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Inside HSI Youth

Fifty Questions on Love and Life

The Pill or the Natural Cycle?

The pill is not a 'natural product'. By means of chemical products, the goal of the contraceptive pill in any case is to block the physiological process of the woman in order to render her infertile.

The natural methods of family planning (NFP) are different in that, without suppressing her physiological rthymn, the woman comes to know her cycle with precision: the alternation between the time when she is non-fertile and the time when she is capable of giving life.

For a husband to love his wife truly, he cannot allow that she be reduced permanently by the pill to a state that is only a part of herself. This has psychological as well as medical consequences.

To love is to discover and welcome each other in all our dimensions: our looks, our body, our feelings, our tastes, our whole personality, our soul and our aspirations for beauty, for goodness, for truth. And it is also to welcome the other's openness to life with this capacity of giving life at certain moments. The feminine cycle is not an error of nature!

When the couple welcomes the phases of the feminine rhythm as a richness and a part of the woman's being, the husband allows his wife to be a real woman. And suddenly the husband too takes on his true dimension. Together they can choose to give life in a responsible manner. They can also space out the births of their children. They will experience a renewal of desire and all the different moments of affection that make up their love for one another.

Personal Experience

Catherine : I took the pill because we did not want to have children right at the beginning of our marriage. It was the contraceptive I heard the most about. The doctor I had consulted did not suggest any other method since, after his examination, he didn't see any reason not to prescribe it.

Mark : No matter what choice my wife made, it was "her business". I could not imagine that is could concern me in any way. The months went by and we began to want a child.

Catherine : So, I stopped taking the pill. But I had to wait a year and a half before conceiving. As the desire to have a child grew stronger the wait seemed long...

Mark : Finally, we had a little girl. This birth that we longed for so much drew us together more closely. This time, together we sought a new method of birth control because we did not want to use the pill anymore.

Catherine : The doctor suggested the IUD (intrauterine device). Poorly informed, we opted for this solution. Then, two days prior to having it inserted, a friend explained that it was in fact an early abortifacient. So we decided against it.

Mark : Some friends told us about natural methods of birth control. We read up on the subject and gave it an honest try.

Catherine : I approached this method with a certain amount of apprehension: taking my temperature every morning, checking for cervical mucus, putting all of this down on a chart ...It all seemed very unnatural. Because we wanted a second child, we were not very strict. Six months later, I was pregnant and we had a little boy. After this birth, it became more important to be more vigilant. So I decided to seriously use the method again. Up until this moment, I had not really committed myself to it. I had rather submitted myself to a situation that I found a bit difficult without learning to master it in a responsible way.

Mark : For my part, I realized that I had to pay attention to and support Catherine. Little by little I discovered what a woman's cycle was, I came to marvel at the work of the human body to welcome life and, gradually, I came to accept more freely the necessary periods of continence. Little by little we discovered all the human and spiritual wealth of a conjugal love bathed in true dialogue, transparency and recognition of the other in all that he and she is and is called to be. This abstinence became a source of joy, tenderness and love.

Catherine : As for me, from the moment I decided to take my temperature, watch for mucus and chart, it all became very easy. I also discovered many other signs that I had never noticed before. After a few months, I was able to recognize each phase of my cycle. Mark's efforts to help me, his attention, his ability to listen, encouraged me to perservere. I discovered that I too had to respect him: during the times when we could come together, I had to be attentive to organizing my work so as to be available and not too tired, to be welcoming and giving of myself.

Mark : Three years went by before the birth of our third child. It was a great joy for us to know that, at the fertile phase, our union was going to allow life. We were in agreement in offering our love to God so that he could render if fruitful for the third time.


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