• Jenny Ingles, CFCP

Myth: NFP is just Rainbows and Kittens all the Time


We all have expectations. Expectations for little things like how clothes will fit or our ability to keep our promises to volunteer. And expectations for big things like for our job, our friendships, our marriages and being a parent. I hear so often that something is “not what I expected". There is frustration and sadness that come along with it. The disconnect between what we thought would happen and what actually happened can be stressful.

Despite the fact that real-life experience tells us the expectations are often not met, we still act as if they will be. I see this so often in couples using NFP. Whether they are trying to achieve a pregnancy or avoid a pregnancy expectations of what should happen can cause frustration. And it is common for couples entering NFP to be under the impression that pregnancy will occur every time they intentionally try to get pregnant and it will never occur when they are trying to avoid. Or they are under the impression that abstaining during times of fertility when they are trying to avoid pregnancy will be easy, no big deal. And then when fertility passes it will be a second honeymoon, or rainbows and kittens.


The truth is things work out exactly that way for some couples. But for others, they don’t. Women with complicated charts or medical issues can find themselves frustrated because they expected to only have to chart. When it turns out that they have to see a doctor, or potentially change their lifestyle, or take a medication in order to achieve a pregnancy or have a clear chart that makes avoiding pregnancy easier it can be frustrating. Other couples discover that it is very difficult to abstain during times of fertility even if they have very serious reasons to avoid pregnancy. Couples who previously had the rainbows and kittens experience of NFP can suddenly be frustrated when they change their intention for using the method. For example, they may have had no problems abstaining during times of fertility and it was easy for them to avoid pregnancy; however, when they try to achieve pregnancy and discover that they are dealing with infertility, then they suddenly have tremendous difficulty. These are all normal and somewhat common experiences. But that doesn’t mean that couples have no hope in alleviating their burdens.


Making the most out of NFP often requires matching behaviors with realities. Our Creighton Practitioners are skilled at assisting women with their fertility. We can help with charting issues and difficulties. But ultimately, it is up to the woman and the couple to decide to do what is being suggested. Sometimes it requires hard work. In my experience, the hard work pays off! I have seen women with continuous mucus be able to navigate their chart with such accuracy that they can tell the difference between a fertile 10KL and an infertile 10KL (Creighton Terminology). I have been privileged to receive pictures of positive pregnancy tests from couples who have struggled with infertility. I have been blessed to walk with couples in the use of SPICE as they learn how to love each other during times of abstinence. No, Creighton is not always rainbows and kittens, but neither is life. Most of the wonderful, beautiful things we do involve very hard work. Using NFP is no different. The joy comes from successfully navigating the difficulties. But, if you are struggling with any method of NFP, contact one of our Creighton Practitioners and we can help you


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