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New choices bring wider range of women to family planning
Date:3/18/2008

Washington, D.C. -- A study appearing in the March 2008 issue of the journal Contraception reports that the Standard Days Method, a natural family planning method developed by researchers from Georgetown University Medical Centers Institute for Reproductive Health, brings new women to family planning. More than half the women who selected the Standard Days Method had never previously used family planning and on average, contraceptive use increased by 8 percent in communities where the method was introduced.

This is the first study that looks at provision of a simple, modern method of natural family planning in regular service delivery rather than in a clinical trial. This distinction is important because clinical trials usually provide more training and provider-user contact than in typical family planning services, said study co-author Rebecka I. Lundgren, MPH, Deputy Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health. We found that the Standard Days Method reached a group of women whose needs were not being met by existing services. Programs embraced the method as an additional choice because it is easy to use and to teach, it actually works in the real world, she said.

In a 2002 study, the Georgetown researchers found the Standard Days Method to be more than 95 percent effective and easy to use. To facilitate the use of the method, the researchers developed a color-coded string of beads called CycleBeads. As a visual tool, CycleBeads helps a woman track her cycle, know if she is on a day when pregnancy is likely or not, and ensure her cycle length is in the range to use the method effectively.

In the new study, the most common reason study participants gave for choosing the Standard Days Method was that it does not have side affects nor affect womens health. Participants also noted the low costs of CycleBeads. Although natural family planning methods are frequently associated with religious beliefs, relatively few women
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
cfa3@georgetown.edu
202-687-1392
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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