Common Objections to Fertility Awareness

1. Fertility Awareness or NFP is not accurate enough or effective.

The modern methods of NFP are very accurate, in fact a number of them are as effective as the contraceptive pill, and this has been proven by medical studies. For example, the Creighton Model has an effectiveness of 96% to 98% as shown in the study: Hilgers T., Stanford J., Creighton Model NaPro Education Technology for Avoiding Pregnancy, Use Effectiveness. J Reprod Med 1998; 43:495-502.

2. My doctor says I need to be on “the pill” for medical reasons.

While that may be the diagnosis, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion, especially from a doctor who believes in the Church’s teaching on moral issues, as there may be another medical alternative. If it is indeed necessary to take the pill for medical reasons, then the couple should consult with their parish priest and seek spiritual direction from him. Each individual case is too complicated to treat sufficiently here, and therefore needs to be evaluated in consultation with your parish priest or pastoral administrator.

3. NFP is too difficult and time consuming.

Some methods are complex and some are not. The Bead System is very user-friendly and effective; it takes only a few minutes each day. It is simple to learn and apply.

4. Couples practicing NFP have sex much less.

Actually, studies show that couples practicing NFP have sex as frequently as those couples using contraception.

5. My conscience says that contraception for us is OK.

The conscience does not determine right and wrong, rather the conscience says whether a particular action is or is not in conformity with what is known to be right and wrong. What is known to be right and wrong has to do with the formation of the conscience, and the Catholic is to have a properly formed conscience. A properly formed conscience is one that adheres and assents to the doctrines and moral teachings of the Catholic Church. “Conscience is not an independent and exclusive capacity to decide what is good and what is evil. Rather there is profoundly imprinted upon it a principle of obedience vis‑à‑vis the objective norm which establishes and conditions the correspondence of its decisions with the commands and prohibitions which are at the basis of human behaviour.” (Veritatis Splendor, #60).