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BACKGROUND. In the United States, approximately 4% of women of reproductive age use natural family planning (NFP) to avoid pregnancy. It is unclear whether this low number is related to a lack of available information, women's lack of interest, or other factors. Our study examined women's interest in using NFP either to become pregnant or to avoid it. METHODS. A questionnaire was mailed to 1500 women, aged 18 to 50, who were randomly selected from driver's license renewal records in Missouri for the year beginning July 1991 and ending June 1992. RESULTS. Of the 747 returned questionnaires, 484 were from women who were still potentially fertile. Of these women, 22.5% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to use NFP in the future to avoid pregnancy, and 37.4% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to use NFP in the future to become pregnant. Only 2.8% were currently using a method of NFP. Past use of any method of NFP (including the outdated calendar rhythm method) to avoid pregnancy was associated with interest in future use of modern methods of NFP to avoid pregnancy. Past use of NFP to become pregnant and the possible desire for future pregnancy were associated with interest in future use of NFP to conceive. CONCLUSIONS. Many women who are not currently using NFP indicated that they are interested in doing so in the future, either to avoid pregnancy or to conceive. Interest in future use of NFP is associated with, but not limited to, those who have previously used NFP. KEY WORDS. Natural family planning [non-MeSH]; rhythm method; family planning; physician, family. (J Fam Pract 1998; 46:65-71) In the United States, approximately 4% of all sexually active women of reproductive age use a form of natural family planning (NFP) to prevent pregnancy. Natural family planning, as defined by the World Health Organization, consists of "methods for planning and preventing pregnancies by observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle, with the avoidance of intercourse during the fertile phase if pregnancy is to be avoided." Modern methods of NFP include the ovulation method (also known as the Billings method), based on the observation of vaginal discharge of cervical mucus, and the symptothermal method, based on the observation of both vaginal mucus discharge and of basal body temperature. Most of the women m the United States who are practicing NFP are using the outdated calendar rhythm method. The available information about the characteristics of women using NFP to avoid pregnancy suggests a variety of motivations, including religious or moral reasons, medical reasons, and the desire to use a family planning method that does not have side effects and does not interfere with the natural processes of the body.[5,6] The motivations of women who use NFP to try to conceive are less clear. Total pregnancy rates from NFP studies (excluding calendar rhythm studies) range from 2% to 40%.[2,7-12] Method-related pregnancy rates for perfect use...
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Stanford, Joseph B., et al. "Women's interest in natural family planning." Journal of Family Practice, Jan. 1998, p. 65+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 16 Oct. 2018.
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