As pro-life people, we know that life is valuable from the very beginning. However, some might not be aware that hormonal birth control may sometimes cause a very early abortion. Birth control pills and other hormone-based contraceptives are called ‘abortifacients’ because of this.
These types of contraceptives are thought to work in several ways. They can prevent the release of an egg (ovulation), but they may also thin the lining of the uterus, making it impossible for a newly conceived child to implant in the womb. When hormonal birth control acts in this second way, it isn’t ‘preventing pregnancy’ at all; a human embryo is lost because the pill has made it impossible for that embryo to implant in the womb.
Thankfully, there are positive alternatives for couples who need to avoid a pregnancy. ‘Natural Family Planning’, also known as fertility awareness, has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is an entirely natural method with no side effects that encourages women to be aware of the naturally fertile and infertile times throughout their cycle. There are several NFP methods, all of which are based on tracking physical signs of fertility, sometimes including a woman’s body temperature.
NFP is sometimes confused with the so-called ‘rhythm method’, which involves calendar tracking. But in fact, NFP is a science-based method that is tailored to each woman’s unique situation. Its effectiveness is just as high as other common contraceptive methods, and sometimes higher.
“More and more, women are looking for natural ways to really understand their fertility, rather than suppressing it.”
What is the cause of NFP’s rise in popularity in recent years? More and more, women are looking for natural ways to really understand their fertility, rather than suppressing it. NFP is also a non-invasive method, with no impact on the environment. Unlike certain types of artificial birth control, it in no way harms a developing child.
For those who belong to the Catholic faith, since NFP is a way of spacing pregnancies using the natural changes in a women’s fertility, it is an accord with Catholic doctrines of being open to life and the unitive aspect of married life. However, Christians of many denominations, as well as secular people, are embracing the method as well.
Did you know NFP can also be used by those who are trying to achieve a pregnancy?
Did you know NFP can also be used by those who are trying to achieve a pregnancy? Awareness of one’s cycle can give women insights on the best times to conceive, or even make them aware of potential hormonal imbalances or medical issues.
On Saturday, September 16th, Guelph & Area Right to Life will be hosting an information session on Natural Family Planning. It will be a great opportunity for single people or couples at various stages of life to learn more about the methods. Join us at the Parish Hall of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, from 10am to noon! Admission will be by donation.
A teacher couple from Serena, a Canadian organization that teaches the sympto-thermal method of NFP, will be presenting the session. Information on other methods of NFP (including the Creighton and Billings methods) will be available as well. Through Serena, NFP is taught by experienced teacher-couples who mentor and support couples that are learning NFP. This training and follow-up is provided free of charge.