Are Younger Women at a Disadvantage in Using Fertility Awareness-Based Methods of Family Planning?
Marcos Arevalo, Georgetown University
Younger women are at the peak years of their fertility. We examine if and how this affects their use of fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. The Standard Days Method and the TwoDay Method are fertility awareness-based methods of family planning, designed to help women identify the days each cycle when they are most likely to conceive. If they wish to avoid pregnancy they do not have unprotected sex on these days. Clinical studies have shown that both methods are very effective when used correctly. Some 23% of participants in the two studies were 24 years old or younger. We explore differences in method use between younger and older women, including pregnancy rates, coital frequencies, and correct use of the methods, to determine if young women have a higher risk of method failure when using the methods. We also explore implications of our findings on method counseling.