Effectiveness Study of the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning Program

A study published in the journal The Linacre Quarterly involved ten sites across the United States and Canada to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning (NFP). 

The Marquette Model of NFP uses urine fertility biomarkers collected at home that measure hormone levels.  These biomarkers can be used in conjunction with other biomarkers such as cervical mucus or basal body temperature and an algorithm to determine the woman’s fertility cycle.

The multisite study used Statistical Data Analysis to determine typical unintended pregnancy rates for a total of 1,221 women.

The authors of the study reported there were forty-two unintended pregnancies which provided a typical use unintended pregnancy rate of 6.7 per 100 women over twelve months of use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Marquette Method is as effective as the Pill, patch, ring, or injectable birth control methods.

Further analysis revealed that eleven of the forty-two unintended pregnancies were associated with the correct use of the method. The total unintended pregnancy rate over twelve months of use was 2.8 per 100 for women with regular cycles, 8.0 per 100 women for postpartum and breastfeeding women, and 4.3 per 100 for women with irregular menstrual cycles.

It was reported that The Marquette Model was effective when provided by health professionals who completed the Marquette Model NFP teacher training program.

The use of NFP includes the identification of important biomarkers during the fertility cycle. These signs can be used to identify not only fertile and infertile phases of the cycle but also potential health problems.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology have recommended adolescents and young women monitor the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. Women of all reproductive ages benefit from monitoring their menstrual cycle to identify and monitor health problems such as unusual uterine bleeding, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, metabolic syndrome, eating disorders, and sub-fertility.

Healthcare providers can successfully incorporate NFP services into their practice with appropriate training. They will assist their patients to choose healthy and effective family planning methods. NFP programs can contribute to the promotion of health and prevention of disease.

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