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Physicians Assistant gave me attitude about NFP


Forum: Natural Family Planning and FAM

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  • 4 Post By ShawnaCAN
  • 1 Post By TaraJo29

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  #1  
October 9th, 2012, 12:37 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have had other doctors, like my OB give me "the look" when I tell them I use NFP and not birth control. It's usually the look where you tip your forehead toward someone and raise one eyebrow like "are you serious?". lol That is a bit annoying but I usually just chuckle and not a whole lot is said about it.

I went in to Acute Care on Sunday for serious abdominal pain. It is on the lower left side (turns out I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and maybe something else going on - which is not a shocker to me). ANYway, the nurse asked if I'm pregnant and I said no. Then she asked if I've been having regular periods and I said no, because I had a miscarriage recently. I said I have had spotting off and on and I'm still getting back on track. She asked if I used birth control and I said no. She asked I had had intercourse since the m/c and I said yes. She said, "But you think you're not pregnant." I said, "You don't believe me, do you?" and we both laughed. She said the dr may want her to do a pregnancy test. That doesn't bother me because, after all, they don't know me and they don't know what kind of "NFP" I'm using, and if I was pregnant, it would be important to know. I get that, and she wasn't disrespectful.

However, the P.A. came in and he said "7 pregnancies?" in that rhetorical snooty way and went on to tell me, "do you know the rate of effectiveness for that?". I said, "It's quite high, if you follow the rules." I could tell where he was going, so I said, "I use the NFP sympto-thermal method, not the rhythym method. A lot of people think it's the same, but it's very different." He practically cut me off and said "I've studied it. Do you know the rate of effectiveness?" I said, "About 99% if you follow the rules." He said "The pill doesn't even have a 99% effectiveness rate." I shrugged and said "have you ever read about it?" (My experience is even doctors often don't know anything about NFP methods, so I thought it wasn't a crazy question, especially since he was giving me a hard time and I was there about something completely unrelated!). He seemed like he was trying to hide how agitated he was and said "You might want to look at some other resources" as he looked back at his laptop.

Ouch.

Not to be too accusing, but I almost wonder if he actually had studied the different methods of NFP or just lumped all "methods" together, including the STM with BOM and very ineffective methods like the calendar method. I have a feeling that if I asked him to name some methods, he wouldn't even be able to. Am I not correct in believing that the sympto-thermal method of NFP is literally 99% (or, OK, maybe 98%) effective IF you follow the rules? I took a Couple to Couple League class on it and I thought that's what they taught. Not that I'm going to use BC anyway because it's against my religious beliefs, but he acted like my "resources" were so off-base, I would like to know if he's right. Of course, how "effective" NFP is has to do with whether you are including failure do to user error or not. Maybe this is where he's getting his numbers? I don't know.

Anyway, just sharing / venting, I guess. I hate how I always feel like a conspiracy theorist nut when I go to the doctor because I use this crazy thing called NFP instead of the pill. And, even worse, I may or may not have to defend myself and get "the look."
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Last edited by TaraJo29; October 9th, 2012 at 12:47 PM.
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  #2  
October 9th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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I haven't had experience with that, but the P.A would have annoyed me. I guess most doctors or assistants only have experience with hormonal bc?
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  #3  
October 9th, 2012, 02:47 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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No advice or experience, but I haven't had an OB appointment since I started using FAM. That would have annoyed me a lot.
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  #4  
October 9th, 2012, 04:54 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It is frustrating. Even if a doctor disagrees with your personal choices, it is his job to offer the best medical advise he can and then respect your freedom to make the final decision about it. There is no place for being so condescending like that, it's completely unprofessional.
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  #5  
October 9th, 2012, 08:32 PM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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Location: Lincoln, NE
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I have encountered this before I chose my doctor. I don't know if this is an option in your area, but I have a doctor that's part of an all-Catholic practice and they do not prescribe birth control and are very knowledgeable about the various forms of modern NFP. I'd suggest going to an NFP friendly doctor, if that is an option in your area.
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  #6  
October 10th, 2012, 06:16 AM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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The good thing is this guy was NOT my regular doctor. I went to Acute Care because of the severe abdominal pain to get checked out, but my PCP who I've seen a few times was super nice, friendly, & really thorough. So I have high hopes that he won't give me the 'tude about NFP, though I won't be surprised if he asks honest questions about it. One time he was asking me about why I homeschool (because he genuinely wanted to know) and said I had good reasons and he was considering it for his daughter! He was asking me about whether the kids could take the NY Regents if they are homeschooled, etc. We had quite a lengthy conversation as he was doing a procedure on me, LOL. So I think he "thinks outside the box" more than some physicians and might be more willing to hear my reasons for using NFP (and respect them).


LiamsMother, Wow, you are lucky! I don't think that exists in my area. I was just searching for a new doctor recently online and didn't see anything like that. I was just looking for a female doctor since I know that the dr is going to have to check out my private parts at some point. I gave up because there are only a few female MDs in my area and they all work at walk-in clinics or nursing homes. Bummer.
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  #7  
October 10th, 2012, 06:23 AM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I also feel like if I was obviously a Jew or some other religion, complete with the appropriate clothing, and I said I used NFP, there's no way they'd have the snooty attitude for fear of not being "tolerant." But since it's just regular ole American me, they feel free to be disrespectful, sometimes even AFTER I tell them I'm Catholic and don't use bc for religious reasons.
LiamsMother likes this.
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  #8  
October 10th, 2012, 07:28 AM
LiamsMother's Avatar Amanda (Amahnda)
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We are lucky to have such a strong diocese in Lincoln. That's why I'm never moving away from this town!
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