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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Even though they play an important role in helping women choose appropriate contraception, many doctors aren't adequately trained in natural (fertility awareness-based) methods, say Georgetown University Medical Center experts.
"Ideally, a physician should be aware of the pros and cons of all available types of family planning, so that she or he is able to help a patient choose the method that is best for her needs," Dr. Victoria Jennings, director of the university's Institute for Reproductive Health, said in a prepared statement.
"An important component in helping a patient choose an appropriate contraceptive method is to consider her preferences as well as medical eligibility criteria," added Jennings, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology.
She said that natural methods of family planning may be exactly what some women are seeking, but doctors don't learn about these methods during medical school or residency training.
New, highly reliable, easily taught family planning methods developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health may encourage doctors to present natural family planning methods to their patients, Jennings suggested.
One method uses a string of 32 color-coded beads that helps a woman keep track of her cycle. Another method relies on the presence or absence of cervical secretions. Both methods are highly effective, according to Jennings.
In an article in the July issue of the journal Contemporary Obstetrics & Gynecology, Jennings and a colleague wrote that natural family planning methods require a women to pay close attention to her body on a daily basis. This appeals to some women, while others find it unacceptable.
Doctors need to be closely attuned to the needs of their patients and need to present a wide range of birth control options to their patients, the article said.
Kayttie, in love with Shane, mom to Emma Brynn and Jacqueline Noel
This is so true! But there are two stark difference between natural family planning and pharmaceutical contraceptives: time and money. There's no money in NFP, and doctors don't make anything by understanding or promoting it. Also, you can write a script faster than the time it takes to really help a woman understand her fertility in order to avoid pregnancy. To teach NFP, most organizations do a class which takes about an hour PLUS private follow-up consultations for several months until the woman is confident. Doctors don't have time for that kind of dedication, especially when there's no cash in it.
But I'm banging my head on the wall here that they are listing "Cycle Beads" as an effective model of NFP. YIKES! Even the author of the article doesn't have a good understanding of modern Natural Family Planning.