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Open Access Research

Assessing the effect of introducing a new method into family planning programs in India, Peru, and Rwanda

Rebecka Lundgren1, Irit Sinai1*, Priya Jha2, Marie Mukabatsinda3, Luisa Sacieta4 and Federico R León5

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington DC, USA

2 Institute for Reproductive Health, New Delhi, India

3 Institute for Reproductive Health, Kigali, Rwanda

4 Instituto para la Salud Reproductiva, San Miguel, Peru

5 León & Bustamante Consultores, Lima, Peru

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Reproductive Health 2012, 9:17  doi:10.1186/1742-4755-9-17

Published: 1 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Introducing a new method into family planning programs requires careful attention to ensure it meets an actual need and has a positive effect on program goals. The Standard Days Method® is a fertility awareness-based method of family planning that is being introduced into family planning programs in countries around the world. It is different from other methods offered by programs, and may bring new couples into family planning, and increase contraceptive prevalence. The study assesses the effect on contraceptive use and prevalence of Introducing Standard Days Method into existing family planning services in whole regions of India, Peru, and Rwanda.

Methods

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, health providers were given a contraceptive update on all methods, then trained in counseling on Standard Days Method. Efforts were made to promote demand in the context of informed choice. Routine monthly service statistics in control and intervention areas were used to assess the effect of Standard Days Method introduction at the clinic level; baseline and endline household-based surveys were undertaken to obtain results at the community level (n > 3400 women at endline).

Results

Demand for the method is evident in countries with different levels of contraceptive prevalence. The method attracts couples new to family planning, and introducing it into services may increase overall contraceptive prevalence.

Conclusions

Introducing Standard Days Method into existing family planning has the potential of benefiting men and women in diverse settings and populations. This study illustrates the critical role of evidence in scaling up a health innovation.

Keywords:
Family planning; Standard Days Method; Fertility awareness; New method introduction