Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a regular topic of discussion on this site. If you’d have asked me when I was daydreaming through my mandatory introductory sessions to the Sympto Thermal Method as a blushing bride-to-be whether I thought I’d spend copious amounts of time writing and speaking about it for … oh, the rest of my adult life, I would probably have laughed. But who’s laughing now?
(God, I guess.)
Here’s a little intro to NFP to get you started. I think it’s helpful to speak in terms of what NFP is not, for starters, since there are a whole lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to contraception, family planning, and the Catholic church. Start here.
There are a whole host of different methods, but the top three in terms of popularity are the Creighton model (and it’s twin sister NaPro technology), the Sympto Thermal Method, and the Marquette Model. Each have their pros and cons depending upon the complex design of each woman’s particular body and each couple’s unique circumstances, and all are uniformly accepted and promoted by the Catholic Church as valuable tools essential to understanding the gift of fertility.
Is NFP kind of a new thing?
Well, yes and no. Yes in terms of our developing technologies and subsequently improved understanding of the inner workings of the human body, but no in terms of what the Church has always – and will always – teach about the human person and sex: it’s good. Very good. And so are babies, by the way.
If you need a refresher on either of those concepts, the human body and sex being fundamentally good, may I direct you toward the magnum opus of our late great holy father, Pope St. John Paul II, and his comprehensive body of work entitled Theology of the Body.
Some additional must reads for Catholics or those seeking to understand and implement the teachings of the Church on sex and marriage: