J Korean Community Nurs.  1996 Dec;7(2):410-419.

A Theoretical Review on the Natural Family Planning Method


This study was reviewed from 1000 articles related to family planning from 1970 to 1990 and 20 articles associated with natural family planning from 1980 until the present. The purpose of natural family planning(NFP) is to identify the time ovulation of women themselves, to have intercourse with periodic abstinence, and to deliver a healthy child. The ultimate goal of NFP is to promote the family's health. The NFP method is described as periodic abstinence of intercourse to avoid pregnancy by identifying the ovulation time in the menstration cycle. Clinical symptoms and signs of reflection underlying changes in Estrogen and Progesterone are the change of basal body temperature, the change of cervical mucus and cervix, abdominal pain and breast tenderness. The types of NFP are the calender rthythm method, basal body temperature methods, cervical mucus method, symptothermal method, cyclo-thermal method and home based ovulation test kits. Recently the cyclo-thermal method involved. It is calendar rhythm method applied to B.B.T. For the cervical mucus method, when the estrogen level in the blood concentration is increased, the mucus begins to excrete, the amount of moist mucus increases while the mucus is clear, slippery, and smooth. For 3 days, this timing can be considered contraception. Fertility is at a maximum on the day mucus appears, abstinence for 3 days is a type of contraception. Sexual intercourse on a maximum day of mucus maximizes pregnancy potential. But, the contraception depends on the practice of a perfect rule. For basal body temperature methods, at ovulation time, the temperature increases 0.2degrees C-0.5degrees C. Through the review of literature a high temperature above 0.2degrees C for 3 days indicates that the previous 6 day period was ovulation and fertilization. The Symptothermal method is used to determine the prediction of ovulation through the observation of mucus excretion, high temperature, the change of cervical mucus, low abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, and breast change. Home based ovulation test kits are cervico-vaginal fluid aspiration, test a digital electric thermometer, body fluid(blood, saliva, urine) test kits, They are on the market. However, research on the contraception method is still in progress. For pregnancy it is still too early to use home based ovulation test kits because of deficit of reliability and simplicity more research on the technology is needed. It is suggested that NFP methods be included in nursing curriculum in order to educate NFP users how to effectively use NFP methods. Furthermore, this study has implications for the dissemination of NFP methods in terms of Korean policies of family planning and the support of community welfare agences.

MeSH Terms

Abdominal Pain
Basal Bodies
Cervix Mucus
Cervix Uteri
Family Planning Services
Natural Family Planning Methods*
Vaginal Discharge
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