Join Date: May 2003
Location: Beautiful Carolina
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This board provides a great community to ask questions, view charts, etc. Welcome!
I have been using NFP for 3 years, and it is awesome! NFP is like the FAM that TCOYF teaches, but we abstain during the fertile phase. It is *totally* workable. My sleep pattern is crazy and my job keeps me on the road all the time, so I was worried it would not work out well. But it has been wonderful, both for my body for our marriage. It has generated unexpected responses from my friends who wonder when I went from Preppy to Crunchy. I find this really funny ---- why are they mutually exclusive? : )
The daily CM observations will become second nature, just something you notice when you go to the bathroom. The temperature can be something you and your partner do together. When we used a mercury thermometer, my DH would be in charge of "shaking it down" each night, and making sure that I awoke with the alarm. Now that we have switched to a digital thermometer (which takes about 15 seconds), he makes sure that the alarm is set, and hands me the thermometer. So, you see, we practice NFP together. He knows my cycles as well as I do, and often is the one who analyze our charts. There are a number of good sources out there who can you ask for help examining your charts, too.
Natural birth control is usually a joint effort between you and your partner. Some friends who switch from the Pill to natural family planning have shared that they no longer carry a burden about always being the responsible one. Both NFP and FAM are both 97%+ effective in preventing pregnancy, and they can be immediately reversed to achieve pregnancy without any side effects. Your success rate will depend on your dedication during your fertile phase, as to whether you choose to abstain or to use artifical BC. The few folks I know that have found themselves unexpectedly pregnant admit to "taking chances", having sex during their fertile time, or not charting/reading their signs. whenever we have been in doubt, we just wait a day, and see what my body does. This has worked for us.
A lot of women share that they feel more connected to their bodies, more in control of their fertility (hence the title, I guess : ) ) , and as an added benefit, their communication with their partner usually improves. Here is a fun stat --- couples who practice NFP (I am not sure the number for FAM, sorry) have a very small divorce rate, about 2%. So, by getting off the Pill you could be improving your marriage before it even starts. There is no big secret why it works so well to foster a better relationship. You and your partner communicate regularly, and on such a intimate level, that you will likely be more in tune with each other. Having said that, there are always exceptions. You don't have to go natural to have a great marriage -- but what a great "side effect". Let me now if you want to know the source of these stats.
Congrats on taking such a healthy step.