Gynecology Book

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Natural Family Planning

Aka: Natural Family Planning, Family Awareness Method, Symptothermal Method, Ovulation Method, Billings Method, Rhythm Method, Calendar Method
  1. Indications
    1. Pregnancy Prevention ("Contraception")
    2. Conception Planning
  2. Methods of Natural Family Planning
    1. Modern Methods
      1. Ovulation Method Criteria (Billings Method)
        1. Cervical Mucus characteristics
      2. Symptothermal Method Criteria
        1. Cervical Mucus characteristics
        2. Basal Body Temperature
    2. Older, outdated methods
      1. Rhythm Method (Calendar Method) - do not use
  3. Technique
    1. Review calendar history of 3-6 prior Menstrual Cycles
    2. Determine Ovulation time
      1. See Ovulation for specific findings
      2. Urine LH Kit (100% correlation)
      3. Cervical Mucus (48% correlation)
      4. Basal Body Temperature
      5. Avoid ineffective methods
        1. Salivary Ferning
        2. Salivary B-glucuronidase activity
    3. Avoid unprotected intercourse for mid-cycle 7-14 days
      1. Approximately Cycle Days 9 to 19 would be higher risk
      2. At higher risk mid-cycle days
        1. Abstain from intercourse
        2. Use barrier Contraception
  4. Efficacy
    1. Pregnancy prevention rate (Abstinence planning)
      1. Calendar (Rhythm Method): 83% effective (avoid)
      2. Basal Body Temperature alone: 96.1% effective
      3. Cervical Mucus alone: 92.6% effective
      4. Symptothermal Method: 99.6% effective
    2. Intended pregnancy rate (Conception planning)
      1. Normal fertility: 66% pregnancy rate within 1 cycle
  5. Disadvantages
    1. Regular Menstrual Cycles required
    2. Offers no Sexually Transmitted Disease protection
    3. Requires significant Patient Education
  6. Management
    1. Provide education on Emergency Contraception
    2. Review Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation
    3. Review Menstrual Cycle calendar over 3-6 months
    4. Review non-coital sexual activity
    5. Review barrier Contraception
  7. Resources
    1. California Family Health Council
      1. Address: 3600 Wilshire Blvd, #20, LA, CA 90010
      2. Phone: 626-931-1400
    2. The Couple to Couple League Foundation
      1. Address: P.O. Box 11184, Cincinnati, OH 45211
      2. Phone: 513-471-2000
  8. References
    1. Guida (1999) Fertil Steril 72:900-4 [PubMed]
    2. Stanford (1998) J Fam Pract 46(1):65-71 [PubMed]
    3. Ryder (1993) BMJ 307:723-6 [PubMed]

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