Background: In the United States, approximately 4% of women of reproductive age use natural family planning (NFP) to avoid pregnancy. It is unclear whether this low number is related to a lack of available information, women's lack of interest, or other factors. Our study examined women's interest in using NFP either to become pregnant or to avoid it.
Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to 1500 women, aged 18 to 50, who were randomly selected from driver's license renewal records in Missouri for the year beginning July 1991 and ending June 1992.
Results: Of the 747 returned questionnaires, 484 were from women who were still potentially fertile. Of these women, 22.5% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to use NFP in the future to avoid pregnancy, and 37.4% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to use NFP in the future to become pregnant. Only 2.8% were currently using a method of NFP. Past use of any method of NFP (including the outdated calendar rhythm method) to avoid pregnancy was associated with interest in future use of modern methods of NFP to avoid pregnancy. Past use of NFP to become pregnant and the possible desire for future pregnancy were associated with interest in future use of NFP to conceive.
Conclusions: Many women who are not currently using NFP indicated that they are interested in doing so in the future, either to avoid pregnancy or to conceive. Interest in future use of NFP is associated with, but not limited to, those who have previously used NFP.