Resumen

Se presentan los resultados obtenidos por los diez centros piloto de planificación familiar organizados y coordinados por la División de Estudios de Población de la Asociación Colombiana de Facultades de Medicina, en especial lo relacionado con el uso del metoda del ritmo.

Este método ha demostrado grandes inconvenientes para su aceptación, su aplicabilidad y su enseñanza. Su efectividad se ha manifestado muy reducida, ya que la tasa de fracasos excede en todos los servicios el 35 porciento. Su aplicabilidad a grandes masas de población, aunque sean católicas en su totalidad, puede calificarse de imposible, los resultados de los programas que lo emplearon preferencial o exclusivamente han sido inútiles o contraproducentes, cuando no peligrosos.

La terminación de los embarazos subsiguientes al uso del ritmo, en aborto, con una proporción tres veces mayor que la observada con anterioridad en el mismo grupo de pacieniee, lo hacen médica y éticamente desaconsejable.

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Summary

Ten family planning programs in Colombia have played an important role in testing the acceptance, applicability, use-effectiveness, and future practicality of family planning programs that are based on the rhythm method.

In the Colombian experience, acceptance rates were found to be very low, even among highly motivated women. In application, the need for carefully kept records of menstrual cycles, high fecundity of the women, voluntary or involuntary non-cooperation of the spouse, the complexities of the basal temperature chart, and the consequent need for frequent follow-up all placed too great a demand on both the population and the personnel of the services. Pregnancy rates that obtained, further, could class the program only as ineffective. This in combination, finally, with the facts that the enormous expenditure does not justify an ineffective program and that high failure rates meant both loss of prestige for the program and increased rates of abortions, leads the authors to conclude that application on a national scale can be termed impossible, if not hazardous.

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