October 1, 2022 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Megan Bell with her husband, Adam Bell. COURTESY OF MEGAN BELL

Why choose natural family planning?

An interview with two natural family planning teachers in our diocese

Note: The Western Kentucky Catholic recently interviewed Megan Bell and Martha Winn, two of several women in our diocese who teach Natural Family Planning, or NFP. While NFP is known as a way to morally space out pregnancies without the use of artificial contraception, these two instructors delve into more reasons why a woman might consider learning more about these methods of fertility awareness.

Megan Bell | Murray, Ky.

What method do you teach and how long have you taught it?

I teach the Billings Ovulation Method and have taught for two years.

Tell me about your journey of using NFP, and why you decided to help others learn it too.

I love teaching NFP because as a couple you are not only following God’s beautiful design for the human body, but also as a married couple my husband and I are committing ourselves wholly to one another and respecting one another for the person that God made each one of us to be.

NFP faces criticism from some that either it’s too difficult or doesn’t work. What are your responses to debunk these myths?

NFP does require a certain stage of learning and certainly requires attention and following rules. Again, God created us perfectly and NFP supports His plan for the human body. Once a couple becomes comfortable with the rules of the NFP method, the beauty of why the Church supports NFP and the bonds that are strengthened between a husband and wife make the NFP method easy. Not only easy, but you may begin to question why you would ever try anything different!

What community support is available for couples who use NFP?

Couples who wish to learn more about the Billings Ovulation Method can visit the website www.boma-usa.org. There are also many social media groups that support couples who have questions or for couples who would like to join a community of NFP users. Of course, couples may also contact me with any questions or concerns!

Megan Bell can be reached at [email protected].


Martha Winn has taught the Billings Ovulation Method of natural family planning since 2003. COURTESY OF MARTHA WINN

Martha Winn | Bowling Green, Ky.

What method do you teach and how long have you taught it?

I have been teaching the Billings Ovulation Method since 2003. My responsibilities with BOMA-USA include supervising Teacher Trainees, conducting certification trainings and serving as the chair of the education committee. I am also an Associate Director for WOOMB Int.

Tell me about your journey of using NFP, and why you decided to help others learn it too.

My journey began in nursing school when I realized the medical advantages of NFP. My husband Earl and I heard about it in marriage preparation. We were married in 1981, and the Theology of the Body Wednesday audience talks of St. John Paul II were happening between 1979 and 1984. Without the internet, the information was not widely circulated. In the years to follow, not only the principles of Theology of the Body, but many other beautiful Church documents, were pivotal in our faith journey. Though we used NFP from the beginning of our marriage, we grew in the understanding of the “why NFP.”  Eventually, I had some friends who were not Catholic inquire about NFP. I felt this was a prompting of the Holy Spirit to become certified, which I did. I have taught those in my faith community, other faith communities, and those with no faith at all. I love to communicate the “what” and the “why” of NFP. Understanding patterns of fertility/infertility enables couples to conceive pregnancy, space pregnancy, or to monitor reproductive health.

How might NFP help a woman monitor her health and fertility beyond trying to avoid/achieve a pregnancy?

A growing field of restorative reproductive medicine with a focus on treating the root cause of cycle disturbances has increased the demand for fertility awareness educators. Certified NFP teachers make referrals to providers with specialized education. The accurate chart can help diagnose and treat many conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, and causes of infertility. Certification requests from medical practices have increased at an exponential rate in response to patient demand. The growing network of healthcare providers is encouraging.

Martha Winn can be reached at martha.[email protected].

Originally printed in the October 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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