Most Doctors Not Adequately Trained in Family Planning Options

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Family Planning

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.

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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

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