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Saturday, October 22, 2016
Australia: 'women are sick of taking pills'
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¬†A growing number of women who are sick of taking contraceptive hormones which play havoc with their body, are taking up natural methods that are proving to be as effective as the contraceptive pill, Australian fertility experts say. Cheryl Curnow, from the Natural Family Planning Program, said that recent publicity surrounding a new contraceptive pill which prevented women from menstruating highlighted the need for natural alternatives to fertility regulation. "We see women every day who are sick of taking pills or using devices which alter the state of their body," Ms Curnow said. "Many women no longer wish to take a pill which prevents them from ovulating or even goes so far as to stop their period. They understand that the natural cycle of their body is an intimate part of what it is to be a woman." Ms Curnow said natural methods of fertility awareness to either avoid or achieve pregnancy helped empower women to regulate their fertility without being dependent on body-altering pharmaceutical pills or devices. A recent German study reported in the medical journal Human Reproduction found that the sympto-thermal method of family planning is just as effective as the pill. The scientifically proven method uses two indicators ≠ body temperature and changes in cervical mucus ≠ and the application of a calculation rule to identify the most fertile phase of a woman's menstrual cycle. The University of Heidelberg study found that the pregnancy rate for women who correctly used the STM method was 0.4 per cent, well within the 'less than one per cent' range which makes it as effective as the contraceptive pill. "More and more women are discovering Natural Family Planning is highly effective but without the need for any hormones, injections or intra-uterine devices," Ms Curnow said. "NFP gives women back control of their bodies, it enhances their relationship and it is easy to stop and start." Ms Curnow said that because Natural Family Planning is based on fertility awareness, it has also proven highly successful in helping couples who wish to achieve a pregnancy and who have been experiencing fertility difficulties. Nicole Parker, a practitioner at the Central London FertilityCare Centre at 21A Soho Square, welcomed the study, but she added: "although the 'sympto-thermal method' (STM) is an effective and safe system to avoid pregnancy, there is a more contemporary developed version of STM called the Creighton Model which has the added advantages of being slightly more effective in avoiding pregnancy (99.5% success rate). It is also an excellent tool to assist couples in achieving pregnancy with 98% of couples with normal fertility conceiving within six months of use. "For the many couples struggling to conceive, the Creighton Model also serves as a cutting-edge technique for the thorough evaluation and successful treatment of infertility while naturally eliminating any health concerns surrounding artificial contraception and artificial reproductive technologies such as IVF. It is also a more cost-effective option for our already cash-strapped NHS." Edmund Adamus, Director for Pastoral Affairs for the Diocese of Westminster, said that while he was unable to endorse one natural method over another it was important to encourage a wider appreciation of the issues around the moral/physical risks relating to contraception, women's gynaecological health and to activate better pastoral support for all methods of natural fertility management. "In the words of John Paul II in the Encyclical" he said, we must "walk as children of light". Sources: NFPP/Diocese of Westminster
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