By Andy Merrett
Feb 24, 2007
Research suggests natural family planning as effective as contraceptive pill
Natural family planning methods are often a desired method of preventing, or indeed planning, a pregnancy, but they are often seen as less effective than using a chemical contraceptive pill for the same purpose. However, good news for those (including myself) that believe avoiding pills and using a more natural method is preferable, particularly given the potential short- and long-term effects of taking oral contraception.
New research published in Europe’s leading reproductive medical journal “Human Reproduction” suggests that the symptothermal method (STM) was at least, if not more, effective than the contraceptive pill.
The lead author of the report, Petra Frank-Herrmann, assistant professor and managing director of the natural fertility section in the Department of Gynaecological Endocrinology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, explained:
“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.”
The article explains more about the method and the results obtained.