Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy
A happily married couple, Thomas and Ella, have two children named Cody and Rachel. Thomas has two jobs to support his family, and then Ella can stay home to take care of their young boy and girl, along with housework. After a long night of hard work, Thomas came home to Ella crying in the bathroom. “Ella, what is the matter?” he asked. She wiped away her tears, took a deep breath, looked Thomas deep into his brown eyes and said, “I’m pregnant”. They both knew they were not prepared for another child to come into the family, but once Thomas and Ella talked to a doctor about their options they decided to keep the baby. Yet, now they had to make a responsible change for future to prevent this from happening again. The doctor provided two methods to choose from: natural family planning or contraceptive devices. Family planning is a significant subject in our culture with the exponential growth of the world population, but society must consider the sustainability of all family planning methods. By comparing the methods of two contraceptive choices of natural family planning and artificial contraceptives, the goal is to decide which is the overall superior option. While studying the effectiveness of artificial contraceptives and natural family planning, supporting and opposing arguments of each method must be provided to make a reasonable judgment. Although contraceptive devices can prevent pregnancy and some sexually transmitted disease as well, natural family planning is the better option for those who are in a consistent intimate relationship. The natural family planning method, also known as fertility awareness, does not contain unnatural hormones or chemicals, and tracks the normal monthly changes of women’s body fertility. Consistent with Richard J. Fehring, a researcher from the Marquette College of Nursing, natural family planning (NFP) is a method of avoiding or achieving a pregnancy by studying the patterns of fertility and withdrawing from intercourse while the female is fertile. Couples observe signs of fertility in the woman by tracking the woman’s body temperature, mucus secretion and other signs. This method can also be referred to as the fertility awareness method, periodic abstinence, or the rhythm method (Fehring 2). Petra Frank-Herrmann, a professor at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, found “For a contraceptive method to be rated as highly efficient as the hormonal pill, there should be less than one pregnancy per 100 women per year when the method is used correctly.” Frank-Herrmann led a study including 900 women using the method of natural family planning. She verified, “the pregnancy rate for woman who used the [NFP] method correctly in our study was 0.4%, which can be interpreted as one pregnancy occurring per 250 woman per year. While the effectiveness of natural family planning is equal to or greater than that of any oral contraceptive rate, which is about 0.7%” ("Natural Family Planning Method As Effective As Contraceptive Pill, New Research Finds"). The evidence suggests that natural family planning is a more sustainable method of pregnancy prevention than contraceptive devices. Natural family planning helps to preserve good health because it does not include chemicals, pills or other harmful devices. It also may be applied during regular or irregular cycles throughout a woman’s life while off contraceptives. While NFP helps women feel more in tune with their bodies, together couples may feel more respected and not take for granted the purpose of intercourse when planning a family (Peterson). This way a woman will not feel solely responsible because NFP is a shared responsibility and lifestyle. Not only is natural family planning as effective as artificial contraception, but also is also less harmful to our environment compared to artificial contraceptives. The key of NFP is it is natural, thus it does not contaminate one’s body or the surroundings since it has an...
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