists developing the pill decide on the regimen of 21 active medication tablets and 7 placebo tablets to be able to allow for the woman to still have a monthly bleed. “They know the Pill will be controversial and want oral progesterone to be seen as a “natural ” process, not something that interferes with the normal menstrual cycle.”2 Because the hormonal contraceptive stops ovulation, a woman does not have a true period every month but gets this illusion by the bleeding caused by withdrawing from the synthetic hormones.
In pharmacy school, I was taught that hormonal contraceptives were the only effective way to avoid pregnancy. I hear this same message repeated by physicians in their offices and in health classes.
I will be honest, there is no denying that hormonal contraceptives are effective to avoid pregnancy. That they are the ONLY effective contraceptives is simply untrue. Birth control pills have a reported effectiveness rate of 91%3. The reported effectiveness for Natural Family Planning methods is 86-98.5%. NFP looks equally as effective if not better!
Something Else to Consider
On a side note, we’ve learned so much about the gut as our second brain and how the birth control pill negatively affects gut health. Read more about that in this article by Dr. Taryn Stittleburg!
Natural Family Planning
Let’s look at the “official ” definition of Natural Family Planning ( NFP). According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, NFP vis “a method of birth control that involves abstention from sexual intercourse during the period of ovulation which is determined through observation and measurement of bodily symptoms.”1 In short, it means paying attention to your boy’s natural signs of fertility and then using that information so you know exactly when you can get pregnant and when you should avoid unprotected intercourse.
Your Fertility Window
Did you realize there are only certain days you can get pregnant? It is a common myth that we are fertile every single day, and that’s just not true. Technically there are only SIX days in each cycle that you can become pregnant; the 24 hours of ovulation and the five days before that; referred to as the “fertile window.”
Natural family planning teaches you to recognize your own fertile window. You understand how your body was designed to work and understand the messages it sends. Based on that information you can make decisions about achieving or avoiding pregnancy . I don’t know about you, but that feels way more empowering to me.
I hope that I have opened your mind to consider natural family planning as an option? Are you brave enough to trust your own body’s information?