Safety of NFP with Sensiplan
Not everything that is called symptothermal is also safe
Important to know: Not all NFP is the same! There are natural methods, single-sign methods such as the temperature-only method, and multi-sign methods. Among the multi-sign methods are also the so-called symptothermal ones, which combine the temperature evaluation with an estrogen marker, usually the cervical mucus.
For this combination, there are different evaluation rules worldwide with different safety ranges. Many of these methods have hardly or not at all been scientifically investigated.
Therefore, the method of the Arbeitsgruppe NFP carries Sensiplan as a registered trademark to distinguish this scientifically studied, evidence-based method from others. So, "Only where sensiplan® (authorized) is on it, Sensiplan is in it."
How safe is the NFP method with Sensiplan?
One of the crucial requirements for any family planning method is its safety. Sensiplan, the method of the Arbeitsgruppe NFP, which has been studied in detail over the last 40 years, is highly safe if the following criteria are met:
- Correct evaluation of the cycles
- Strict adherence to the rules
- Motivation of the partners
- Good counseling
The safety of a family planning method is usually indicated by the Pearl Index. It indicates how many out of 100 women become pregnant unintentionally in one year if a particular method is used consistently. For Sensiplan, studies at the Universities of Düsseldorf and Heidelberg determined the following values:
In 7,866 cycles, only 3 unintended pregnancies occurred. This corresponds to a method reliability of 0.4 PI (Pearl Index).
This puts Sensiplan in the same range as the pill when used correctly.
There is another value for the safety of a method, namely the safety of use or safety in everyday use. This is very much dependent on the couple; because events such as "non-compliance with the rules", but also poor understanding of the method, influence this. That is why so much emphasis is placed on comprehensive accompanying literature such as "Natural and Safe – The handbook" and on qualified Sensiplan consultation.
In the accompanying safety-in-use study, i.e. the studies on safety under everyday conditions, the Pearl Index is 1.8. You can find this under our literature references on the subject of safety.
What factors influence safety?
Safety is highly dependent on the behaviour of the couple. Most unintended pregnancies result from not following the rules and knowingly having intercourse during the fertile time. Many "just take a chance" knowing that the possibility of getting pregnant is not quite as high at the beginning of the fertile period.
The likelihood of pregnancy increases as ovulation approaches. After ovulation, the probability of conception drops rapidly and is zero at the established temperature peak. Safety continues to depend on how strong the motivation is in a partnership to actually want to avoid pregnancy. Whether the partners are in agreement during this phase and whether they can communicate openly and honestly about their sexuality and family planning are further aspects that are crucial for safety.
The basis for ensuring high safety is that the woman or couple is able to determine the fertile period correctly. This can only be achieved if the Sensiplan set of rules is mastered. The most effective way to teach this set of rules is for beginners to be introduced to the method by trained Sensiplan advisors. Alternatively, the rules can be learned on one's own with the help of the book "Natural and Safe" - the handbook and, if necessary, online consulting can be used.