Although natural family planning (NFP) is a form of contraception without ostensible maternal risks (other than pregnancy), potential fetal risks could exist if aging gametes are involved in inadvertent fertilization. In the following report, we first review animal studies firmly establishing that aging sperm and aging oocytes (delayed fertilization) cause chromosomal abnormalities in mammals and other species. We next review human studies associating decreased coital frequency with trisomy and studies of NFP populations that generally show no increased frequency of anomalous offspring or spontaneous abortions. Our rationale for initiating an international cohort study is presented, along with the experimental design selected. Preliminary findings indicate that the experimental design chosen will indeed provide information allowing NFP safety to be assessed definitively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology