Knowledge of fertile period among Filipino women-A A +A
Friday, September 20, 2013
THE Commission on Population in 1974 states that contrary to common knowledge, family planning is a two-way proposition.
“It is [not only] a simple way of regulating and spacing births of children but [also] it also helps childless couples find out the cause of their inability to have children.”
Overall, the aim of family planning is “to promote healthy, happy families and to make possible a greater enjoyment of family life for both parents and children,” it explains.
Literatures share that factors such as personal values, ability to use a contraceptive method correctly, prior experiences and financial capacities to name a few are variables that predict the choice of the woman for contraceptive use.
Basically, there are two major types of contraception. One type is natural and the other is artificial.
Meanwhile, the ‘Essentials of Obstetric Nursing in the Philippines’ shares that the following are some types of natural methods of family planning: abstinence; calendar or rhythm method; mittelshmerz; basal body temperature; cervical mucus; symptothermal; coitus interruptus; and standard days method and cyclic beads.
Adele Pilliteri writes in her ‘Maternal & Child Health Nursing’ that natural family planning, which is also called periodic abstinence method, involves no introduction of chemical or foreign material into the body or sustaining from sexual activity during fertile period.
However, “The effectiveness of these methods varies greatly from 25 to 85 percent, depending mainly on the couple’s ability to refrain from sexual relations on ‘fertile days’ or days on which the woman has the most likely chance to become pregnant,” she explains.
“Fertility awareness involves detecting when a woman is fertile so she can use periods of abstinence during that time.”
For the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey, an elementary knowledge of reproductive physiology provides a useful background for the successful practice of the rhythm method.
It states that 71 percent of Filipino women have heard of the rhythm method.
Overall, however, only 49 percent among users of such method were able to correctly identify when during a woman’s cycle are they most likely to be pregnant.
On the other hand, it reports that 41 percent of sampled women incorrectly identified their fertile period and 13 percent said they did not know about the cycle.
The fact still remains that for natural family planning to be efficient, the woman must know when she is most fertile so that in tandem with her chosen natural ‘contraceptives,’ prevention of unwanted pregnancy is possible.
However, what statistics share has so much to be desired. In the end, health education for women must be made accessible to them especially about family planning methods.
Otherwise, although family planning methods are available, they are still doomed to fail due to misuse and misconceptions particularly among women with whom most contraceptive methods have been designed.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 20, 2013.