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Relationship health: NFP vs Birth Control

Natural Family Planning Relationship health: NFP vs Birth Control

Your ovulation is a healthy and normal process, not a condition to be cured or suppressed with drugs. Blocking ovulation with hormonal birth control produces effects that go far beyond just preventing pregnancy. Studies show how birth control affects your body and your relationships.

Sex and intimacy

Natural birth control options like fertility awareness methods (FAMs) and methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) are proven to have a positive effect on couples’ relationships. Couples using these methods report having a more fulfilled and intimate sex life, and the rate of divorce among couples using NFP is under 5%.

The positive effects of NFP on couples’ relationships are reported in an article published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, based on a study with 678 individuals. The key reasons given on how natural methods improved their relationship were:

  • It deepened their relationship: NFP created a stronger bond, including feeling less selfish and more sensitive to their spouse/partner’s needs, feeling greater love and more understanding of one another.
  • It improved their communication: Couples became more open to talking about a variety of topics. Discussing sexual intercourse, fertility, and starting or adding to a family are integral to using Natural Family Planning successfully.
  • It created a shared responsibility: With NFP, it’s not just the woman’s responsibility to avoid pregnancy.
  • It increased mutual respect: Women reported feeling more respected and less used, and feeling greater respect for and pride in their spouse/partner.
  • It increased their appreciation for sexuality: Periodic abstinence enhanced their anticipation of sex, thus increasing their sexual enjoyment.

Other studies show that couples who use Natural Family Planning have intercourse at least as often as couples using contraception, and that their sex life is more fulfilling.

Natural intuition

When looking for a partner, a woman who cycles naturally has a natural intuition for who would make a good genetic match for her. A good genetic match for you is someone who has a different genetic makeup from yours or that of your family members. (In fact, when you’re pregnant, your body produces a hormone that makes you feel closer to people who share your same DNA!) Studies have shown that the Pill can rob you of that natural intuition, messing up the intricacies of mutual attraction, and literally changing your taste in men.

Since hormonal contraception (like the Pill) makes your body think you’re pregnant, it also makes you more attracted to men who have a similar genetic makeup to yours—men who are not actually a good genetic match for you. It’s a bad love potion: the guy you fall for while taking the Pill might not be the guy you fall for when your body is functioning naturally. If you fall for a guy while you’re on the Pill, you might suddenly find him a lot less attractive when you quit taking the Pill. Awkward.

The power of natural pheromones

Women on birth control give up the invisible power of their natural pheromones to attract men. One research study showed that men even find supermodels on hormonal contraceptives less attractive than average women who are naturally ovulating. In fact, a woman’s physical attractiveness actually increases at the time of ovulation. A study from the University of New Mexico’s psychology department showed that women who were ovulating earned much higher tips at their jobs than those who weren’t. This video documents this interesting phenomenon.

The good news is that blocking ovulation isn’t necessary to avoid pregnancy when you know how to read your body’s clear signs of fertility.

If you’re ready to learn a method of NFP or a FAM, you can now select the method best suited to your needs and find an instructor or online class to learn the method.

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