Woman's body has built-in baby-spacing mechanism
By Lisa Price
Special to The B.C. Catholic
Contraception and sterilization have become so commonplace in our society that it can seem as though everyone is using them. But are they really?
Many women can likely relate to one or more of the following scenarios:
-- You ask your doctor about your irregular cycles or painful periods and are prescribed the hormonal contraceptive pill.
-- You have just had a baby and at your first post-partum check-up are asked what method of contraception you will be using to prevent pregnancy.
-- You have had your second or third child and are routinely offered a tubal ligation or IUD, or your husband is encouraged to have a vasectomy, to prevent future pregnancies.
I want to let you in on a little secret: not everyone is using contraception. There are other options available for you to plan your family naturally and manage your reproductive health, without the use of harmful drugs or devices and in keeping with your Catholic faith.
There is a growing counter-cultural revolution of millions of men and women worldwide who have taken a definitive stand by choosing Natural Family Planning.
The Billings Ovulation Method (not to be confused with the rhythm method) is one of several methods of Natural Family Planning and it fits within the moral precepts of the Church. Over 60 years of research have been devoted to developing this highly effective method using the body's natural marker of fertility: cervical mucus.
My husband Dominic and I, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, have been married for seven years and now reside in British Columbia with our two children. We were introduced to the method while preparing for marriage. We were soon astounded by its effectiveness but also its simplicity.
I was blown away by how much I was able to learn about my body, and I knew I needed to share this information with others. It was soon after the birth of our first child that we were trained as teachers.
NFP differs from contraception in that it respects God's design for fertility and protects the dignity of the human person as a whole. Couples using NFP remain open to life, as nothing is done to alter or manipulate their fertility by sterilizing the sexual act.
They use the virtue of self-control and practise abstinence during fertile phases when they have discerned a serious reason to postpone pregnancy.
The Billings Method can be used by women even if they are not experiencing regular cycles, and thus is effective after childbirth, after ceasing hormonal contraception, and during peri-menopause.
It is also an effective way for women to monitor their reproductive health. All women (married or single) are encouraged to learn to recognize their patterns of fertility, which can then be monitored to detect the presence of any abnormalities or changes in their cycle that may require medical investigation.
Women and men are hungry for this news. There are so many women who, when introduced to the method, wish they had known about it before.
Many couples resort to contraception out of fear, but God knew what He was doing when He created us in this way. His design for our reproductive cycles already has a naturally built in baby-spacing mechanism, with naturally occurring phases of infertility.
Also, the ability to consciously and actively participate in His plan of creation during the fertile time is awe-inspiring. The signs and symptoms are there if we would only tune in. It's a healthy, wholesome way of living.
Men who use NFP can attest to the great joy of discovering and truly knowing their wives, while actively and jointly participating in God's plan for human life and creation.
My husband Dominic says, "This method has given me an opportunity to really know my wife in a way that no one else can. It is something that we share exclusively and that has really strengthened the bond between us."
If you would like to learn more about the Billings Method, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. An accredited teacher will answer your questions and provide you with ongoing follow-up as you learn how to use this method. Or visit www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org for more information.
Lisa Price is an accredited teacher for the Billings Ovulation Method.