Quick Responses to NFP Doubters

posted on May 18, 2018 by Cassie Moriarty Cassie Moriarty

Anyone who’s even dabbled into the idea of using a Fertility Awareness-Based Method (FABM) knows there’s a lot of conflicting advice (read: opinions) out there.

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We’re hoping that if you’ve made the decision, you’ve done your research, and have made the informed choice to learn about your cycles and hormones. Huzzah! But what about the naysayers? Well, we’ve rounded up some quick and easy replies for your consideration.

The Doubtful Girlfriend

She’s been your main sidekick. She’s been through it all with you, bad breakups, late night studies, maybe even a wedding and a baby or two. You mention you’ve decided to stop taking the Pill. You’ve heard of this thing called the “Fertility Awareness Method.”

Her response? “Oh no, Sarah. You know that doesn’t really work, right? My friend’s cousin got pregnant that way.”


“I looked into the Sympto-Thermal Method. And when you use an instructor and a certified method, Sympto-Thermal has a 98% typical use effectiveness of avoiding pregnancy. Was your friend’s cousin using an instructor?”

Simply replace the method with Creighton (and 96% effectiveness), or Billings (and 90% effectiveness, or Sympto-hormonal (and 93% effectiveness), depending on what you’re learning. And go forth with confidence!

Your Future Spouse

Congrats! You’ve got a sparkly ring, a venue booked, and the perfect Kitchenaid Mixer on the registry. Have you talked about family planning? Maybe it hasn’t come up yet. (Yikes.) He assumes you’ll be on the Pill. You say you don’t think that is necessary because you want to chart your cycles.

His response? “Wait, so how does that work? Does it work? How will we know when you’re fertile? Can’t you get pregnant any day of the month?”


“Actually, there’s a pretty finite window during which pregnancy can occur. By using a certified method, we can pinpoint that window of potential fertility. Here are some websites that explain the research. I’d love to learn this together!”

A Blunt OB

It’s that lovely time of year again. Your annual. The best conversations happen when your feet are in stirrups and you don’t have pants on. Your OB asks you bluntly, “Ok. What are you using for birth control?” You explain that you have been using a FABM, also known as Natural Family Planning (NFP).

Her response? “Oh sweetie, that doesn’t work. We’ll get you squared away with our newest IUD. Talk to Shannon on your way out.”

“I’m not interested in that. My uterus prefers her birthday suit. Plus, NFP has allowed me to plan my family successfully for years.” (This is also a good time to hand her Natural Womanhood’s handout for physicians.)

Your Hesitant Mother

We love our moms. They reared us, brushed our teeth, wiped our butts, and lost a lot of sleep for us. But sometimes that generation gap means a gap in information, too. It’s a casual Thursday afternoon phone call. You tell her you’re going to chart your cycles.

Her response? “Ummm. I don’t know, honey. How do you think you got here? The rhythm method doesn’t work.”


“It’s super interesting, mom. The science has advanced a lot the past few decades. The rhythm method was based on predictions from previous cycles. Current methods of fertility awareness use real-time observations to know what’s going on in your cycle on a daily basis.”

The list could go on. It’s good to remember that (most) people really do just care about you and they simply may not have the facts. Natural Womanhood is a great jumping off point for providing such resources. With the facts handy, you’ll be better equipped to kindly inform all range of folks, share your zeal, and stand firm in your reproductive choices. Remember, lots of women stand with you!

What adversaries have you encountered after deciding to use FABMs? And what are your go-to replies? We’d love to hear on our Facebook page.

Posted by Cassie Moriarty Cassie Moriarty
Cassondra Moriarty is a fertility awareness educator, postpartum doula, and lactation mentor based in New York City, where she lives with her 2 year old daughter and husband. She manages a local wellness clinic that focuses on hormonal health, and she leads monthly La Leche League meetings to help nursing moms connect and get guidance on breastfeeding. After ditching hormonal birth control in 2012, she became an ardent fertility awareness enthusiast. Now, as a FEMM certified instructor, she teaches women and teens how to chart their cycles. When not running after her toddler, she enjoys attempting to make her thumb green and listening to live jazz music.

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