Natural Family Planning
It is extremely unfortunate that an article (1) aimed at general continuing medical education about the topic of contraceptive options in women at increased risk does not address an important alternative, except in a list in a diagram: natural family planning (2).
In particular with the symptothermal method according to Sensiplan, it is possible to use natural family planning (NFP) in Germany, as it has been carefully supervised and evaluated scientifically for decades and has a method reliability that is in the high safety range, comparable to common hormonal contraception methods (3, 4). Especially for women at risk, NFP according to Sensiplan is a very attractive alternative, as it has no side effects. It should therefore be mentioned as a further option in every counseling consultation.
Every physician who provides contraceptive advice should be aware of this alternative and be able to present its advantages and disadvantages to patients in a well-founded and up-to-date scientific manner. It would be equally important for them to be able to clearly distinguish the natural Sensiplan method, which is also recommended according to the guidelines of the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe), from other, unsuitable or unsafe methods. The so-called “cycle apps” should be specifically mentioned here, as they are currently very popular yet are highly unreliable, comparable to earlier calculation methods such as “Knaus–Ogino”. Further information can be found at www.sektion-natuerliche-fertilitaet.de and www.nfp-online.de (in German only).
Physician, consultant for NFP according to Sensiplan
Leitung NFP-Zentrale München
Erzbischöfliches Ordinariat München, Germany
Conflict of interest statement
Mrs. Wiesner works as a freelance consultant for NFP according to Sensiplan and receives fees from the participants of her courses. She has received reimbursement of conference fees and travel expenses from the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising, and honoraria for lectures from the Dioceses of Augsburg and Regensburg and the Archdiocese of Bamberg.
|1.||Römer T: Medical eligibility for contraception in women at increased risk. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 764–74 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||Raith-Paula E, Frank-Herrmann P: Natürliche Familienplanung heute. 6. edition. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag 2020 CrossRef|
|3.||Frank-Herrmann P, Heil J, Gnoth C, Toledo E, Baur S, Pyper C, et al.: The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple´s sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study. Hum Reprod 2007; 22:1310–9 CrossRef MEDLINE|
|4.||Frank-Herrmann P, Sottong U, Baur S, Raith-Paula E, Strowitzki T, Freundl G: Natürliche Familienplanung: Sensiplan – eine moderne, verlässliche Methode. Der Gynäkologe 2011; 44:17–22 CrossRef|