When I first started teaching NFP I was pretty terrified of any student asking me a question that I didn’t already have the answer to. I usually just passed those couples right on to the more senior teachers in our group and then tried to listen in and learn as well. But now that I’ve been doing this a while (7 or 8 years?) I feel more like an old pro.
“Why do I have mucus all the time?” Because you’re on a diuretic. “How do you handle NFP postpartum?” Pray a lot. “What do we do if we’re in the fertile phase on our honeymoon and we’re trying to postpone pregnancy?” Play a lot of scrabble and tennis and don’t drink any wine.
But seriously, one of the questions I have received a lot lately is: “How is my overall health related to my fertility?” And the answer, as you probably guessed, is that they’re intricately related. Many students who have shared with me their struggle to make healthy food choices also have corresponding problematic charts. No thermal shift, very little mucus, bad cramps and a host of other ailments.
A few simple changes have seemed to make a big difference in charting for many of the women that I have worked with over the years.
Taking a high quality vitamin is usually the first thing I recommend. Good vitamins don’t come cheap, so it’s important to make an informed decision. Marilyn Shannon’s “Fertility, Cycles, and Nutirition” is an excellent resource not only for vitamin recommendations, but also for all things NFP and nutrition. I believe it should be on the bookshelf of every NFP-using woman on the planet!
I personally use vegan liquid vitamins as I’m prone to stomach ache with some of the stronger vitamins that come in pill form.
Hopefully it’s obvious that I’m not a doctor; and I do recommend if you’re having health issues that you start there. But what I have figured out in my years of striving for personal healthy living and reviewing NFP charts is that good health often equals good fertility. And good fertility equals easy to manage charts, which in turn should make our lives as wives and mothers a little easier too.
“Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370