2. Reasons People Lean to Chart Their Fertility

Biological reasons, such as one’s health and concern about the side effects of artificial methods, including sterilization.

I read the insert that came in my wife’s birth control pill packet and realized that I didn’t want her to take the risk of these consequences just to make sex convenient. At that point, I said that we had to find a better way. Charting her fertiltiy is that better way for us.

I started Depo-Provera to simplify my life, but I gained weight and suffered depression. I decided that I wanted to be hormone-free…after all if I objected to hormones in meat, why should I take them? If I wanted my garden to be chemical free, why didn’t I have the same concern for my own ecology? Fertility charting has been a wonderful experience in understanding myself.

Relational reasons, such as the positive interaction that can occur as the couple manages family planning together. One “side effect” is that 70 percent of couples who were surveyed indicated that the practice of Natural Family Planning (NFP) increased their communication level.

I never thought that after twenty years of marriage that I would ever feel the intensity of desire for my wife I felt when we were first married. Yes, we still loved each other, but there was something missing. I just chalked it up to being older, having kids, being together for twenty years. Something amazing happened when we learned NFP – the abstinence brought back the freshness, the anticipation, we had enjoyed when we were first married.

We were using a barrier method of family planning before we started charting her fertility, but I hated suiting up for sex. It seemed wrong to establish a barrier from the person you were to be as intimate as possible with—it contradicted the unity of the act. NFP is so much more spontaneous and congruent with what sex means in a committed, loving relationship.

Philosophical reasons, such as the recognition that some forms of contraception could possibly interfere with the implantation process. In that way, these methods may act as abortifacients.

I had heard someone say that hormonal contraceptives can cause really early miscarriage by preventing implantation, so I asked my doctor about it. She said that this isn’t true. However, the more I read, the more it seemed that there really is the possibility that this is true. I’m not willing to take that chance. http://archfami.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/9/2/126

I think it is an injustice for me, as a man, to ask my wife to negate her biology just so she can be sexually available without concern for pregnancy. Justice requires that we both share in the responsibility for family planning. NFP fulfilled this for us.

Spiritual reasons, such as faithfulness to one’s religious beliefs and an understanding of sexuality as comprised of a unitive and procreative dimension – inseparable parts of a whole. Fertiltiy charting allows the couple to respect this part of who they are while still allowing them to practice responsible parenthood.

NFP helped me appreciate the cycle of life. It makes me very thankful that there is a God who has made this – how wonderfully it all works together. As Psalm 139 says, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!

I feel good about NFP because it allows me to live congruently with Catholic teaching. I’m not putting an obstacle between myself and my relationship with God, and my relationship with God has gotten closer.