For over a year, I have been involved with and supporting the work that FACTS is doing. It's great! And they give the scientific information about all of the many different Fertility Awareness Based Methods...
- Calendar (like Standard Days Method, CycleBeads, and the Rhythm Method)
- Statistical (like Lactational Amenorrhea Method)
- Mucus only (like Billings, Creighton, and the Two-Day Method)
- Temperature only
- Symto-hormonal (like Marquette)
- Sympto-thermal (like Natural Family Planning/Couple-to-Couple League, Taking Charge of Your Fertility/Garden of Fertility, and the Justisse Method)
Eventually there will be a review of the ba-zillion charting apps too!
Educate physicians and health professionals in the basic principles of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) and the supporting science behind their medical applications.
Promote FABMs and their use in effective, relationship-centered care for women and couples.
Provide a forum for clinicians, educators and researchers to share and expand the evolving body of evidence about FABMs.
Foster respect and support for clinicians and students as collaborators in patient-centered reproductive health care.
All of these statements feel so much like basic, common sense. But just this summer I was reminded how important this work is.
Here's the story...
I was with a large group of people mingling and doing the simple chit-chat one does as social functions. Then a guy around his mid-30's asked me what I do... "I teach women and couples about reproductive health from a holistic perspective." Most of the time the response I receive is something along the lines of... "Oh! That's so great! It's sooooooo important and really needed!" His response wasn't along those lines... kind of bored/raised eyebrows/"not another hippie" ...so I expounded... Fertility Awareness, charting fertility signs, scientific data supporting the effectiveness when used for birth control, etc. He said he was a doctor and joked in medical school with the other students that Natural Family Planning is for those women who want to have large families... hahaha... meaning it doesn't work.
Oh how I wish the continuing medical education (CME) presentation that FACTS has developed had been given at his school! Sometimes I believe we're making headway about disseminating accurate information about Fertility Awareness, and then I talk to another doctor who thinks it's a joke. Yes, not all doctors and health care practitioners perpetuate the stereotype of... "It's all the Rhythm Method and doesn't work" ...but sadly it seems that the majority still does. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it's ignorance... they just don't know.
So... join FACTS! Support them! Follow them on social media! Get the word out that evidence-based studies show that Fertility Awareness Based Methods can be highly effective as birth control and be a useful tool to increase a woman's chance of conceiving. And a fabulous side-effect is that she'll feel more empowered and better-understand her body!
Do you have a story? Was there an amazing provider that blew your mind? Or a jaw-dropping moment when you were told something inaccurate about your reproductive health or fertility?