“Traditional” methods of family planning (FP) generally are methods such as withdrawal and periodic abstinence that do not require contraceptive substances or devices, or clinical procedures. In 1991, approximately 38 million couples worldwide relied on withdrawal to prevent pregnancy, and 30-35 million relied on periodic abstinence. Together, these constituted one-quarter of all users of temporary methods of FP worldwide. In Bangladesh, the proportion using periodic abstinence or withdrawal was more than 20 percent of users of temporary methods. The reasons for use of traditional methods have not been investigated in Bangladesh, because of overriding attention to modern methods. Given that the use of traditional methods is widespread, what is the level of knowledge among Bangladeshi users about the safe periods of the monthly cycle for the most effective use of periodic abstinence? What factors cause higher socioeconomic groups to be the main users of traditional methods? Why do some people switch between traditional and modern methods? This report investigates these questions, and others, but is aimed at determining the main policy issues and the policy implications of findings.
Gray, Alan, Jamil H. Chowdhury, Bruce Caldwell, and Ahmed Al-Sabir. 1997. "Traditional family planning in Bangladesh." Dhaka: Population Council.