Healthy Habits for the New Year Include NFP


The beginning of a new year often prompts the making of resolutions regarding lifestyle. Some will decide to exercise more or to eat better.

Nowadays healthier lifestyle choices are encouraged: a diet rich in whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat. Unhealthy habits are discouraged: poor diet, inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking.

An important part of a healthy lifestyle also includes making good choices regarding birth regulation.

Moral considerations aside, Natural Family Planning, or NFP, is very healthy. It is a highly effective method of birth regulation, and it also poses no physical side effects. In my experience, NFP fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of the couple’s combined natural gift of fertility. There are no pills or chemicals to harm a woman’s delicate system. There are no devices or operations for either man or woman.

Other methods, however, are not so health-inducing.

Each prescription for chemical contraception (Pill, patch, vaginal ring, injectables) includes an extensive insert outlining the numerous possible physical side effects: an increased risk of weight gain, mood swings, headaches, breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots. Vasectomy comes with an increased risk of prostate cancer and dementia. Women who undergo a tubal ligation have a higher risk of chronic pain and hysterectomy.

For those who are especially concerned with the health of the environment, chemical contraception is a likely culprit in contributing to the feminization of male fish. Although chemical contraception isn’t the only cause, the following link includes more detail on chemical contraception’s effect on fish:

A new year can be an opportune time to adopt healthier lifestyle choices. It’s also a great time to learn NFP.

My husband, James, and I are certified NFP teachers and we even teach NFP online. For more information on NFP, check out my previous column entitled, NFP Q & A or email me at info(at)

Text copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach


About Author

Ellen and her husband, James, have been certified NFP teachers for the Couple to Couple League since 1984. She’s also an award-winning, bestselling author of eight books, an editor, a publisher and a self-publishing book coach. Her newest novel is Julia's Gifts. Ellen lives in Pakenham, Ontario with her husband and sons. Contact her at: fullquiverpublishing(at)


  1. We hopped back on the NFP wagon this year. We used it successfully to conceive our daughter (even though my OB/GYN said she didn’t believe in the method–good thing I didn’t listen!) and also to conceive our son. After going the “easy” route of the Pill for a year, I wasn’t happy with the chemicals coursing through my body. I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to start charting again. He was fine with it–he’s flexible like that! 🙂 We’re approaching the end of our first month back on NFP–although Pill free for 3 months–and I couldn’t be happier. It’s nice to have natural control over my body and cycle and to know that what we practice is in line with our faith. That, perhaps, is the best feeling that I’ve been given.

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