A Bridge for postpartum women to Standard Days Method®: II. Efficacy study

Contraception. 2012 Jul;86(1):16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.11.008. Epub 2012 Jan 5.


Background: In a companion article, we described the development of a new fertility-awareness-based Bridge for postpartum women starting with their first postpartum menses and until they are eligible to use the Standard Days Method®. This article presents the results of an efficacy trial to test the Bridge.

Study design: This was a prospective, nonrandomized, multicenter study following 157 women for up to 9 months. Participants were aged 18-39 years, had menstruated at least once since their baby was born, and wished to avoid or delay pregnancy using a fertility-awareness-based approach. Acceptability and correct use were examined. Life table pregnancy rates were calculated to assess method effectiveness.

Results: The typical-use failure rate is 11.2 for 6 months of Bridge use.

Conclusion: The Bridge can offer significant protection from pregnancy for postpartum women who prefer using a fertility-awareness-based approach to avoiding pregnancy but are not yet eligible to use the Standard Days Method. Counseling should emphasize the importance of following the Bridge guidelines for it to be effective.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle*
  • Natural Family Planning Methods*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult