Welcome to Body Language.

Fertility Awareness? Natural Family Planning?

What do these terms even mean?

Because people use these terms in very different ways, there is a lot of misunderstanding (and even false information) floating around our society about them.

I think that the best way to clear up all of the confusion is to share the most holistic definitions of these terms.

Fertility Awareness is a movement.

Fertility Awareness (also called “Fertility Appreciation”) is a movement that has emerged to encourage people to learn about their bodies and how they work, specifically with regards to their fertility.  We deserve to know that our bodies speak a language, and that we can learn this language.  Did you know that men are always fertile and that women are only fertile a few days a month?  Did you know that, when women learn the language of their bodies, they can accurately determine whether they are fertile or infertile? There is so much more to learn.

You might hear the terms “fertility awareness-based methods” or “FABMs.”  People use these terms to refer to the specific family planning methods that utilize fertility observations.

Natural Family Planning is a lifestyle.  

When we are equipped with the information about how our fertility works, we are then empowered to choose to adopt the NFP lifestyle.  NFP (often used interchangeably with  “FABM”) is best described as a lifestyle because exclusively thinking of it as a family planning method does not do it justice.

The NFP lifestyle is a lifestyle that respects the way women and men’s bodies work.  An important aspect of NFP is the recording (often referred to as “charting”) of a woman’s daily fertility observations.  These recordings help men and women effectively plan their families without artificial contraception.  When men and women don’t use contraception, they are freeing themselves from contraception’s many serious (and sometimes fatal) side effects and health risks.  When women track their biomarkers, doctors and healthcare professionals are better able to help them target the actual cause of their health concerns and cure the problem.  All too often healthcare professionals simply mask women’s symptoms without knowing why they are experiencing them.

But the NFP lifestyle is not simply about effective family planning and curing our health problems.  NFP touches just about every aspect of an individual’s life.  I have seen NFP strengthen relationships, heal all kinds of heartache, and restore positive body image.  These incredible connections are not coincidences- they are direct results of adopting the NFP lifestyle.

There are many different natural family planning methods.  The diversity of methods is a wonderful asset; couples can test out different methods and find the one that works best for them! Although there are different methods, all of them can be categorized as a beautiful part of the NFP lifestyle.

Here is another great explanation of the different terms for a slightly different, but entirely compatible view

I’m thrilled to invite you to explore the Body Language  site to learn more about Fertility Awareness and Natural Family Planning.  Happy reading!

Please note: Body Language is not a website designed to teach you how to use NFP, and I am not a teacher of any kind of NFP method.  I simply write about NFP from a cultural perspective, exploring it from many different angles.  

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