Talk:Natural family planning

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 Definition the least reliable form of birth control, based on abstinence during the days of the month when the female is ovulating, whereby one in five women will likely become pregnant if sexually active and using only this method [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Health Sciences and Politics [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English


Stanford JB. Lemaire JC. Thurman PB. Women's interest in natural family planning. [Journal Article] Journal of Family Practice. 46(1):65-71, 1998 Jan. UI: 9451372

Visness CM. Kennedy KI. The frequency of coitus during breastfeeding. [Journal Article. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.] Birth. 24(4):253-7, 1997 Dec. UI: 9460317

Kambic RT. Lamprecht V. Calendar rhythm efficacy: a review. [Journal Article. Meta-Analysis. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.] Advances in Contraception. 12(2):123-8, 1996 Jun. UI: 8863907

Hilgers TW. Pregnancy and the timing of intercourse.[comment]. [Comment. Letter] New England Journal of Medicine. 334(19):1267; author reply 1267-8, 1996 May 9. UI: 8606727

Girard M. Natural family planning.[comment]. [Comment. Letter] Lancet. 346(8977):775; author reply 775-6, 1995 Sep 16. UI: 7658892

Barron ML. Fehring RJ. Basal body temperature assessment: is it useful to couples seeking pregnancy?. [Review] [36 refs] [Journal Article. Review] MCN, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. 30(5):290-6; quiz 297-8, 2005 Sep-Oct. UI: 16132004 - "How Can Women Find out When They Ovulate? There are two methods usually used to teach women to understand when they are ovulating: prospective methods and retrospective methods. These methods are essentially different. Prospective methods rely on preovulation events and reflect the presence or absence of a developing follicle, estrogen dominance, and/or an LH surge. Examples of prospective methods include the presence of cervical mucus (which at its peak looks like egg white), use of urinary LH detection kits, or the Clearblue Fertility Monitor (a hand-held electronic device designed to detect urinary metabolites of the preovulatory estrogen rise and the LH surge) (Bigelow et al., 2004). Retrospective methods rely on postovulation events, namely the presence of a corpus luteum with progesterone dominance. The most common retrospective method of indicating ovulation is measurement of BBT. Assessment of when cervical mucus has ended can also be considered a retrospective method of ovulation (Barron & Daly, 2001)....The most accurate method of estimating the day of ovulation is performed by a healthcare professional: serial ultrasound of the developing follicles and detection of the day of ovulation (US-DO) by visualizing the day of follicular collapse and fluid in the cul-de-sac (Ecochard, Boehringer, Rabilloud, & Marret, 2001)...Over the last 30 years the vast majority of researchers have concluded that BBT is not a reliable marker of ovulation. Interrater reliability in interpretation of temperature curves ranges from 25% to 50% depending on the day of the cycle being studied (Guermandi et al., 2001). There are many reasons for this, including the technique of the patient, confounding factors such as alcohol intake or timing of temperature taking, or the woman’s physiologic hormonal milieu....Rather than suggest BBT, APNs might consider recommending a low-technology method such as cervical mucus charting (Bigelow et al., 2004). For more accuracy but also more expense, use of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor can be recommended to identify the fertile window to appropriately time intercourse."

Historical interest: Lauritzen Ch. [Knaus' method. The calculation of female fertile and sterile days]. [German] [Biography. Historical Article. Journal Article] MMW - Munchener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 120(14):487-8, 1978 Apr 7. UI: 347274

(See studies discussed at this website Couple to Couple League: click on "Basics" at the left, then click on "Effectiveness" at the left under "Basics". --Catherine Woodgold 14:32, 17 June 2007 (CDT))


Years ago I co-authored this Primer on natural family planning: [1]. It could be a source of information and links. (Not sure about copyright.) --Catherine Woodgold 13:11, 5 May 2007 (CDT)

Possible ways to structure the article

Possible ways to structure the article include:

  • Following the history of NPF (Natural Family Planning)
  • In order of the stages of a woman's life
  • In order of the phases of the menstrual cycle (but these two woman-focussed structures could put too little emphasis on men's role)
  • From most effective to least effective, or vice versa (there are problems with either structure)
  • Divided up by purpose: avoiding pregancy, achieving pregnancy, health issues, religious issues etc.
  • Other?

Perhaps of the above I prefer in order of the phases of the menstrual cycle, i.e. discussing calendar rhythm first, then mucus-only methods, then temperature methods, and miscellaneous other stuff afterwards, e.g. while breastfeeding, after coming off the pill, etc. But I'm open to other ideas about how to structure it. --Catherine Woodgold 09:29, 6 May 2007 (CDT)

Catherine -you are welcome to actually work on the article by writing it, as an author. Nancy Sculerati 21:06, 6 May 2007 (CDT)

I assume everyone is welcome to work on all the articles as authors (except certain editors and constables who need to fulfil other roles on those articles) -- isn't that right? However, sometimes it's good to discuss things on the talk page before writing.
Since no one else has commented on the article structure, I assume we'll do it according to the menstrual cycle: Calendar rhythm first, then Billings, then Sympto-thermal, and other stuff after that. --Catherine Woodgold 17:25, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Judaism terms

Hi. I'll have to think about what to recommend. Orthodox refers only to the modern period. The practices that are traced back to antiquity, accordingly, would be best described as "rabbinic Judaism/Jewish" to avoid anachronism. Also, though Orthodox certainly are the most observant, there are plenty of non-Orthodox Jews who observe these traditions. So, even for today, it may be better to say (as might sociologists) "traditionalist" Jews and parenthetically or by footnote "(typically, Orthodox Jews)". Ok, too tired to craft this now. Ciao David Hoffman 01:40, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

I'm happy to use what you think best. This article has a long way to go before it's done, so you have plenty of time. Thanks for your help! Nancy Sculerati 01:47, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

Speaking of terms: "In men, the sperm count- that is the number of sperm in each ejaculate, is directly correlated with fertility" Does one say that men's fertility changes? Or is fertility used more broadly to describe the couple? Is it the quantity that changes or also the "fertility" of the sperm? A humanities guy, David Hoffman 01:58, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

Truthfully, I am not sure and that's one reason I am far from done here (one of many, many reasons). I have been writing this whole spectrum of articles on human reproduction and venereal disease, and I am reviewing the literature as I go. One topic leads to another. Now, I have not started reading about fertility treatments and I suspect that's where current definitions are cut most finely- but there is no doubt that within a restricted range, the number of viable sperm-meaning motile sperm that appear well formed in a microscopic exam- changes somewhat with recent ejacualation history, and other factors- like temperature. There are statistics on how many sperm in an ejaculate of "good quality" (motile, well-formed) correlate with high rates of pregnancy, and there are men who are considered infertile because of low sperm counts. Granted, these are chronic conditions, and so "infertile men" is not a phrase I have heard used in the context of a time period, but -if somebody has a borderline sperm count there is no doubt that they copuld "save up" and pass muster. That's one of the routine strategies used for achieving conception. On the other hand, women's fertility is cyclical and I don't see, in principle, why male fertility cannot also be described as such -at least in such cases. So, yes- couples can be described as infertile, and that's how they usually present to a "fertility doctor". However, after a medical work-up, sometimes the infertility is attributed to one or the other and- for men it can be low sperm counts or it can be poor quality sperm and it can be a combination of the two. The quality thing can have to do with temperature and it can have to do with genetics. But that's yet another article! :-) Nancy Sculerati 02:19, 11 May 2007 (CDT)
I think some people prefer to talk about infertility of a couple. To me, logically, you can talk about fertility or infertility of an individual or of a couple. If a man and woman are each of marginal fertility, they might be infertile together but could (I suppose) each be fertile with someone else (e.g. just manage to get a baby after a couple of years of trying with a person of normal fertility). Factors affecting fertility of sperm include nutrients such as vitamin C (needed in the few weeks before the sexual act, for sperm formation; the chirality that sperm need in order to be able to swim comes from the chirality of vitamin C, apparently); zinc (I think sperm use this as an antioxidant; anyway, apparently they use it for something -- ejaculate contains a significant amount of it) and other nutrients. Exposure to toxic chemicals or radiation in the few months previous may also affect sperm health. --Catherine Woodgold 14:54, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

In medicine, when a couple has unprotected sexual itercourse without establishing a preganancy for a minimum of one year, they are said to be infertile , should they wish to pursue causes, each member of the couple is checked, and the results may be that one, or both are infertile. I do not know where your statements come from about vitamins, etc, but I do not believe that they are medically accurate. I suggest that you supply references. Nancy Sculerati 15:03, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

I can't find my copy of "Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition" by Marilyn Shannon, but as I remember, she mentions a controlled study in which the wives of men with low sperm motility had a very high rate of initiation of pregnancy when the men took vitamin C supplements. Apparently I made a mistake about the chirality, though. The other source mentions that vitamin C is a chiral molecule and explains that the chirality of a sperm's tail needs to be established in one direction or the other or else the sperm can't swim and the men are infertile, but on re-reading apparently it does not say that vitamin C has anything to do with establishing the chirality of a sperm's tail; it might be amino acids that do that. --Catherine Woodgold 07:52, 13 May 2007 (CDT)