I listened to an awesome podcast on fertility awareness the other night while I was working on Kindara’s kickass stuff. The radio hosts got to the part where they had to recognize the slight, but definite difference between FAM and NFP. Although many of you reading this already know, I should probably clarify here what that difference is. NFP (associated with the Catholic church) calls for abstinence during a woman’s fertile window, if she has need for postponing or avoiding a pregnancy. FAM (not associated with any religion) “allows” barrier methods during fertile times if a woman wishes to avoid pregnancy. That means condoms, diaphragms, spermicide, etc. (I hate to use the word allow, because it makes it sound like there’s some kind of corporal punishment if you don’t adhere to rules, when really, it’s your body*.)
They said on the radio show that “they didn’t want ‘angry pious Catholics’ coming after the ‘vegan heathens’ – so they wanted to clarify that they were promoting the non-religious method of FAM.
I’m Catholic, ok. (Well, obviously.) But I promote women and body awareness no matter what. If FAM gets women charting and increasing knowledge, I’m all for it. What goes on in the walls of their bedroom (or anywhere else, for that matter) is none of my business.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – fertility doesn’t identify with a religion. It identifies with biology and the origin of life. Whether you’re Catholic, or Buddhist, or Atheist, fertility is still going to be there. Male AND female, fertility affects everyone. Why would we keep charting exclusive for only Catholic married/engaged women? (And only pious ones at that!) I personally, whole heartedly promote FAM to women of all backgrounds. I support healthier women, more knowledgable women, women fortified with information on their body so that they can take charge of their well being. If that means condom use a few days out of the month, so be it. I would hate to think that women are turning away from fertility charting because they think they “have” to abstain one week out of the month. I know, I know, you can argue that the abstinence is good for a relationship and that it gives you a honeymoon every month. And as they said in the podcast “by not doin’ it during that fertile week, or so you get real good at doin’ it without doin’ it.” Maybe. But let them figure that out.
So, to you “vegan heathens” (I’m not vegan, but I’m pretty damn crunchy, so we probably have more in common than you think.) I have no beef (get it? Vegan – beef? No? Not funny? Ok.) with a woman who wants to use FAM over NFP. Firstly, that is a personal choice between you and your partner. Secondly, there are still many physical and emotional benefits of both FAM and NFP over hormonal contraception, if your situation allows for it. (In a monogamous relationship, both partners been tested, able to keep a daily chart….) Those couples using FAM are still going to have the opportunity to experience mind blowing body and health awareness, a higher sex drive, a connectivity to their biology, and a hormone free lifestyle. And I’m all for that.
I also heard this towards the end of the podcast, and I died a little bit, because it was so damn accurate and poignant.
“We garden to get close to the origin of our nourishment. We chart [fertility] to get close to the origin of our existence.”
*There’s a lot of emphasis on the word “choice” nowadays. “My body. My choice.” I support that, always have, always will. But I’m also always going to stand by fertility charting over hormonal contraception because it has been so life changing for me. So please take no offense if you are a hormonal contraception user because you have made (hopefully) the choice that is best for you and your situation.