Are Natural Family Planning Programs Effective?

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Are Natural Family Planning Programs Effective?

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Controlling reproduction is a major component of preventive medicine. In recent years, there have been new developments in the area of natural family planning. These have included home measurement of urinary luteinizing hormone (LH) levels and evaluation of salivary activity and cervical mucus characteristics. Despite the availability of these methods, few studies have evaluated their effectiveness in determining ovulation. Guida and associates studied the effectiveness of natural family planning programs in determining ovulation and the fertile period. Forty women who sought natural family planning advice were enrolled in the study. All were followed for six months while using these methods to become familiar with them. The methods used included urine dip-stick measurements for LH levels, salivary b-glucuronidase activity, salivary ferning, cervical mucus levels and characteristics, and basal body temperature measurements. Data from these measurements were compared to results of trans