Every year there is new information, new “best practices”, new advances in healthcare. It's hard to stay on top of it all! Patients trust their physicians to give them the best in modern healthcare and that is a heavy responsibility.
Furthermore, as Catholic physicians you have the additional responsibility of being Christ's representative, as former Bishop Flavin (Lincoln, Nebraska) says in his Letter to Catholic Couples and Physicians:
“As members of a noble profession, you are in a position to be God's instruments in manifesting His truth and His love. […] Thus, you will contribute to the spiritual welfare of your patients; and, like the Divine Physician, you will care for the whole person, body and soul.”
For years now, the Pill and other artificial contraceptives have been the standard of care from family planning to pimples and everything in between. It's time for a new standard. Far too often, Catholic physicians have felt that there is no viable alternative, even though prescribing contraceptives for any reason violates the teachings of the Church and can also rarely be called true “healthcare”. Contraception is healthcare in much the same way that putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound is healthcare – it looks like something has been done, but the problem still hasn't been treated.
So what's a doctor to do? Patients need family-planning services and conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis, adult acne, and a host of other fertility/hormonal conditions can't just be ignored. Thankfully, there is an answer, one which treats the whole person - body and soul. Complete healthcare, indeed!
Natural Family Planning is that answer.
Natural Family Planning is 100% healthy – no side effects.
Natural Family Planning does what it claims to do – it allows couples to naturally and effectively plan the size of their families. This is NOT the rhythm method. That outdated “method” used previous cycles to predict future cycles. Modern methods of Natural Family Planning are completely different. They rely on observable signs of changing hormones (basal body temperature, mucus, and cervical changes) that couples can then use to determine their current fertility. NFP is an invaluable resource for doctors and patients.
Because it rests on sound biological principles, you will find that the information gathered can also help you identify and manage: anovulation, late ovulation, short luteal phase, vaginal infections, UTI's, hormonal imbalances, repeated miscarriage, and cervical anomalies. Since Natural Family Planning uses no physical barriers or any chemicals whatsoever, there is absolutely no chance of any allergic reaction.
Further, because NFP works with a woman's own hormones there is no increased risk of any type of cancers, weight gain, mood swings, blood clots, or any other side-effects that are listed on the artificial contraceptive packet inserts. NFP offers a myriad of health benefits beyond responsible family planning.
Natural Family Planning benefits a patient's body and soul
How can a method of family planning benefit a patient's life beyond fertility? Natural Family Planning is holistic – it understands that a woman's fertility is only one part of a whole. It is not only a part of her life, but their life; NFP is about a couple's fertility. That is, because NFP acknowledges that a man is fertile at any given time, but a woman is only fertile for 24 hours in her entire cycle, it requires the full cooperation of both spouses.
When both spouses work together to avoid or achieve pregnancy and respect each others bodies in the process, there is an increase in trust and love. NFP can encourage communication, improve respect between spouses, and even help identify the cause of non-fertility related issues (adultacne, anyone?). Additionally, NFP is good for the soul (link to spiritual benefits). Contraception use is sinful, and to encourage couples to use it is to put their souls in danger. What good is the body if the soul is dying?
Natural Family Planning encourages patient (and doctor!) education
Because NFP works only with information observed directly by the woman and her partner, NFP encourages body literacy. Women come to know their bodies so well that they are able to determine for themselves what is normal and what isn't. No more running to the doctor's office, only to find that the “weird” discharge she saw is actually healthy, normal mucus. Every woman deserves to know how her own body works. Every woman,
from the slums of Delhi to the streets of Upper Manhatten can and should be body-literate.
Educated patients are involved patients. Educated and involved patients are happy patients. Doctors with educated, involved, and happy patients are happy doctors. Be a happy doctor. Learn more about Natural Family Planning, and why it is the ideal healthcare choice for your patients.