When my husband Mike and I got married, we knew that we would be open to life within our marriage. In fact, we both wanted children right away. Though we took Natural Family Planning (NFP) classes together during our engagement, once we were married, we didn’t track my cycles right away.
Difficulty With Natural Family Planning
A reason I didn’t record my menstrual cycles was because I didn’t like charting. Though dislike for charting seems like a petty reason not to, my cycle had always been irregular and I felt very disconnected from my body—especially my reproductive system—because of the irregularity. I questioned what I observed and charting became a stressor within our marriage.
NFP was a challenge for me. My cycles were different every single month, ranging from thirty to sixty-five days. The classes we took focused on the Creighton Model Fertility Care System, an NFP system that utilizes different biological markers to track cycles, something extremely difficult to pinpoint with irregular cycles.
A Gift and A Cross
Thankfully, even without tracking my cycles, I became pregnant two months after we got married. Once my son Peter was born, we started trying to have another child.
Yet, a child never came.
Instead, my irregular cycles returned, coupled with mid-cycle bleeding and a lot of pain.
Time to Re-Learn
I went to my OB/GYN and she said I should start tracking my cycles again, something I hadn’t done since Mike and I were engaged. She would be able to better understand what my body was going through and how she could help. Mike and I resolved to start tracking my cycles and we are so thankful that we did.
A Diagnosis of PCOS
Fully practicing NFP with the Creighton Method allowed my doctor to diagnose me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS. Using my chart as a baseline, my doctor was able to tell me when to get bloodwork and ultrasounds done that confirmed PCOS.
It was during that time I was introduced to Natural Procreative Technology (NaPro Technology), a natural and pro-creative approach to fertility.
NaPro helps discover the “why” behind fertility issues offering hope not only in a diagnosis but also with treatment.
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How NFP Helped Me While Trying To Conceive
After my diagnosis, conception was my goal and I worked closely with my doctor who practiced NaPro techniques. Though my goal has shifted more towards health this past year, I am thankful that NFP allowed me to properly take the different medications that I was prescribed to help me conceive.
The ovulation medications and the hCG shots I took were very time0-sensitive, meaning I had to take them on certain days of my cycle for them to properly work. I truly could not have done that without my NFP charts.
Focusing On Health
After two years of trying to conceive and taking medications to help ovulate and hcG shots to raise my low progesterone and estrogen levels, I decided to have an ovarian wedge resection (OWR). Though there is no cure for PCOS, an OWR is the closest thing to it. An OWR removes a section of the ovaries so that there are essentially less cysts to cause issues and side effects.
Recovery was about six weeks and I have never felt better in my life! I keep telling my husband that I didn’t know it was possible to feel this good (I really did feel made new!). The most exciting part for me is that immediately after surgery, I started having a normal twenty-eight day cycle for the first time in my life!
Other NFP Benefits
Practicing NFP led me to discover the underlying reasons for my infertility. Yet there have been so many other benefits of practicing NFP.
NFP has allowed Mike and me to be completely vulnerable with one another, which has led to the strengthening of our trust and love. It’s helped us to communicate more clearly. It’s shown us, especially through our journey of secondary infertility, that we are completely and totally dependent on God. Not only are we communicating better with one another, we are communicating with God more, too!
PCOS and NFP
Though there are many methods of NFP, I really recommend the Creighton Method and NaPro Technology if you have PCOS, infertility, irregular, or painful cycles. The most common medication prescribed in mainstream medicine for PCOS is birth control. Birth control is a carcinogen that leaves women with PCOS feeling disconnected from their bodies and not knowing where their cycles are to get proper treatment. NaPro technology is natural and gets to the root of the problem instead of covering it up with artificial hormones.
If you are struggling with the idea of NFP or having difficulty practicing it, I would encourage you to keep trying, even for a few months. Meet with someone who is certified and can clearly explain the method you choose to use and answer your questions.
NFP methods are the safest, clearest, and most comprehensive way of gaining knowledge about our reproductive health.NFP methods are the safest, clearest, and most comprehensive way of gaining knowledge about our reproductive health. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Working With Our Bodies
NFP is such a beautiful way to uphold our dignity and worth as women as it naturally guards against the objectification of women. With NFP you are working with your body instead of against it.
No matter what state of life we are in, it’s vital for our reproductive health to track our cycles. I wish I had remained faithful to it years before I got married! Even if you aren’t married, your fertility health is of utmost importance.
Here are some links that may help you.
- Creighton Method
- Billings Method
- NaPro Technology
- How to Find a CrMS/NaPro Consultant
- Catholic Women with PCOS Facebook Group
- Fertility Care Creighton & NaPro Support Facebook Group
- The Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice von Hildebrand
Please share any links you have found helpful in the comments. Also, if you practice NFP, please share what method you use and what has helped you to practice NFP successfully!
How NFP Helped Me Diagnose PCOS #BISblog // Click To Tweet
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