What is sex for?
By Dr Rachel Bradley, Director of the Office of Life, Marriage and Family
Jason Evert (founder of the Chastity Project) says that one of our problems today is that we don’t think about sex enough.
At this point you may be wondering whether I have ever met (or been) a teenager. He means that, although we may have a culture saturated with sexual imagery used to market all sorts of products to us, we don’t often think or hear about the deeper meaning of our sexual natures.
Our sexual natures are ordered towards reproduction. They are for a purpose. One of the effects of widespread use of contraception is to obscure this.
We have been conditioned to believe that the whole point of sexual intercourse is for pleasure. The procreative aspect has been all but banished from the picture.
The irony is that in our desperate attempts to make sexual intercourse consequence free, we build up the expectation that women should be constantly sexually available and so many young women take long term hormonal medication (the ‘contraceptive pill’) that in many cases messes with their mood, covers up reproductive health problems and robs them of any sexual desire anyway!
Natural family planning can help couples to prudently space their children, through awareness of times of fertility and infertility in the woman’s reproductive system.
This is part of God’s design, and encourages us to communicate and exercise self-control which helps us grow in virtue.
As women, understanding, how our natural menstrual cycle works can also help diagnose reproductive health problems. Using hormonal contraception can make it much more difficult to identify the source of such problems and treat the cause.
God’s plan is much better than ours. The sexual complementarity that brings about potential for children is placed within the stable, faithful, lifelong commitment of marriage.
A woman’s fertility, and her capacity to grow within her body a whole new human being should be something which is understood by her and celebrated and protected by our culture rather than being seen as an inconvenience and something to be artificially controlled and manipulated through powerful potentially health impacting drugs.
Don’t fall for the myth that natural family planning is only suitable for those with regular cycles or that it is not very effective.
Study after study has shown when the proper methodology is followed natural family planning can be up to 99 percent effective.
We have the benefit of hindsight to see the truth of Pope Paul VI’s predictions in Humanae Vitae which warned of the consequences of embracing artificial contraception, both for individuals and society.
I would encourage all women who have not already done so to enrol in a natural family planning course so that they can truly understand the amazing nature of their fertility.