I won't name names, but a gal said something to me the other day that made me think, "Right, I need to say something about all of this because there are a lot of myths out there about FAM." Now, there are so many other false beliefs, fears, etc. that I haven't included here today, but these are some that I come across most frequently.
That it’s the same thing as “The Rhythm Method"
I have to start with this one because I’m still amazed that people think we’re talking about the Rhythm Method here. There are various "methods" under the umbrella of FAM and NFP. The Rhythm Method just happens to be archaic and is based on the assumption that every woman has a 28 day cycle and ovulated on day 14. We know that’s not true, and that's why it doesn't work. Cycles differ and are unique woman to woman. Just please quit thinking of charting your cycles as the Rhythm Method, because it’s not.
It’s Hocus Pocus, it doesn’t work.
This is next because people unfamiliar with FAM think "Whelp, she’s going to be pregnant in a matter of months." I’ve been successfully using this method for 3 years now. Effectiveness, WHEN USED CORRECTLY, is 98%. And that’s in all caps because I don’t want to give the misconception that if you take your temperature and check your fluid every day you’ll automatically be safe from getting pregnant. You have to learn, and use, the rules and guidelines that go along with the method.
It’s hard, there’s too many steps, I don’t have the time.
When you first learn about charting your cycles, it may seem overwhelming, but just like every other thing you learn how to do, you will understand it clearly over time. It’s something you’re using every day, and for many women it clicks because it’s what makes sense within their bodies. You have to take your temperature first thing in the morning, which is nothing more than just a great excuse to stay in bed for a minute longer. And you check your cervical fluid when you go to the bathroom. It’s not like there are any special trips you have to make or fancy circus performances. It becomes second nature.
My partner won’t be willing to participate
Many women are curious, want to get off their hormonal birth control, but are nervous about what their partner will think. This is what kept me from getting off the pill at first. I didn’t know if my boyfriend at the time would be willing to work with me on this, and I was afraid of the time it would take me to properly learn the method. But I have found that just about every man, once you explain it to them, is really on board. And I've talked to a lot of guys about it. Contraception should be a two way street, but often it falls on the shoulders of the female. My sister actually scoffed at me when I first told her, and her husband, what I was doing. But it was actually my brother-in-law that convinced my sister to get off the pill. He could see the harm it was doing to her when she wasn’t able to.
Women aren’t smart enough/responsible enough
People may think, well that’s good for you, but there are plenty of women who aren’t smart/responsible enough to chart their cycles, abstain from sex, use protection when needed. And to this I say, screw you. Seriously, this statement really irks me. Learning about our bodies, our fertility and what’s going on inside of us is something that every female deserves. And if you want to learn about your menstrual cycle, how to chart it and use it as birth control, you go right ahead girl. That’s simply the only qualification you need, the desire to learn. And saying that I think that birth control should be a personal choice of whatever works for that woman. For some, hormonal birth control is what they need/want, and for others FAM is what they want/need. We deserve all of the information on both ends, and then should be able to make our choice.
It’s irresponsible and stupid to not be on hormonal birth control.
When people unfamiliar with FAM first learn that I’m not on hormonal birth control, I’ll sometimes get a “What is wrong with you?!” look. Like I’ve said before, it’s been so engrained into us that hormonal birth control is the only responsible way to manage our fertility. But I think what’s silly is not teaching women and girls about their menstrual cycles, their fertility and how to chart and manage it. I think it’s irresponsible to be forced to make a decision without having all of the information. Why is the pill given to so many teen girls who’s bodies aren’t still fully developed. That, my friends, is stupid.
Well, if it’s so effective and great then why isn’t it taught?
FAM get’s the cold shoulder when it comes to methods that are prescribed. But here’s the thing, there’s no money in it for doctors or big pharma companies if women all started charting their cycles. I’m sure they’d find a way to profit, but for the time being they make their money when women get on the pill, patch, implant, ring, IUD, etc. But I believe that the innate knowledge of your cycle and fertility should be something that girls are taught going into puberty. They should get their first period, and know exactly what it means and how to know where they are in their cycle. Then, whenever they decide to become sexually active they have the knowledge necessary, to avoid pregnancy. And here’s one for you. I really do believe that if we were teaching young girls about their bodies, their cycles, their sexuality, that this would empower them to the point of taking charge of their bodies, and not hand over the power to a boy who says he knows what she likes or a doctor who says here, take this pill.