Benefits of FAMs / NFP
Although the main reason for practicing fertility awareness methods is to interpret the fertile and infertile times to achieve or postpone pregnancy, there are other key benefits for the FAM practising couples:
- Better communication
Through the practice of FAM, couples find their relationship enriched and strengthened. Periods of abstinence, though difficult at times, enable spouses to focus on communication and romance, and to express their affection in different ways. Periods of abstinence lead to a greater appreciation of sexual intercourse since it is no longer taken for granted. In addition, the greater anticipation can add to the intimacy, enriching the bonding experience. When couples interpret fertility signs together they re-evaluate their lives, their families, their priorities. Each month, they are presented with the opportunity to discuss matters of great importance such as children, sexuality, intimacy and their needs.
- Greater appreciation of sexuality
Being able to read woman’s external fertility signs leaves us in awe of God’s creation and the miracle of the woman’s cycle. It is empowering to know how your body works and what it is telling you. Since the spouses’ fertility is unaltered (as it would be by hormonal contraceptives) and the intercourse undisturbed (by barrier methods or withdrawal) both husband and wife can truly be a total gift of self to each other.
The methods are natural and healthy. There are no chemicals or hormones to take, and no devices to use, so consequently there are no side effects. Women’s health issues can be identified and addressed.
The Church teaches that God’s gift of sexuality is very beautiful, but should be respected. Contraception can destroy the total gift of self between husband and wife, as spouses do not accept themselves fully by withholding a part of themselves by blocking or eliminating their own fertility. This action also removes God from the equation, closing the door to the potential of his bringing new life into the world. The Church recognises that parenthood should be responsible ‘ there is a middle ground between being generous and being overwhelmed and unable to provide for a very large number of children. Very often, spacing is important to enable everyone to adjust to new circumstances or is required for health reasons. FAMs are perfectly morally permissible and in accordance with the teachings of the Church, whereas contraception is not.