Researchers have found that a method of natural family planning that uses two indicators to identify the fertile phase in a woman’s menstrual cycle is as effective as the contraceptive pill for avoiding unplanned pregnancies if used correctly, according to a report published online in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction today (21 February).
The symptothermal method (STM) is a form of natural family planning (NFP) that enables couples to identify accurately the time of the woman’s fertile phase by measuring her temperature and observing cervical secretions.
The lead author of the report, Petra Frank-Herrmann, said: “For a contraceptive method to be rated as highly efficient as the hormonal pill, there should be less than one pregnancy per 100 women per year when the method is used correctly. The pregnancy rate for women who used the STM method correctly in our study was 0.4%, which can be interpreted as one pregnancy occurring per 250 women per year. Therefore, we maintain that the effectiveness of STM is comparable to the effectiveness of modern contraceptive methods such as oral contraceptives, and is an effective and acceptable method of family planning.”
To contact a teacher of Natural Family Planning in the Wollongong diocese, please phone a Centacare Office:
Illawarra (02) 4227 1122
Macarthur (02) 4628 0044
Phone: (02) 9390 5156
TOLL FREE: 1800 114 010
While the term “contraceptive method” is used in the report – Natural Family Planning is not “contraceptive” – as no pills or devices are used either before, during or after sexual intercourse.