was at the doctor’s office for a routine visit when the nurse who took my height weight and blood pressure asked, “What kind of Birth Control are you using?”
“I use NFP,” I replied.
She gave me a look. It’s that “don’t be stupid” look. For a moment I felt stupid. In that moment she was treating me like an uneducated, uninformed woman and for a moment , just a moment, I felt like it was true.
I had to remind myself that I am not stupid. I am an educated woman with a Masters degree who has done the research- a lot of research and I will not be pushed around.
“Do you know you are taking a risk of pregnancy by not using any birth control?”
“I am not at risk because as I stated; I am using Natural Family Planning”.
Just to be clear. I am also not risking chemical side effects including cancer. One of the active ingredients in most hormonal contraceptives is estrogen, which has been classified by the World Health Organization as a Class 1 carcinogen. So hormonal contraceptives can cause breast cancer. I have done the research for myself. I also don’t want to risk the other side effects, which include weight gain (who wants to risk that?), deep vein thrombosis, hepatocellular adenomas, and strokes. So basically, I’d rather not risk dying. NFP has no side effects to worry about and is more effective when used correctly.
“Well, you know, it only works, in theory.”
I know she was trying to be helpful, but I just wanted her to go away. I told her how it actually does work and I was able to find out problems with my cycle when I started using the method. I had a friend who was able to find out she had cysts by using Natural Family Planning (NFP).
“Well,” she smiled half-hardheartedly, “I’m glad it works for you. My parents used the rhythm method and well, I’m here.”
How do you even reply? The rhythm method has not been used for years. The newest methods are scientifically sound and come from institutions like Creighton and Purdue.
Some are really smart and some are smart in other ways. Just know, it is NOT that complicated. You have to pay attention, but you should be paying attention to your body anyway. Knowledge is empowering and we shouldn’t be trapped living in ignorance of our bodies. The liberation that comes with understanding the ins and outs of your body (or your spouse’s) is unbelievable. Something as simple as checking your temperature every morning can give you insight into how stressed you are, if you’ve been keeping your diet in check, or even, God forbid, an early clue to a potentially devastating disease.
I said nothing and smiled at her.
For me, fertility charting just makes clear, common sense. I like it because it is basic knowledge about my own body and how it works. I am not just a number or a case study and the outside world affects my fertility and health in an unique way. NFP helps me see that.
Medical professionals sometimes have the best intentions, but never, ever let them push you into doing something you don’t want to do. Don’t think you have to use chemical birth control. The truth is you have to be your own advocate when it comes to your health. If you want more information, or support, please call us.