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Most doctors not adequately trained in family planning options

Washington, DC -- Natural -- also called fertility awareness-based -- methods of family planning may be just what some women are looking for, but most physicians do not learn about them during medical school or residency training, according to Victoria Jennings, Ph.D. and Helain Landy, M.D. of Georgetown University Medical Center. Their paper, appearing in the July issue of Contemporary Obstetrics & Gynecology, addresses this gap in training and its implications.

Physicians play an important role in helping a woman chose an appropriate contraceptive method. "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 help a patient chose the method that is best for her needs," said Dr. Jennings, who is the director of Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health. "An important component in helping a patient choose an appropriate contraceptive method is to consider her preferences as well as medical eligibility criteria," she said.

The existence of new highly reliable, easily taught natural family planning methods developed by Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health may encourage physicians to present natural family planning options to their patients, says Dr. Jennings.

One of these new methods is the Standard Days Method which uses CycleBeads, a string of 32 color-coded beads that helps a woman keep track of her cycle, know which days she can get pregnant (days 8-19 represented by glow-in-the-dark white beads) and monitor the length of her menstrual cycle. Research has shown that the Standard Days Method is 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.

Another new method relies on the presence or absence of cervical secretions, but does not require the analysis and charting of secretions required to follow older natural methods. This new method, known as the TwoDay Method, is 96 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
cfa3@georgetown.edu
202-687-5100
Georgetown University Medical Center
25-Jul-2006


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