Liz Madsen, FCP, FNTP
Protection and other bad words
Updated: Feb 20, 2021
Let me help remove your foot from your mouth or stop it from going in.
We all say bad words from time to time, I am more guilty than most of the common swear word. While everyone is giving up something for Lent, I'm going to suggest giving up these cringe worthy words and phrases that NFP users don't need. Let's start with my number one:
Oh yes, I make sure to wear full body armor before my husband and I engage in the most intimate of activities.
At my last appointment with a particular OBGYN years ago she had responded to my declaration that I was using Natural Family Planning with, "So you're not using protection?" and that is why it was my last appointment. Oh yes, I make sure to wear full body armor before my husband and I engage in the most intimate of activities. I have a concealed weapons permit and I’m always packing, just in case. What the what? When using NFP, you are not using artificial contraception, which is the "protection from pregnancy" that this term refers to. Nevermind that this "protection" puts you at risk for a heaping pile of health problems. No I don’t use protection because my husband and specifically his sperm are not dangerous. So let’s stop using that one right now.
If you understand Fertility Awareness, you know you’re “done” when your ovaries are done
Our Family is Complete
Did you see me cringe when I typed that? I am not sure I can get through this paragraph. If you teach NFP stop saying this. If you use NFP stop saying this. Just... stop. I understand that by saying this, most people happily mean that they are content with their number of children. Really though, by saying, "Our family is complete," you are saying, “We’ve reached maximum capacity, no thanks, no more, I’ve got this handled and I don’t need a curveball.” I'm only human, I truly feel this too. If you understand Fertility Awareness, you know you’re “done” when your ovaries are done, so don’t kid yourself. Know that I'm definitely pointing at myself right now. A better phrase, if you even need one, would be, “We love all our kids and we’re really happy right now” or like I say, "If God has mercy on me, I might be done." Lead by example with this one or say something idiotic like me, your choice!
NFP has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with educated decision making.
Sound the alarm! A baby might be conceived, run and hide in your safe room! It is ingrained in us, from that bad NFP word “protection” to call infertile days “safe.” Again, babies are not dangerous and getting pregnant (except in some health situations) is not dangerous. Why do we use the word “safe” when talking about an infertile day? Do you see how ridiculous this is? A better question is, "Is this a day of infertility? Oh why yes it is, perhaps I will have intercourse today and I know I will not become pregnant," or, "Today is a day of fertility, I know I could become pregnant if I have intercourse today.” NFP has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with educated decision making. If you use the word safe and don’t feel confident in your decisions, talk to your NFP instructor so you can feel more confident and get that word out of your NFP vocabulary.
Be honest with yourself, TTW means not using NFP.
Sorry guys. If you aren't already familiar, TTW is "Trying to Whatever" as opposed to TTA "Trying To Avoid", TTC "Trying To Conceive." This one, while I appreciate its use, is just not a real thing. Be honest with yourself, TTW means not using NFP. The good news is that you are never obligated to use NFP, it is always up to you and your spouse! I have been in this category a lot, where I’m not charting and not worrying about my fertility and then I may or may not become pregnant because my husband and I are in a space where we’re ok with it happening or not. It’s a great place to be! It's a really privileged place to be as well, because not everyone can just take their fertility for granted like that. However you really should not use this term in reference to NFP because you’re just not using it. If you aren’t tracking your cycle, you aren’t using NFP. If you are tracking but following achieving related instructions, you’re trying to achieve or TTC. If you are tracking and still using avoiding instructions, you’re avoiding or TTA. So the term TTW really makes no sense and would definitely weaken the argument that NFP is effective for any particular use.
You already knew this
Natural Family Planning, no matter the method, is by definition an openness to whatever family will look like in your life. If you believe in God, you're open to God's plan. Safety and protection are things that you have by not using artificial contraception, especially hormonal contraception. You are always using NFP with a purpose every time you look at your chart and make a decision. You know your family is complete and that others' families are also complete at any given point in time and that that "completion date" is always up for change. You knew this, I'm just reminding you. Peace and love my friends, with a little bit of sass.
If you know of other bad NFP words, shoot them my way on the contact form below! I love sharing bad words!
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