Speaking of NFP, The Atlantic Discovers Something Faithful Catholics Have Known All Along

There was a terrific article in The Atlantic last week on the growing awareness and promotion of Natural Family Planning by secular medical professionals (who prefer to refer to it as Fertility Awareness Based Methods–FABM).  Really good piece.

 …surveys  conducted by physicians at the University of Utah show that when natural fertility-awareness methods are described to women, 25 percent say they would strongly consider using one as their means of birth control. But thanks to its glaring image problem and a set of just-as-formidable infrastructural hindrances, ignorance of fertility awareness-based methods is widespread. If more women looking for a non-hormonal, non-barrier, non-surgical form of birth control knew about FABM, then more of them could be practicing it to its utmost effectiveness—rather than doing it in the dark.

These fertility awareness models actually can work, and work well. A recent 20-year German study asked 900 women to track their fertility every day by monitoring their body temperature and cervical mucus, and use that information to avoid pregnancy. The study’s researchers found this to be 98.2 percent effective—comparable with the pill, and a far cry from the 82 percent effectiveness rate of the withdrawal method.

In January, a group of physicians organized through the Family Medicine Education Consortium published a review looking into the efficacy of various FABMs. They combed through all the relevant research published since 1980, and concluded that “when correctly used to avoid pregnancy, modern fertility awareness-based methods have unintended pregnancy rates of less than five (per 100 women years).” (A woman year is one year in the reproductive life of a woman.)  Their effectiveness levels, in other words, are “comparable to those of commonly used contraceptives,” the study’s authors add.   READ THE REST OF THIS EXCELLENT PIECE HERE.

If you’d like more information on how the Catholic vision of love and sex can make your marriage more passionate, joyful, and intimate, check out Holy Sex!  A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind Blowing, Infallible Loving.

About Dr. Greg

Dr. Gregory Popcak directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family, and personal problems. Together with his wife, Lisa, he hosts More2Life Radio. He is the author of over a dozen books integrating psychological insights with our Catholic faith. For more info about books, tele-counseling and other resources, visit www.CatholicCounselors.com.

  • Marissa Nichols

    Thanks for this!

  • Kindara

    Agreed the article in the Atlantic was fantastic. It’s nice to see NFP and FAM getting reported on to a more mainstream audience. We have many catholics using Kindara (www.kindara.com) as well as secular folks to avoid pregnancy naturally


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