Natural Family Planning positives, challenges discussed during presentation in Holmdel
By Rose O’Connor | Correspondent
Priests, deacons and lay ministry leaders were among those who gathered July 23 not only to learn more about Natural Family Planning, but to help dispel myths and rumors on the subject.
“NFP challenges people’s way of thinking, and it does not lead to less intimacy,” said Kait Mayer, a certified practitioner of the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning, which tracks fertility during a woman’s menstrual cycle. “It is effective in avoiding pregnancy and can also help identify the underlying cause of infertility.”
Mayer, director of student ministries and Confirmation in St. Paul Parish, Princeton, and her husband, Bryan, visited St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, to present “Not Your Mother’s NFP” during Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, held July 22- July 28. This year’s theme, “Generations of Love: Humanae Vitae (1968-2018),” comes on the 50th anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, which conveys Catholic beliefs on human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood.
In their presentation, the Mayers discussed new methods and the effectives of Natural Family Planning, which uses a woman’s daily biomarkers to help chart a women’s fertility. No drugs, devices or surgical procedures are used to aid or avoid pregnancy under NFP.
While there is “definitely a learning curve” to charting and understanding a woman’s biomarkers, “it becomes second nature with time,” Kait Mayer said. “The charting creates a realistic snapshot of fertility.”
Among the information presented was the success rates of the Creighton Model versus birth control pills when it comes to avoiding pregnancy. For example, under perfect-use conditions, the success rate of both was 99.5 percent; typical use of the Creighton Model was 96. 8 percent while birth control pills was 90.96 percent.
The couple also held an interactive question-and-answer session that discussed Natural Procreative Technology, or NaPro, a women’s health science that monitors and maintains a women’s productive and gynecological health.
Kait Mayer also discussed the effectiveness of the Creighton Model to achieve pregnancy versus in vitro fertilization.
As offered by the Pope Paul VI Institute, the success rates of using NaPro technology when there is infertility due to endometriosis is 56.7 percent to 76.4 percent versus a 21.2 percent success rate with IVF; from 62.5 percent to 80 percent success rate for those who suffered from polycystic ovaries versus the 25.6 percent success rate with IVF, and finally a 38.4 percent success rate for a woman suffering from tubal occlusion versus a success rate of 27.25 for women who suffer the same affliction.
Mayer openly discussed her own struggles with fertility and explained how charting aided her physicians in helping her achieve pregnancy. The Mayers, who are now “proud parents of a NaPro baby” were happy to answer questions from attendees on NFP, NaPro technology and the Creighton Model.
Several of those who attended the presentation, which was sponsored by the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life, were members of the diocesan Pre-Cana team who help prepare married couples for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the Church.
“We are looking for more information and to learn more about it,” said Brandon Dolly of St. David the King Parish, West Windsor, who attended with his wife, Kate.
“While there are spiritual aspects to NFP, there are also so many natural health benefits to it, so I want to be able to share that as well. The science is always evolving,” he said.
Deacon Bob Scharen of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Whiting, said, “I wanted to learn more about NFP; I have five adult children, and it is sometimes a point of conversation.”
Father James Smith, parochial vicar in St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson, said he enjoyed the talk, especially since he is currently preparing two couples for marriage.
“When they have questions, I want to have resources available for them,” Father Smith said.[[In-content Ad]]