"If you tell someone you use a 'natural family planning' method they often have a different reaction than if you tell them you are using 'fertility awareness'" says Kate Abrams. Kate has been using the Standard Days Method® with CycleBeads® for years and told us that she always thought of the terms as interchangeable, but over time she has found that people often respond differently to the words she uses.
"When I told my doctor a few years ago that I was using a natural family planning method she asked if it was 'because of my faith'. I was surprised since my religion doesn't have anything to do with my decision to use a natural method." she says. "When I told a friend I was using 'fertility awareness' for birth control, she immediately understood that this was about knowledge and just understanding my body.
At first I thought it might just be those two individuals, but after talking to different people over the years I've definitely found there's a difference. 'Natural family planning' is often associated with religion while 'fertility awareness' seems to make people think of empowerment. But way more people understand the term 'natural family planning" than understand 'fertility awareness' so I often end up using both."
We've seen this difference in perception too, and while the terms "natural family planning" and "fertility awareness" generally mean the same thing, it's important to know that to some people they convey different meanings.
Thanks for sharing your story Kate.
See an earlier article on this topic here: Natural Family Planning, NFP, Fertility Awareness - What Does it All Mean?