Natural Family Planning and Your Health

When people think of the words ‘Natural Family Planning’ they may think of the Rhythm Method.  But, if you can imagine how much modern medicine has changed in the last 50 years, then imagine what we now know about a woman’s cycle and when she is fertile or infertile.  Natural Family Planning or now known as FABM’s (Fertility Awareness Based Methods) are much more than just avoiding or achieving pregnancy naturally. Some of them, including the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, also allow women to monitor and maintain their own reproductive and gynecologic health.  

 This includes such areas as PMS, heavy painful periods, reproductive abnormalities, infertility, repetitive miscarriage, hormone problems, anxiety, depression and more.  

The number of couples experiencing infertility and chronic miscarriage is on the rise. These couples desire to have a child like most married couples and are willing to do almost anything to conceive.  When they enter a doctor’s office they are usually offered assisted reproductive technologies (ART).  Some of these procedures leave them feeling like science experiments with many tests, procedures, and medications. Instead of conceiving a child in a loving embrace as husband and wife, the way they desire to conceive a child, they are subjected to awkward and unnatural ART services, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), that often times costs them tens of thousands of dollars and still sometimes, no baby, and zero treatment of what was causing the infertility in the first place.

This can also bring about moral issues that they had not thought of before like having several babies implanted so that one baby could have a chance to survive.  The more babies implanted the more likely the hormone levels will be high enough to support at least one baby. This is one of the many reasons the Catholic Church does not support IVF- it uses life to get life.  The good news is there is another option for couples who find they are not comfortable with the moral issues and that these technologies are contradictory to their faith, that good news is Naprotechnology.  Naprotechnology is a new reproductive science that works cooperatively with the natural procreative cycle.  It is the science associated with the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.  There are many physicians all over the world trained in Naprotechnology.  With Napro, these physicians look for the underlying cause of infertility or chronic miscarriage and treat it effectively, allowing the couple to get pregnant on their own in a loving marital embrace.  Naprotechnology has an up to 81.8% success rate in treating these couples. That is three times higher than IVF success rates.  

Another example of how modern methods of NFP are more effective is with PMS and heavy painful periods.  Many women grow up thinking that during their ‘time of the month’ it is just normal to be in pain and emotionally unstable. There are some that say, “Well, it’s just my time to suffer.”  But, actually, if this is really becoming an overwhelming issue it is not normal. The problem is, if you don’t treat the underlying issues that are causing the pain, heavy bleeding, etc., it can cause other health issues such as infertility, chronic miscarriage and even cancer. Many women turn to their doctor when their periods become too intense or irregular and their doctor tells them they should take the birth control pill for medical reasons.  The issue there is that the birth control pill has many side effects including heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer. Some studies from sources such as PubMed.gov say that it can increase your breast cancer risk by as much as 75%, especially if taken before age 21.  Many girls as young as age 15 are being put on birth control to treat their symptoms, even if they are not sexually active. 

If the woman is sexually active it also can work as an abortifacient, where sometimes there are breakthrough ovulations and a child is conceived, but not able to implant in the woman’s uterus because, due to the use of birth control, her uterine lining is too thin.  This happens in all forms of birth control, whether the patch, pill or shot. It always happens with the IUD (intrauterine device). Again, some studies regarding postfertilization loss show the average pill user will lose one to two babies per year and not know it.  Thankfully, Naprotechnology is here for this as well. These doctors will get to the underlying cause of the heavy painful periods and PMS and treat them safely and naturally and all in line with moral ethics.  

Some women are also experiencing anxiety and depression that could be hormonally related.  Naprotechnology can also uncover these issues and treat them effectively.  

To see a Naprotechnlogy physician you must first learn to chart the Creighton Model System. This will allow the physician to see certain biomarkers in your charting. The chart becomes a very powerful tool for the physician.  To find out more and to learn the system please visit FertilityCare Centers of America to find a FertilityCare Practitioner in your area. 

Amy Karney

Amy is a Catholic homeschooling mom of 6 children and a Fertility Care Practitioner for the Creighton Model System. She and her family are Lay Members of the Home of the Mother and live in Jacksonville, Fl.

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