The mere availability of family planning (FP) services is not sufficient to improve reproductive health; services must also be of adequate quality. The introduction of new contraceptive methods is a means of improving quality of care. The Standard Days Method (SDM) is a new fertility-awareness-based contraceptive method that has been successfully added to reproductive health care services around the world.
Framed by the Bruce-Jain quality-of-care paradigm, this paper describes how the introduction of SDM in developing country settings can improve the six elements of quality while contributing to the intrinsic variety of available methods. SDM meets the needs of women and couples who opt not to use other modern methods. SDM providers are sensitised to the potential of fertility-awareness-based contraception as an appropriate choice for these clients. SDM requires the involvement of both partners and thus offers a natural entry point for providers to further explore partner communication, intimate partner violence, condoms, and HIV/STIs.
SDM introduction broadens the range of FP methods available to couples in developing countries. SDM counselling presents an opportunity for FP providers to discuss important interpersonal and reproductive health issues with potential users.