Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three little words: Natural Family Planning

Someone dropped by searching for "How to get pregnant". Assuming this person is interested in fertility information, and already knows how the basic process works, I recommend that he/she have a look at the Natural Family Planning links in my sidebar. (Scrolling may be necessary.) I duplicate the list here for your convenience:

Basicallly, what NFP allows people to do is track the woman's cycle, looking for signs of fertility, and then act accordingly. These signs usually include basal body temperature and/or cervical mucous. It requires that both spouses be aware and respectful of the woman's fertility.

Any one of the available methods for tracking female fertility can allow couples to maximize (or minimize if they wish to space their children) the potential of their efforts to conceive.

While NFP is often touted as a Catholic thing, there are many non-Catholics who choose to use it. In addition to the many religious and moral reasons for using NFP, there are other practical concerns. Some use it because they find it is beneficial for their marriages. Others choose it because of medical concerns or even for the sake of the environment (you'd be surprised at where those hormones go). Couples who are interested in natural and organic living may find NFP particularly appealing, because it does not involve the ingestion of any synthetic hormones, or the use of man-made barrier methods.

On a side note, I personally find it to be a handy tool for me as I monitor my reproductive and general health. It has been interesting to see the not-immediately-obvious effects that stress, illness, weight, and diet can have on my body. (Stress, for instance, sends my basal body temp on a wild roller-coaster ride.) Closely observing and charting my cycle has allowed me to spot early signs that something may be negatively affecting my health, and this has allowed me to take care of problems before they get out of hand.

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