Monday, November 25, 2013

Natural Family Planning - Introduction

I have a new hobby, and it is in direct relation to the fact that I will be getting married in about one month. I find myself reading a lot of articles on fertility awareness and Natural Family Planning (NFP.) I have been aware of NFP for some time, but embarrassingly for someone who has a background in biology, I was largely unaware of all the hormonal changes in a woman’s body that occurs over the course of menstrual cycle that underpins the observable biological markers on which NFP is based. I was also oblivious to the various NFP models utilized, their effectiveness rates, etc. Now that I am getting married, and have a strong motivation to monitor my own fertility, I find myself scrutinizing NFP and wanting to know, does it really work? Can you achieve your ideal family size through fertility awareness methods? Or will I unwittingly conceive a honeymoon baby and find myself either pregnant or nursing for the next decade of my life? Before I put the fate of our marriage and family to the test, I am doing what any good scientist does first; study the literature.

I am pulling together a series of peer-reviewed journal articles that have helped me to answer the above questions. Reading these articles has not only alleviated some of my fears of NFP, but I feel reading them is empowering me through knowledge about my own body, fertility, and giving me the ability to make decisions in my personal sexual life with my (soon-to-be) spouse, that will allow us to time the conception of our children in a responsible manner.

I will attempt to share my thoughts on this subject matter in the coming days, posting one article a day on this blog. I hope you find my commentary helpful, but more importantly, I hope others turn to the literature themselves and do their own research. It is an under-researched area of biology, and NFP is poorly known method of family planning. I hope that in some small way I bring others with scientific curiosity to turn to the literature and likewise share the fruits of their efforts.

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Dare I say, my dear Justine, an excellent project. Please do continue to put this together, I think it will be an excellent resource for sharing with friends, etc.
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