Natural Family Planning
Natural family Planning (NFP) gives couples a reliable, natural, moral method of regulating the births of their children within marriage, should they so wish. NFP teaches women to identify their own personal fertility indicators on a daily basis and so pinpoint the optimum time to try for a baby if desired, or to use abstinence during this period, if not. When used carefully, the method is over 99% reliable. NFP is completely safe and does not use hormones, chemicals or devices within the female body. Proven benefits include a deepening of communication between spouses, strengthening of family stability, openness to new life and a very low rate of divorce.
The Church teaches that children are “the supreme gift of marriage” (Gaudium et Spes n. 50). She also teaches that contraception is “intrinsically evil” because it takes away the life-giving potential from the marital embrace. The total giving of self to each other, as promised on the wedding day in the exchange of vows, is no longer possible with the use of contraception or sterilisation because fertility, an integral part of each person, has been either suppressed or destroyed. The effective reasoning is thus: “I give you myself, but not my fertility. I will take steps to actively prevent my healthy reproductive system from working properly in case we create a baby.” This action runs directly against the in-built meaning of marriage and is, therefore, sinful.
However, when Natural Family Planning is used with the same intention of avoiding the conception of another baby, it suppresses nothing because it works with the natural periods of infertility created within the menstrual cycle. It does nothing to subvert the actual act itself which the Church maintains “must be open to the transmission of life.” (Humanae Vitae n. 11).
Natural Family Planning South West has teachers across the diocese who are friendly and ready to answer any queries or provide help.