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  1. 1

    NFP internationally: an overview.

    Lanctot CA

    In: Ireland. Dept. of Health, World Health Organization [WHO]. International Seminar on Natural Methods of Family Planning, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland, October 8-9, 1979. [Dublin, Ireland, Dept. of Health, 1979]. 166-76.

    This paper summarizes the international development of National Family Planning (NFP) over the last 25 years in view of: 1) recent developments, 2) status of NFP in various countries, 3) popularity of NFP in terms of use, effectiveness, and acceptibility, and 4) the potential of NFP. 3 phases are outlined: 1) Clinical phase before 1955 when basic discoveries in reproductive physiology were achieved, the rhythm method was popularized, and experiments for measuring basal body temperature (BBT) were developed; 2) pioneer phase (1955-70) when NFP centers developed empirical tests of monitoring techniques, the Billings or ovulation method (OM) was developed, and sympto-thermal methods became popular; 3) popularization phase (1970-present) when NFP methods were popularized. Current research includes clinical trials for effectiveness, education, NFP instruction, and basic research into operating procedures and psychosocial factors of NFP. Major programs include the World Organization of the Ovulation Method by Billings (WOOMB), a program devoted to OM methods of NFP, and the International Federation for Family Life Promotion (IFFLP), a program devoted to the development of natural associations of NFP interests. IFFLP now has members in over 70 countries (in Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, Central and South America, and Europe). IFFLP devotes itself to knowledge or technology transfer projects in centers which hold workshops and work towards developing national organizations worldwide. 80-90% of the NFP programs are Catholic inspired although more than 50% of the users of NFP are non-Catholic. The popularity of NFP has been limited, if not declining, in some countries, although 50% of the family planning population in Japan practice the Ogino method of NFP. This is because of the advances in other contraceptive devices and the limits of NFP in terms of effectiveness and perceptions about the method. Recent developments in NFP suggest that: 1) effectiveness is 1-5 conceptions/100 women, 2) education and instruction may reduce the risk, 3) side effects of other contraceptive techniques are increasingly found to be damaging, and 4) behavioral insights into NFP is increasing because of ecological, health, and other concerns. The potential of NFP programs is compared to the natural childbirth movement in maternity care. Development of the potential is related to education, instruction, and perceptions about the value of NFP. Measures need to be taken to develop culturally appropriate out-reach programs, quality standards for NFP teachers, standardized service records, follow-up guidelines, health referrals, and administrative frameworks.
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  2. 2

    Research on natural family planning: the WHO Task Force on Methods for the Determination of the Fertile Period.

    Spieler J

    In: Ireland. Dept. of Health, World Health Organization [WHO]. International Seminar on Natural Methods of Family Planning, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland, October 8-9, 1979. [Dublin, Ireland, Dept. of Health, 1979]. 146-53.

    The WHO (World Health Organization) Task Force on Methods for the Determination of the Fertile Period addresses itself to the following topics: 1) the effectiveness of natural family planning (NFP) methods; 2) ways of improving NFP technology and developing new methods for predicting and detecting ovulation and the fertile period; 3) improving the delivery of NFP, particularly by nonphysicians, and 4) the psychosocial and psychosexual aspects of NFP. The WHO Programme is interested in NFP research for the following reasons: 1) political (to pacify such vocal groups as the Vatican, pro-life organizations, ecology-minded people); 2) to obtain objective information on NFP's effectiveness, continuation of use, advantages and disadvantages and limitations since these methods are being promoted and used; 3) the need and a place for non-chemical, non-device, non-invasive and reversible methods within the technology for fertility regulation; and 4) no other intergovernmental or international organization is undertaking research on NFP in developing countries. The research officially began to function in 1974, and the research scope included the prediction, as well as the detection of ovulation, and the determination of the start and end of the fertile period. The problems associated with NFP include accurate identification of the fertile days of the menstrual cycle, the number of days of abstinence required, and the implementation of abstinence if pregnancy is not desired, and the need for daily continued motivation and cooperation of both partners. Studies by the Task Force included those which obtained data on the percentage and characteristics of couples who can and cannot successfully learn and use the methods; reasons for discontinuation; difficulties experienced in recordkeeping; motivation for using NFP and others. Some of the studies show that the effectiveness of the method is affected almost exclusively by the motivation of the couple. The Task Force also aims to develop inexpensive and easy-to-use technology suitable for home use, primarily in developing countries. Further research is being done on 1) factors that affect demand, choice and use of NFP methods; and 2) the psychosociological integrative and disintegrative effects of fertility control methods including their impact on conjugal stability and the psychological significance of the act of coitus in different peoples and cultures.
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