After years on the pill and never really understanding my body-when I was thrown into the fertility world I was asked to understand my body at such a deep level the overwhelm was intense. In fact, even through fertility I was suddenly thrown on drugs I knew nothing about and had no real understanding of how and why they were altering my hormones. Fast forward into my late 20s and early 30s I now have an understanding my teenage and early 20 year old something could only dream of and know how beneficial it would be to have such an understanding.
This is why I am in the last few weeks of training to be a qualified NFP teacher. I will be qualified to teach you how to use the Symptothermal method. This method allows you to avoid, space and even work towards achieving a pregnancy. A contraception method ignored as a whole since the introduction of the pill but now- with everyone starting to really question what they are putting inside their bodies. Why stop at nutrition?
Here’s my five reasons for choosing or rejecting NFP written for my training.
5 reasons for choosing NFP:
1. It’s cyclical care at its best. People will become more and more familiar with their patterns, menstrual cycle and day to day signs. Thus, they will easily and quickly notice any changes that they don’t consider ‘normal’.
2. No need for prescriptions and intervention from medical professionals. NFP allows couples to go back to their natural rhythms and simply start observations at home.
3. There are side effects with other contraceptive methods which still are not fully researched and clear to those using them. Using NFP means those who have previously struggled with such side-effects can use a method completely free from drugs and devices that interfere with their natural rhythms. Nothing more freeing.
4. Studies have proven the method to be highly effective. In order for a contraceptive method to be as efficient as the hormonal pill for example, the failure rate cannot be higher than 1 in 100. In a study with P.Frank-Herrmann et al they found the STM method to have an effectiveness of 0.4% (1 pregnancy in 3250 cycles) which makes it as effective as the hormonal pill.
5. This method allows couples to work together towards their goal. Such a method where both take an interest and work as one, allows couples to become closer and more in tune with a partner’s cycle. For those trying to understand their cycle in order to achieve pregnancy, this method can support with that and allow them to feel like they are working towards achieving pregnancy or at least gathering further information for health care practitioners, so they are more informed for any future meetings together.
5 reasons for rejecting NFP
1.If they have previously been to a health professional who, unfortunately, isn’t aware of current statistics and studies. A couple may feel that the effectiveness of NFP did not meet the standards required thus would reject the option to use FAM in the first instance. In order to support the change with this, more training needs to be carried out among healthcare providers and NFP practitioners are to continue to share results from recent studies to instil confidence.
2. In order to use FAM, couples are required to abstain from sexual intercourse during the fertile period. For some, they may not feel this is something they can align with and may reject NFP.
3. In order for couples to use FAM, they will need to be trained by an NFP teacher. This incurs an initial outlay and of course, not everyone is able to afford such private teaching.
4. Both partners need to be committed to the method, the partners need to be supporting those taking their BBT and checking their symptoms. This requires motivation from both sides and may not be something both feel they can get on board with.
5. For NFP to be effective, couples need to be carrying out their observations every day, this takes commitment, motivation and dedication. For some, they may find other contraceptives more of a lure if they involve less ‘admin’. Society today seems to expect everything to involve less work and be quicker than ever before. Going back to a thermometer and piece of paper may seem completely alien to some therefore they may not even consider the disadvantages of the way modern day contraception can interfere with our cyclical care and the NFP advantages in favour of ‘ease’.
Some interesting points to note and consider before embarking on your NFP journey