Is NFP Artificial Birth Control?

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Mary - posted on 09/16/2010

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Tara, the reason I find it different from simply "not being in the mood" is the INTENT...you are purposely abstaining from intercourse when it is most likely that you could conceive. You are intentionally avoiding the possibility of the sperm and egg meeting, by not having sex when the egg is "available". For me, that would be avoiding sex when I am most "in the mood"...physically, I most yearn for sex when I am ovulating.



Oh, and the more strictly observant Catholics would tell you that using the hand is a no-no, since it is a waste of "seed".

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It's BC but I would not rely on it... my cycles are very long and if I go with the conception time of my son, I am fertile for a freaking long time( much longer than the calendar says). we were trying even if my ovulation was supposed to be past by 1 week... 5 days later, I was pregnant. I am aware of my body and can pretty much tell when I am ovulating (or Kevin does before i do) but i would never rely on the calendar. my instincts prove to be more accurate than the paper.

Not for me.

Kate CP - posted on 09/16/2010

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I can't use this form of birth control because my cycles are highly irregular. I needed clomid this time around to get pregnant. :/

Katherine - posted on 09/16/2010

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So, from a Catholic standpoint, would this be BC? I think so. I was raised Catholic, am I now? Heck no. I know what they still believe though and this method to me, like Jessica said, is a way of controlling pregnancy.

Jessica - posted on 09/16/2010

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"Is it "artificial"? No. Is it birth control? Yes.

I am Catholic, and this is yet another one of the social policies of the Church that annoys the crap out of me. If their whole stance is based on the belief that the main purpose of sex is procreation, than I fail to see how intentionally limiting sex to "non-fertile" times is any different from other, more effective means of birth control. The end result, as well as intention, is still the same; you are preventing the sperm and egg from coming together and possibly becoming a baby."

^^ I'm not Catholic personally but ITA with this. You are consciously limiting sex to when you aren't fertile, therefore you are controlling whether you get pregnant or not. I actually think its a great method, but to be used accurately it does take a LOT of in depth knowledge of your body and fertility signs. You have to pay attention. Going off a calendar alone will likely end with an "oops" at some point; but of you know your body's fertility signs then its pretty easy to avoid sex/use condoms during that time. This is what I was doing after I had my son. I knew exactly when I ovulated at 7 months PP because I knew my body that well. Sure enough, I had my period shortly after and regularly after that. Though I consider this pregnancy to be "unplanned" in a way, if I'd paid better attention at the time we conceived I'd have realized I was ovulating at the time- but we were at the point where it was ok with us if we were to get pregnant again so we got careless.

Tara - posted on 09/16/2010

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not really. It's more like scheduled sexual encounters. Scheduled during a time when a woman can't (or likely won't) conceive.
So it's not really preventing an egg from meeting a sperm anymore than saying "I have a head ache, use your hand!"
If it's birth control than so is every minute that you choose not to jump your partners bones and get it on right there. Choosing not to have sex is birth control I suppose but to say it's preventing an egg and sperm meeting is so general. As I said, it's no different than turning your hubby down cause you're not in the mood!!

Petra - posted on 09/16/2010

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It's definitely a form of birth control - the whole idea behind it is to have sex during times when you're not likely to get pregnant. I think its very hypocritical of the church to condemn birth control and condone NFP - like Mary said, its purpose is to prevent the union of sperm and egg, which sounds to me like the very definition of birth control.

Mary - posted on 09/16/2010

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Is it "artificial"? No. Is it birth control? Yes.

I am Catholic, and this is yet another one of the social policies of the Church that annoys the crap out of me. If their whole stance is based on the belief that the main purpose of sex is procreation, than I fail to see how intentionally limiting sex to "non-fertile" times is any different from other, more effective means of birth control. The end result, as well as intention, is still the same; you are preventing the sperm and egg from coming together and possibly becoming a baby.

LaCi - posted on 09/16/2010

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I'm not catholic. I do use the calendar method. So far so good, no pregnancies in over 2 years. From what I heard, although I can't remember where now, a large amount of teen girls are trying to use the calendar method. Its the new craze. I have to wonder how many of them actually have regular periods though, as I know mine were no where near regular, even up to the age I got knocked up the first time.



Anyway, I use calendar method, I checked myself with symptoms when I started to make sure I was on a good schedule, and it's working so far. If I'm paranoid, pull out. No big deal.



Calendar based methods are actually among the most effective methods of birth control, according to planned parenthood.

Krista - posted on 09/16/2010

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Any measures that you take to try to influence whether or not you get pregnant could be considered birth control, really. Some of them are just work much better than others. I would never use NFP -- its unreliability would make me so frigging nervous during sex that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself.

C. - posted on 09/16/2010

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Yes it's birth control. It's natural birth control b/c it goes around your ovulation days and it doesn't work the best all the time, but it IS birth control.

[deleted account]

Yes it is birth control, but it is usually ineffectual or difficult to control effectually. My boyfriend and I used a combination of NFP and occasional condom use (combination of rhythm method, abstinence and withdrawal during most of my cycle and condoms when I knew I was fertile but we still wanted sex) very effectually for about 10 years with great success and it did make it super easy to conceive when we finally decided we were ready. For us it worked well as birth control for a long time, but it took a great deal of awareness and a complementary method of BC (condoms) as back up in order to be effective.

But 9 months after our first son was born (EBF for 6 months and BF with solids after that), I fell pregnant again with a "whoopsie" baby. I knew I was fertile from 4 weeks post-partum and had started my menstrual cycle and we were using same methods, but being busy with a child and other responsibilities meant I wasn't as aware of my cycle as I used to be. Also for many couples, fertility increases after the first child. Had preventing another pregnancy been really important to us we would have chosen a more effectual form of birth control, as it is, we will have two kids close together in age which is not really a big concern for us.

Amie - posted on 09/15/2010

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Well my great aunt, successfully, used this sort of method for having her sons. She wanted 2 kids, she got her 2 and that was it.



However even then she was cautious when BFing (60's). It is stupid to think a BFing mom is infertile. I should go tell that one to my friend actually. LOL She has 5 kids, her youngest is almost 10 months old and she's due in the next couple of weeks with their 6th.



If a woman knows her body well enough though she knows when she's ovulating and can avoid having sex during those times.



Do I think it's a great form of BC? No, not really. Most women do not know their bodies as well as they think they do.

Sarah - posted on 09/15/2010

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Yeah, I was kinda going with the whole NFP thing, but I think I may have messed up lol. Not sure if I'm pregnant or not, because it's too soon to test...we shall see. :)

Caitlin - posted on 09/15/2010

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Hmmm, my first was pretty much a NFP baby.. I mean, I was tracking my cycle and avoiding sex on my "fertile" days.. so either I messed up or it's not that reliable...

I guess you could call it birth control, just really crappy birth control...

Kate CP - posted on 09/15/2010

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Well, yes it is...but it's not exactly reliable enough for me. Anything with a 25% failure rate is, to me, not good enough.

Kate CP - posted on 09/15/2010

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I think it's a pretty good way to end up with a couple of "whoops" babies, personally.

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