Q: What do you call people who use the rhythm method?
It is totally normal to be skeptical about natural family planning. After all, many of us still think of the ‘family planning’ methods of our parents’ generation when we first hear about NFP. Everyone we talk to has a story of a ‘‘friend of a friend’ who ended up having a rhythm method baby. The couples who were proponents always seemed to have 6+ kids - a reality that is overwhelming to a couple just beginning to think about being more deliberate in their family planning.
Not Your Mother’s Rhythm Method
Q: What’s the difference between the rhythm method and natural family planning?
NFP (or fertility awareness) is not the same thing as the rhythm method. Both work on the same principle of avoiding conception by avoiding sex on the woman's fertile days. The difference is in how those days are calculated. The old rhythm method relied primarily on the calendar, without recognizing that every woman’s internal calendar is a little different. NFP takes advantage of more precise scientific methods of calculation. To learn specifics of how NFP can help you identify your fertile days, visit NFP Methods.
NFP is effective in assisting couples trying to conceive or couples who are trying to avoid pregnancy, because it is quite effective in identifying fertile days. Despite its scientific basis, NFP’s success lies not in how scientifically versed you and your spouse are, but in how well you communicate and share responsibility for your family.
Communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, and NFP often helps couples become expert communicators. You and your spouse will learn to develop a larger vocabulary of love and discover many different ways to be physically intimate with one another. If you want a relationship where sex is not taken for granted, communication is built in on a regular basis, and you both share in family planning decision making, NFP can help.
To learn more about how NFP can help you and your spouse grow closer together, contact one of our instructor couples and ask them to share with you their firsthand experiences.