4 Totally Wrong Assumptions about NFP

You know what happens when Mary assumes? We get a Holy Day of Obligation.

You know what happens when you assume? Hundreds of couples miss out on the beauty of NFP.

So, here are four common assumptions about NFP.

1) It’s basically just the rhythm method.

The rhythm method is to NFP what bloodletting is to chemotherapy: a good effort, but ultimately an ineffective, unscientific version of the latter.

To illustrate the difference between the rhythm method (RM) and NFP, imagine that each were a doctor:

RM: *points to color-coded calendar* “Twelve percent of women’s cycles look like this throughout the month. Sure hope you’re one of ’em. Good luck!” *slams door*

NFP: “Every woman is different, and sometimes every cycle is different. Let me help you monitor your specific fertility day to day in real time. We’ll rely on the signs your body uses to tell us what’s up. This will not only help us pinpoint fertility, but it will give us an excellent picture of your overall health!”

2) NFP is for Catholics.

Fertility science doesn’t care where you hang out on Sundays. If you’ve got a uterus, NFP is for you.

3) An NFP couple at my church has eight kids, so obviously it doesn’t work.

Is it at all possible that the couple had that many kids on purpose? Some humans actually like kids, you know.

Saying that big families are proof that NFP doesn’t work is like saying that a pool full of water must have a drainage problem.

4) NFP is wrong because the very concept of family planning is immoral.

We go now to the other end of the spectrum, to those who say married couples should “do what they do and let God plan your family!”

Where else in the moral life is it acceptable to apply this philosophy?!

  • It’s natural for kids to play in dangerous areas…
  • It’s natural for me to want to only eat ice cream for the rest of my life…
  • It’s natural for new moms to want to throw in the towel and escape their children during difficult postpartum experiences…

…no need for self-control or prudence; just do what you do and let God handle the rest, you know?


— CCL Staff Member