Military Couples' Experiences with Natural Family Planning
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA
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The lack of understanding and knowledge about couples experiences with Natural Family Planning NFP establishes a potential deficiency in the health care system in meeting patients needs. The purpose of this study is to describe military couples experiences with NFP methods. A descriptive qualitative research method was selected and military couples experiences included introduction to NFP, how they learned the method, what method they used, military and professional issues, reasons they used NFP, and their summary of NFP. A purposeful sample of six military couples was interviewed. Data were analyzed by clustering comments that helped describe couples experiences with the NFP methods. Study conclusions were couples liked NFP methods, and would recommend them to others. They found the methods easy to learn, but they required some commitment to use correctly, and required some abstinence. NFP allowed couples to be in control of their bodies and families. It was a means of family planning to avoid, achieve or space pregnancies without chemicals, devices, high cost, or in ways that compromised religious or personal beliefs. It was a builder of relationships and allowed couples to work together and to think more deeply about life issues. It allowed couples to feel good about themselves and their values. Providers supported NFP methods for couples with infertility problems more than couples using it to space or avoid pregnancy. And finally, education allowed couples to make decisions. It is hoped that the readers may use the information to think about, refine, develop, and to test practice or research.