52 years ago this weekend, Pope St Paul VI published his encyclical 'On Human Life' (Humanae Vitae). Today couples in our Archdiocese are benefiting from Pope Paul’s vision and the science he inspired.

Research* and experience suggests that couples using Natural Family Planning have longer and happier marriages.

Pope Francis, in his letter 'The Joy of Love' has called on married couples to “be generous in bestowing life”, so Natural Family Planning (NFP) and an openness to life have always been part of married life for Edinburgh couple, Jenny and Lee Patterson.

Married for over 30 years, both feel that NFP supports married life because husband and wife share the responsibility of planning their family.

“It promotes discussion and shared decisions” Jenny says. “It means we’re together in this and the other person is saying 'I’m on your side'."

Lee says: “I like the fact that, with NFP, sex isn’t reduced to just an ‘activity’, it becomes part of the fabric of a couple’s life.”


As a qualified midwife Jenny knows that conception isn’t always guaranteed and is keen to state that the Billings NFP method is effective in helping couples to have a baby.

“It really helps to identify the shared fertility of the couple without expensive medications or treatments and is a positive way of supporting the creation of life. The loss or lack of conception is a big reality today” she said.

Dr Adrian Treloar (pictured below) from the Catholic Medical Association says: “For couples who use Natural Family Planning, data shows some very positive outcomes in terms of psychological measures, communication between husband and wife, and also marital stability.

"Using Natural Family Planning appears to be associated with happier marriage - it is rarely associated with divorce - and NFP couples are more likely to self-describe their family life as successful.

“The research hints that in our sexual lives, when we cooperate with our natural, God-given, biological fertility and sexuality we seem to fare better medically, socially and emotionally - ie, we are healthier.”

Marie Sandison volunteers with Fertility Care Scotland to give couples information on avoiding or achieving pregnancy using Natural Fertility Regulation.  She said: "The Billings Ovulation Method allows women to observe daily patterns of fertility and infertility and needs only simple observations. It can be used throughout a woman's life.”

Fertility Care Scotland run regular clinics and teaching is available online during the current Covid 19 situation: Contact: Fertility Care Scotland Email: info@fertilitycare.org.uk or call/text: 07903300376. Visit www.fertilitycare.org.uk for more information or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.