Fertility Awareness – Evaluation of a new model of service delivery within an NHS contraception and sexual health service in the UK.
ESC Congress Library. SHAWE J. May 28, 2014; 50598; A-183 Disclosure(s): None
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The project aimed to establish and evaluate a new model of delivery for a Nurse-led Fertility Awareness Service providing care within an NHS Contraception and Sexual Health Service in London UK.

Design and Methods

A service was established to provide care for women and men wanting to use ‘natural family planning’ methods to avoid or plan pregnancy.  The service is provided by two Sexual and Reproductive Health Nurse Specialists trained in advanced fertility awareness methods by Fertility UK.  Previously appointments were available on an irregular basis dependent on the availability of a fertility awareness practitioner.  The new service consists of a one hour evening seminar given on a monthly basis by a Nurse Specialist and supported by a Health Care Worker. Clients attend the seminar before accessing individual consultations with a nurse specialist in dedicated clinic sessions.

The seminars include information about reproductive anatomy and physiology and the menstrual cycle; avoiding pregnancy and achieving pregnancy using fertility awareness methods to determine the fertile period; preconception care for women and men.  At the end of the seminar participants are asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire and then take away charts to record at least two indicators of fertility including temperature, cervical secretions and cervical position for one cycle before accessing individual consultations.


Evaluation is by analysis of Sexual & Reproductive Health Activity Dataset (SHRAD) and analysis of comments on the seminar evaluation forms.



44 clients attended for individual appointments over the 6 month period from April 2013 to September 2013.  48 participants attended the seminars from February 2013 to September 2013.  25% (12) attended with a partner.  There was no seminar in August and not all participants made immediate individual appointments.

The seminar evaluations were extremely positive. Participants felt comfortable to raise questions and emerging themes included: Lack of knowledge prior to the seminar; getting to know their body; commonly held myths dispelled; the need for wider promotion of fertility awareness.

Both nurses found that clients who had attended the seminars came to individual consultations with background knowledge and completed charts that formed the basis for discussion tailored to their needs.


The seminar plus individual consultation model of delivery was popular with both clients and the nurses providing the service.  There is a need for further research into client knowledge and subsequent use and efficacy of using the fertility awareness method.

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