Method Effectiveness Vs. User Effectiveness
Method Effectiveness (or, Perfect Use Effectiveness) is when the method is used exactly as it is intended to. No missed temps or cervical mucus observations, no skipped or late pills, the condom is put on before it goes anywhere near the vagina, etc. etc. It’s an important number to know, but when we speak about family planning effectiveness, what we really want to know is the User Effectiveness (or, Typical Effectiveness). Typical use is just that – how a person would typically use their method, given their circumstances. Included in this number are people who are more lax about their birth control they forget their pill every once in a while or rarely remember to take it at the same time, who miss a temperature here or there or ignore the NFP Method rules every once in a while, etc. etc. Also included are people who are more strict about their birth control. Interestingly, the Billings numbers cited above are from a study conducted in China. Under the One Child Policy, these couples had a HIGH motivation for avoiding pregnancy. This shows that a couple’s motivation for avoiding a pregnancy plays a huge role in how effective their chosen method will be. Obviously, the more motivated a couple is to avoid, the more perfectly they will adhere to their method’s rules.
Taking a look at the chart above, it is plain to see that Natural Family Planning Methods are as good OR BETTER than artificial contraception. So yes, we can say it confidently:
Not JUST for Avoiding Pregnancy
Sympto-Thermal Method Source: https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/22/5/1310/2914315/The-effectiveness-of-a-fertility-awareness-based