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Natural Family Planning's Most Recent Effectiveness Study

My son texted me from his freshman health class at Danbury High today. He quoted me the "effectiveness" of NFP according to his health teacher's handout. From Guttmacher no doubt.

The following is the best research to date.

The most recent research from 2007 is found in the scholarly journal Human Reproduction by Drs. Petra Frank-Herrmann and J. Heil, entitled, The Effectiveness of a Fertility Awareness Based Method to Avoid Pregnancy in Relation to a Couple’s Sexual Behaviour during the Fertile Time: a Prospective Longitudinal Study. Human Reproduction, pp.1-10, 2007.

This study reports both perfect use and typical use unintended pregnancies with an effectiveness rate of 99.6% and 92.5% respectively.

But my son's health teacher will take the 'effectiveness' study from the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. Or at least their handouts are informed by Guttmacher. Not only is it biased, it is a 14 year old study which defined 'periodic abstinence' as the rhythm and other 'calendar' methods. These methods are obsolete, and have been discouraged in favor of the most recent methods, and simply have not been formally taught for over 30 years.

And this week, a rep from PP will visit their class. Maybe I should volunteer my services for the other side of the debate.

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