What are the Benefits
In NFP both spouses are taught to understand the nature of fertility and work with it, whether it is to plan a pregnancy, space children or avoid pregnancy for serious reasons. Couples who use NFP soon learn that they have a shared responsibility for family planning. Husbands are encouraged to be observant of their wives cycles and both spouses are encouraged to speak openly and frankly about their sexual desires and their ideas on family size.
calls for mutual responsibility by husband and wife
requires the couple to better communicate
is based on scientific research
treats each menstrual cycle as unique and teaches a couple to observe their signs of fertility on a day-to-day basis
has no harmful side effects
is effective for those wanting to achieve or postpone pregnancy
can be used in special circumstances such as postpartum, during breast-feeding and pre-menopause
is virtually cost free
can be used throughout the reproductive life cycle
enriches marriage and improves mutual understanding
promotes appreciation for the value of every child
fosters respect for and acceptance of the total person
When undergoing medical or surgical treatment, people will always be faced with potential side effects. Most people are willing to take the risks in order to be cured of their illness. Fertility however, is not a disease. It is normal and healthy part of human nature and learning to live with fertility rather than waging war against it, appeals to many health conscious people. The following are avoided when couples practice NFP.
Abortion: infertility, pelvic infection, laceration of cervix and bowel, perforated uterus, severe bleeding, shock, death due to hemorrhage or infection, increased risk of breast cancer (especially if first pregnancy is terminated)
Condoms: least reliable method of family planning (high failure rate for avoiding pregnancy), latex allergy, no protection against HIV and HPV (virus that causes cervical cancer)
Depo-Provera: unpredictable return of fertility after use, irregular menses, osteoporosis, decreased libido, weight gain, depression
Diaphragm: urinary tract infections, toxic shock syndrome, allergy to latex, vaginal irritation.
Hormonal contraception (The birth control pill, Lunelle, Evra Patch, Nuva Ring): headaches, depression, weight gain, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart attack, stroke, phlebitis, blood clots, infertility after discontinued use, liver tumors, and suspected cancer of the breast (under investigation) .
IUD: perforation of uterus during insertion, severe menstrual cramps, heavy periods, irregular bleeding, pelvic infections, ectopic pregnancy.
Spermicide: increased incidence of congenital disorders in children conceived during use, vaginal irritations and infections, allergic reactions in men and women.
Sterilization of women (tubal ligation): normally irreversible, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, painful menses, very heavy periods, failure rate of 4/1000, symptoms of PMS.
Sterilization of men (vasectomy): serious questions about long - term effect on immune system, two studies from Harvard Medical school found increased risk of prostate cancer. American Urological Association urges doctors to inform patients of this risk.