Introduction: Natural family planning (NFP) methods are effective for contraception with proper and consistent use. However, only 1% of patients at federally funded Title X family planning clinics select NFP as a contraceptive method. The goal of this study was to understand from clinicians’ perspectives the barriers and facilitators to providing NFP methods.
Methods: Six telephone focus groups were conducted with 29 clinicians from Title X clinics across the United States and Puerto Rico. A hermeneutic method was used to analyze data for related themes.
Results: The overarching theme from the study was that participants had a strong desire to teach their patients how their bodies work and to empower them to learn to control fertility. Four subthemes emerged: patient misinformation and misunderstanding about fertility; provider ideas about ideal types of candidates for NFP; inconsistent patient teaching strategies; and lack of time to teach NFP methods.
Discussion: There is a need for increased NFP training for providers and efficient NFP patient teaching strategies to meet the needs of patients with limited knowledge about fertility.