Why NFP is Awesome

I’m not even married yet, but learning Natural Family Planning (NFP) has been awesome. I am for NFP whether a couple wants 100 kids or whether they are avoiding pregnancy for a grave reason (i.e. physical or mental health concerns).  How we, as women, are not required to learn this at a young age boggles me. Rather than learning how our female body really functions (when it is fertile and infertile, or when and why you’re PMSing), most sex-ed classes and almost all OB-GYN’s “strongly suggest” taking a pill to completely neuter our womanhood.

Besides the biological fact that practicing NFP is completely chemical-free and organic (no popping birth control pills that, as a Group 1 carcinogen, can cause deathly strokes, blood clots, and an increased risk of breast cancer), knowing Natural Family Planning has helped me understand my body as a woman, AND has helped my fiancé love and appreciate ALL of me—especially in the crazy times of the month. ESPECIALLY in the crazy times of the month.

Angels 2Did I mention how appreciative my fiancé is?

Bobby and I took our first Natural Family Planning (the Creighton model) class six months before our wedding. There were a few other couples in this introductory class taught by a wonderful friend of mine, and Bobby and I thought it was so fascinating. There were things that I learned about a woman’s body that I have never known in 29 years of being a woman! It’s important to note that NFP is NOT the rhythm method. I didn’t know that just by charting her monthly cycle by the signs of her body (specifically the mucus produced), a woman could tell if she was ovulating, infertile, or had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, low or high levels of estrogen or progesterone, or endometriosis.  A large percentage of women who thought they were infertile—just by charting their cycle alone—realized they weren’t. They just learned how to recognize what was actually going on in their body at a particular time. I didn’t know that on peak fertile days a woman’s mucus (under a microscope) looks like little channels, allowing the sperm to swim easily (as Bobby says, “torpedo”…because everything apparently has to be referenced by either warfare analogies or Batman) to fertilize the egg. On “dry” days, where there is little-to-no mucus, under a microscope it looks like a brick wall, giving the sperm a “no trespassing” sign.

Bobby and I left that first class amazed at how God created our bodies. Rather than being grossed out at all this “mucus talk,” we were praising God for His infinite wisdom in creating the male and female body with such intricate detail and complete common sense. (By the way, I’m a little disturbed by men who are willing to have sex with a woman and exchange bodily fluids with her, yet say, “I don’t even wanna hear this mucus talk—that’s gross.” To me, that’s a clear sign he’s just using her for mere pleasure rather than loving this woman in her beautifully created heart, soul, mind AND body. How can you genuinely love a woman if you don’t love all of her?)


(Psssst, you can’t.)

So, Bobby charts with me. Of course, his favorite part is putting on the different colored stickers (men…), but he also really loves the fact that he knows the exact days to be extra nice and loving to me (and bring me flowers and chocolate.) This is completely counter cultural to a “birth control pill”-mentality where the fertility stuff is just a woman’s “problem,” and the man will enjoy her for sex as long as she “takes care of it” by popping a pill everyday. A pro-life OB-GYN I know (who is a NaPro technology surgeon and doesn’t prescribe contraception) told me that she often has women in her office who want to use NFP, but her boyfriend or husband won’t let her. If they’re trying to avoid pregnancy, rather than sacrificing and abstaining on her fertile days (which may be 11-15 days a month or more), he just wants to use her whenever he wants, thus making her take the pill.

Now, I personally know couples who contracept who are beautiful people…they just don’t know the truth. They don’t know the harmful side effects of the pill, or that NFP is actually 98% effective (more effective than the condom or the pill) at avoiding pregnancy, or that couples who use NFP have a divorce rate of less than 2% (compared 50% of the contracepting population). They may also not know the spiritual ramifications of contracepting their union (that contraception trains our hearts to fail to love the other freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully, and is a grave sin).  I feel like if they knew the beauty, truth, and goodness of how God designed sex, they would never use contraception.

Whether a couple is using NFP to have 12 kids or to avoid pregnancy in grave circumstances, it is wonderful to have the knowledge of what’s going on in a woman’s body. For me, personally, it’s also awesome to know that I have a soon-to-be husband who loves ALL of me and is willing to sacrifice with me on those 11 or so days that we will be abstaining from sex.  In fact, 90% of the married men I interviewed about using NFP said that it was so awesome to come together after having abstained for those days—it was like a honeymoon all over again (not to mention that NFP users have more sex and more satisfying sex than those who contracept). One woman I know compared abstaining from sex to fasting from chocolate during lent. She and her husband used contraception for the first six months of their marriage and then felt like they should do things “right” and started practicing NFP. She said there was a huge difference in their love life. She said, “you know how when you fast from chocolate and then you reeeeeally want chocolate? That’s what it’s like when you use NFP. You get reeeeeally excited to renew your wedding vows again.”

Yes, abstaining in marriage will be difficult, but I’ve been abstaining for 29 years and having sex zero days a month…and I haven’t spontaneously combusted yet.   Yes, NFP requires communication and learning and self-control. Yes, NFP requires selfless love. But this is why NFP is totally awesome.




***Since this was more of a testimonial rather than a theological dissertation or scientific article, here are a few websites to learn more about the studies done regarding the beauty of NFP and/or the harmful effects of contraception:




Green Sex by Jason & Crystallina Evert (http://www.catholicword.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=1110&idcategory=0 )


  One thought on “Why NFP is Awesome

  1. July 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience during NFP Awareness Week, Jackie! We CrMS practitioners always appreciate hearing how blessed our couple have been learning about the beautiful design God made for our bodies. Many blessings on your upcoming wedding day and the entire lifetime you will have with Bobby! You guys are wonderful!

  2. Erin
    July 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    So happy to read this Jackie! My husband and I use Creighton as well- there are no NaPro Dr.s in our immediate area- but we love what we have learned about our fertility and each other through NFP.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. July 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I am way too young to be married, but I think it is important for myself and my similarily-aged peers to know about these things. Thankfully, I go to Christian institution where we do not learn about the absurd myth of ‘safe relations’, but we definitely never learned about Natural Family Planning. I wish more people knew of this safe and effective way to have children, or for whatever reason, not have children at that time. I hope my future fiance is as considerate of my person as yours. :) God bless!

  4. Gabriella
    July 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    This is such a great post on NFP, thank you Jackie!

    Also, you may want to check out Women, Sex, and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching by Erika Bachiochi if you haven’t already. It’s a solid one!

  5. Kevin J
    July 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    You may want to read the blog NFP Sucks. I promise the article is not bashing NFP. It is just showing a different side of NFP without the PRE-marital naïveté. My wife and I really enjoyed it and agreed with most of it. Keep in mind we have been married 11.5 years and have 7 children. http://littlebitofparadise.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/nfp-sucks/

    • Chloe
      September 29, 2013 at 2:04 am

      I agree. We often mope around saying NFP is the worst… the same way we mope around saying salad is the worst. Sometimes doing the right thing is really, really hard even when one wouldn’t even consider the alternative.

      We’re actually avoiding because we DO want a baby. Never even thought that would be an issue pre-Cana, where I hated the classes because we had no reason to avoid and I figured getting pregnant wouldn’t be that difficult and there was plenty of time on my biological clock.

      Fast forward? I have some serious medical stuff going on which has made it impossible to sustain a pregnancy and if we can wait long enough to actually treat the problem, we’ll finally be able to hold and baptize one of our children.

  6. July 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Love this!

  7. Kristen
    July 27, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I couldn’t agree more – as a student at a state college, I see the vast majority of couples and sometimes sadly my own friends get into the mind set that contraception is the way to go. I have explained countless times to some friends about natural family planning and they look at me like I am crazy. However, I totally believe in my Catholic faith and the value of marriage and I know others like myself are out there. While it does take a special man and woman to make this commitment, it is possible. While I am not of married age and have not found my prince charming yet, I know he is out there. Thank you Jackie and Bobby for showing the world that life is beautiful and it should be taken as such. God Bless!

  8. Abby
    July 27, 2013 at 8:55 am

    My boyfriend and I also truly wish to use NFP if we decide God is calling us both to marriage with each other. One confusing aspect, though, that I remain “in the dark” about with regard to NFP is when it is “ok” or “acceptable” to abstain during fertile days to avoid pregnancy. I’ve heard “serious health reasons” which makes obvious sense. I’ve also heard these 2 descriptions:
    If, then, there are serious motives to space out births, which derive from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions, the Church teaches that it is then licit to take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions… [Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae 16]
    For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality. [Catechism of the Catholic Church 2368]

    Now, “just motives” and “serious reasons” just seems too subjective for me. I completely agree that we should leave the number of kids we have up to God, and I am ALL for that. But here’s the thing. Say I am in medical school, and my boyfriend is in graduate school as well. If we got married during that time, it’s relatively impossible to care for a child with the rigorous coursoad and hours required of graduate students. (Without dropping out, which I would be willing to do if that’s what is truly required.) would that be an acceptable circumstance to avoid pregnancy by using NFP? it is a serious thing (to not be able to care for children) but also controllable (I could technically drop out to care for a child).
    I wish more information was available to help couples discern what is and isn’t truly an acceptable reason to abstain. I wholeheartedly desire Christian motherhood. I just want to make sure I’m understanding NFP correctly!

    • July 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm


      Great questions and concerns. I think the terms “just motives” and “serious reasons” are purposefully left open to interpretation for each couple and their status in life. The Church is wisely silent on matters such as these, careful not to give a blanket rule for all couples. If you and your spouse are heavily involved in graduate studies or aren’t in a financially stable place in your marriage, then “responsible parenthood” would dictate that you should probably abstain for your periods of fertility, at least until you find yourselves in a place where you would be able to give your all to a child. But even with schooling or job concerns, some couples would be more prepared or disposed to the right care of children than others. Jackie and I have already been discussing our plans for the next academic year and looking to the youth conferences of NEXT summer to determine when would be the most responsible time to conceive. BUT, the important point is that we remain open to God’s will—even if we find ourselves with an unexpected pregnancy, we are called to be open to life and open to God’s entrusting of a child to us.

      That being said, the very conception of a child is a type of miracle in itself. Even if we aim for “perfect conditions” on her most fertile day, that’s no guarantee of conception. We know many couples who struggle with infertility and it is a tremendous cross. Many couples are unaware that the artificial birth control they are on now can lead to difficulties in conception later.

      NFP, if nothing else, has given me a tremendous respect for Jackie’s womanhood. Being a man is easy. You women have it tough! (Thus the periodic increase of chocolates and flowers). But I would never want Jackie to neuter herself, I would never dream of asking her to ingest a carcinogen just so we could have pleasure without consequences. God has blessed us with these bodies, and our happiness truly consists in using our gifts rightly. If I can’t control my desires for 8 days a month, I’m not really in control of myself…and I don’t love her as much as I should…you know?

      Openness to God. At the end of it all, this is what’s most important in this discussion. We’ll likely never feel like we’re in the “perfect” place (mentally, economically, spiritually) for a child, but that is the beauty of God’s plan. He trusts us, for some reason.


      • Abby
        July 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Thank you so much for this additional helpful insight! You two are a tremendous witness to Christian love. Thanks!

  9. July 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Reblogged this on ALYSSA&KATIE and commented:
    Abortion alternatives to consider.

  10. Dave Hahn
    July 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Really liked the article. I have gone to the head and heart immersion courses myself. I am currently trying to get a Non for profit group together here in my Diocese to present TOB material to people. I was wondering about something you said in this article and was wondering if you could elaborate on this point some more. You said that NFP should be used for only grave reasons : (physical or mental health concerns). What does that mean. I mean someone could say I am going to go out of my mind if I have one more child, and they only have one child. I know this decision has to be made by the couple but admittedly they have to be honest in making this decision. Isn’t it possible that people can use NFP for the wrong reasons? How does one discern what is grave and what isn’t. Can I ask you how you made your decision to actually use NFP and just not learn about it in case you ran into a grave reason to use it. Without getting into your personal life of course. Just in general how does one come to a conclusion they are going to use NFP for a grave reason and that they are not using it for a self centered reason. It seems like it would be easy to do that.

  11. July 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Bodafide and commented:
    I miss NFP Awareness Week already- so we had to reblog these fabulous Creighton users loving the organic, safe, healthy not to mention totally man and woman respecting benefits of natural family planning. Because God’s plan for human sexuality is good for your body & your soul (Insert your mind blown here).

  12. August 2, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Thank you for being an amazing witness to the beauty of authentic Catholic marriage. Best wishes in eight days and God bless you both!
    Re-blogged in my seven quick takes blog today.

  13. Tammy
    August 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

    This is so interesting. For a while, now, I’ve been wondering if I would really want to use contraceptives in marriage, and the still, small voice in my head says, “No.” I’m not married yet, but my gut tells me that it would be so awkward and not as natural and beautiful. Natural Family Planning sounds really interesting, and I would love to attend a classes with my future fiancé/husband someday to learn more about it.

    This post is beautiful, Jackie. Congratulations on your’s and Bobby’s blessed holy union of true and pure love!!! I’ve no doubt that it was worth the wait!!! I’m so happy for you. You’re an inspiration to young women, like myself, who long to be filled with joyful hope while waiting upon the Lord to script their love stories and awaken the call to whatever vocation He may will for their lives!

    Peace, all good, and pure joy be with you!

  14. August 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    First, I want to say that is seems like a great perspective on NFP. However, some of the ideas in this article I believe to be rather misleading. There is a significant fact in that this article was written by someone who isn’t married. Sorry Jackie, but to talk about situations for a married couple when you haven’t experienced them yourself is like trying to describe Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon without actually seeing it. You can hear descriptions from other people, but you really have to experience it yourself to appreciate the wonder.

    I am married and I am currently on the pill. I am not here to bash on the idea of NFP. It sounds like a great idea that I will look into. However, there were a few reasons stated for being on NFP that really didn’t sit well with me…..

    One being that my husband just wants to use me for sex. Sex is a beautiful act, created by God, to experience your mate in a way that can only be described in complete contentment. I mean that. When I have sex with my husband, I just experience a contentment like none other. It’s a contentment that is supposed to be like contentment with God. The only way I think my husband would use sex actually is withholding. I want to experience that union with him. I want him to want union with me. Many times Jackie references a woman being used for sex. If they aren’t married, this is exactly what is it. However, if you have made your vows, a pill is not something that enables a husband to use his wife. I believe this to be a gross representation of our choice.

    Secondly, the it makes sense that people want to have sex after abstaining for almost two weeks. I know I sure would. However, it’s not just a physical desire (although that is certainly part of it). It’s an emotional and spiritual connection that I desire and I don’t want to go that long without it. Hold all your insecurity comments and your lack of spirituality comments. The union with my husband is something that I cherish every time. I crave that connection with him and I should… HE’S MY HUSBAND! The relationship between man, woman, and God is meant to be a very intimate one and sex is one of the best ways for the relationship to be experienced to the fullest. If I decided to get very involved in the ministry of my church for the fact that I love the relationships I have with people and the closely I feel to God because of it, would I be chided for being to insecure? Well I probably should because in the end, we all are emotional insecure when it comes to our heavenly father. We should take every opportunity to grow our relationship with HIm and also with our husbands.

    I see this article referring “that contraception trains our hearts to fail to love the other freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully, and is a grave sin”. Again a gross misrepresentation and completely contrary to what I feel every time make that union with my husband. Everyone else may not feel that way, but one I (as a married woman) do.

    Again, please let me reiterate that is article has some great information, especially from a source that is not in a marriage currently. Furthermore, NFP is the natural choice and like most natural choices it’s more than likely way better for my body. However, chose it for the right reasons and do not be convinced by a few reasons in this article that I believe to be false because they are not my experience

    • Maddie
      October 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Tara,
      I think it is interesting that you would say that Jackie has no idea about using NFP because she was not yet married, when you yourself are making judgements about using NFP when you do not use it.
      I am married and my husband and I use NFP and I can tell you that the time of abstaining is GOOD for our marriage. You believe it would be bad for your marriage because you have not tried it.
      I don’t know if you understand Catholic teaching on sex which says that be an actual act of love it must be free and total (it is not total if you are deliberately withholding your fertility through the use of the pill, you are not saying to your husband “I give you myself entirely and I accept you entirely”… you are saying “I give you everything except this and I accept you entirely except for this part”. It is not the same.) and to be truly loving, sex also needs to be open to life.
      Yes, God made sex to be a union and bond with husband and wife, but he also made it for the bringing forth of new life. You cannot deliberately separate the two or it is a disordered act and not truly loving.
      God gifted couples with infertile periods, which means that they can come together without conceiving every time, but to deliberately cut the new life part out of it is an abuse of the sexual act.
      While NFP makes use of fertile and infertile period, it never deliberately contracepts, therefore, while it is 98% effective in avoiding or achieving pregnancy, a couple using NFP always need to be open to the possibility of new life. This possibility is in itself always a big YES to God, (and by the way makes the sexual act soooo much more exciting) whereas sex using contraception is always a big NO to God.
      You say that you do not believe that your husband is using you, despite the fact that you are on the pill, and I would like to suggest that you do not see this as him using you because you are also using him… Yes, you may be bonding in your own way, but you are not really becoming one flesh because you are both not open to the total gift of each other. You say-

      I see this article referring “that contraception trains our hearts to fail to love the other freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully, and is a grave sin”. Again a gross misrepresentation and completely contrary to what I feel every time make that union with my husband. Everyone else may not feel that way, but one I (as a married woman) do.

      Just because you feel something about the situation does not mean that it is true, right or even good. Contraception does not make the act free, it does not make it total, it does not make it faithful and it does certainly not make it fruitful. Because you have no experience using NFP, you do not know how much better you would feel about your sexual union if you were not contracepting.

      All this aside, Tara, the pill is BAD FOR YOU. I strongly suggest you get off it before you cause serious damage to your health.
      When we are so close to a situation it is easy to not be able to see if for what it really is. I’ve been there… I know now how far I was from the truth and I will pray that you will soon see this also.

    • October 4, 2013 at 4:18 am

      That’s fantastic that you and your husband enjoy your sexual relationship. With all the couples having problems in this area, it’s a great thing when a couple sees their sexuality as such a positive thing.

      I also think that some NFP advocates get into gender stereotypes that don’t fit all couples. Women enjoy sex, too. You talk about marriage as being “Niagra Falls” or the “Grand Canyon” and speak of your sexual relationship as “emotional and spiritual contentment” and a “complete connection”, and I believe you. Sex is clearly important to you and you have serious concerns about the abstinence. My wife has very similar views and abstinence is as difficult for her as it is for me, if not more, so it’s not just a guy thing. Being told that our struggles with abstinence were all about me using her for sex was not only completely wrong, but it was harmful to our marriage.

      But as Maddie said, the pill IS bad for you. You seem a bit uneasy about it in your comments. You say “NFP is the natural choice and like most natural choices it’s more than likely way better for my body” and “It sounds like a great idea that I will look into.” You seem to know that NFP is good for your health, but you don’t want to give up the pill.

      I understand that that your sexual relationship is important, but doing something that is bad for your body in order to have more sex is not only physically unhealthy, but may be the sign of a deeper issue. It is possible in a marriage to put so much of an emphasis on the sexual connection that we take it to an unhealthy level. Sex in a marriage is good, but it can easily go from building intimacy to becoming a substitute for intimacy. The couple starts using each other for that warm fuzzy close feeling instead of building real intimacy in their marriage. I speak from experience in this area. It is very rare that Catholic/Christian counselors address these issues, especially when the wife is the one who finds sex so important. (Gender stereotypes, grrrr….)

      From your comments, it seems like you would like to try NFP but are worried about the impact it will have on your marriage. Going off the pill is good for your health and you’ll probably feel a lot better when you do. That alone will help your marriage. Learn to chart your cycle. As far as the abstinence, don’t think you have to do everything perfectly all at once. Whatever steps you take toward learning and using NFP are going to help your marriage, so do what you can and don’t think that it is an all-or-nothing thing.

  15. September 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing about NFP. I wish more young women knew about it. My husband and I went to NFP classes when we got engaged, but the more i learnt the more i wished i had learnt about it earlier, because it teaches you so much about your own body. I had been on the pill for years for a reproductive condition that had caused me problems, but NFP has taught me to listen to my body and now i manage it naturally. I wish someone had taught me all the info i leant in NFP classes when i was 17. I hope to teach my potential daughters about their fertility cycles so that it can benefit their lives.

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  20. Liz
    August 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you for this post! I am a CrMS Practitioner in Iowa and also started charting while my husband and I were engaged. We now have two beautiful girls and I have completed all my training to teach others the Creighton Model. I shared your blog on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FertilityCareNWIowa.

    God Bless!

  21. Ewa M
    November 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I would like to mention other very important issue: many fertility experts (including doctors) are concerned about the fact that women often are not informed that the birth control pill can cause an chemical abortion as well as prevent pregnancy.

    Despite the hormones’ ability to prevent the release of eggs, sometimes a “breakthrough ovulation” takes place.

    A woman can still conceive an embryo (baby), who because of synthetic hormones cannot attach to the uterine lining and is aborted. The pill’s third mechanism is to change the lining of the endometrium, which creates a hostile environment for a newly created human life.

    The similar and even worse mechanism works in case of IUDs (coils), like Mirena, where one of the mechanisms incorporates a physical intrusion to prevent implantation of already conceived embryo.

    I use NFP methods since the beginning, currently Lady-Comp, which works great for me….


  22. Lane
    February 25, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I think it needs to be reiterated again and again that NFP is not the ultimate. I am not comfortable saying that NFP is awesome. The ultimate rule is to be open to life. What IS awesome is when young couples marry and are totally open to life. If a couple uses nfp, they are not totally open to life. They just aren’t. They are trying to avoid conception. They might be partially open to life. Sometimes, if the reason is serious enough, they have to be closed to life for a time and it’s okay to use NFP. It’s understandable. But I don’t see it as being awesome or wonderful.

  23. Joanna
    December 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Hi, where can I contact any doctor or teacher who taught the Creighton Model? or even someone who can teach in Spanish.

    I have a question this NFP model is different of Billings Ovulation Method?

    Thanks guys for their contributions to couples who want to have a sex life according to their faith, the Lord continue to bless you!

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