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22JAN2010 Sex! Yes, I talk about sex... I'm a good Catholic after all!

Lets talk about one of America, and indeed Humanities, greatest past times; one that is as critical to the species as eating. Sex! More specifically, procreation and the decision to have or not to have children. However, this isn't so much a political issue about abortion or contraception (well, sorta not...), this is about ending the myth and massaged story about Natural Family Planning only being 60% effective still touted by physicians to this day in our hospitals and in the halls of power (okay, so it is indeed a political issue now! What else do you expect from this blog?).

Natural Family Planning, NFP (contrary to popular belief, it doesn't stand for Not For Protestants), has received a terrible rating over the last half century. Honestly, when you look at its supposed abysmal record, there is truth to that statement if you've never moved beyond the 1950's and 60's... Back then it was only based on counting days between a womans menstrual cycles. It certainly was a 'one size fits all' mentality, not too dissimilar to a lot of other ideas about human health and nutrition from that era.

Much of that previous reputation still lives on today much like any other bad conspiracy theory. However, if you had the courage to go down to a good book store, and MANY Catholic book stores have the book from the Couple to Couple League (http://www.ccli.org/) “The Art of Natural Family Planning” (http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-gifts/Art-of-Natural-Family-Planning/sku/60989)
which goes into pretty exact detail what we know now actually works with about 95%-98% accuracy (which depending on the individual, beats the 'pill' or condom... both of which are known to fail due the exact same reason NFP fails today...).

Where does this type of family planning fail? Well, typically its because one of these rules was broken:
1.You MUST follow the RULES
2.You MUST exercise SELF CONTROL
3.You MUST actually check ALL signs (temperature, mucus, etc...)
4.You MUST do it EVERY DAY

Sound familiar? Well, it is. The 'pill' requires rules 1, 3, and 4 also... Interesting... Personal responsibility! Holy Smokes! NFP requires a little PERSONAL REPSONSIBILITY and DISCIPLINE on a daily basis to work correctly?! What a strange concept for our world today, well at least European and the Americans anyway. Most other areas of the world tend believe in discipline a tad better, and I suspect for the most part personal responsibility is still held in high regard...

I can go ahead and give you the story of my wife and I, but since actual details of that personal aspect of our lives is indeed private, I won't go too far into the details. Besides, you should really research it yourself and make your decision based on facts and not the fiction you get from the family physician telling you its going to fail right out the gate. Besides, we live in a world where you cannot trust everything that everyone who wears a lab coat and has a degree on the wall says every time. Doctors, like everyone else, are just as susceptible to propaganda and politics; family planning is no exception (one should take note that NFP enriches NO major pharmaceutical drug company, while the 'pill' and other methods of contraception do indeed provide a billion dollar profit stream for the 'evil big pharmaceutical corporations... Its also 100% organic... No negative side effects beyond having control your sexual activity for a short time once a month if children are not in the picture nine months later...).

I can tell you from personal experience, our boys are spaced at 18 months apart, and it was planned to be about that way... That is our desired spacing for our children right now, and believe me we are not done having children. We won't be helping kill off our population with the negative population growth, we'll keep the species going! Did you know that the 'Population Bomb' is another myth... But that is another blog entry in and of itself...

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