Letters Contraceptive services

Shortcomings of natural family planning methods

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5566 (Published 21 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5566
  1. Douwe A Verkuyl, obstetrician1
  1. 1Refaja Hospital, Stadskanaal, Netherlands
  1. verkuyl{at}freeler.nl

Stress, alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases, partial breastfeeding, mental and intellectual challenges, chronic diseases, and uncooperative partners all thwart fertility awareness based methods (FABMs). Libido can be so strong that a 30% chance of encountering an HIV positive partner will not dampen it.

I remember John Billings around 1978 promoting his method in Lesotho, where I first witnessed the tyranny of excessive fertility. Many Basotho worked in South Africa, returning home for a …

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