Special Feature



January 6, 2022


FACTS Benefactor: Luis Garcia, MD

Editor’s Note: At FACTS, we are welcoming the New Year by featuring a physician who has believed in and supported the work of FACTS for over a decade, beginning as a medical student! Dr. Luis Garcia is a family physician with a heart to serve communities and populations that remain underrepresented and underserved, both in the United States and abroad. His outreach to Latina women and couples includes providing fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) as options for family planning and for their clinical applications in women’s health. We are grateful for Dr. Garcia’s ongoing support, encouragement, and his significant contributions to our successful speaker program.

Meet Luis Garcia, MD 

The oldest of five children, Dr. Luis Garcia grew up outside of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Franciscan University and received dual degrees inTheology and Biology. He then completed medical school at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University followed by family medicine residency training at York Hospital. He now works at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in York, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Marguerite Duane, a family physician, researcher, and co-founder of FACTS, recalls meeting Dr. Garcia in 2010 while he was still a medical student at Temple. “Luis spoke with excitement to meet other physicians knowledgeable about FABMs, as he recognized the important role these methods could play for family planning and women’s health. He learned about FABMs before college because his parents taught the Sympto-Thermal Method.”

Dr. Duane noted how disappointed he was that “his medical training never discussed FABMs in a way that made them seem like a viable option that future physicians should know about and offer patients. He was pleasantly surprised to show up at the 2010 FMEC* meeting and see a presentation on the schedule about these modern methods. FACTS was starting a collaborative project to educate medical professionals about FABMs, and Dr. Garcia got involved as a medical student and, later, as a resident.”

An Interview with Luis Garcia, MD

How did you first learn about fertility awareness/FABMs? 

“My parents taught me about fertility awareness as part of their ‘sex-ed’ talk. They used natural family planning (NFP) as the framework to explain how babies were made but also used that to teach respect for our bodies and the bodies of others.”

In 2010, Dr. Garcia attended the FMEC conference “where FACTS first came into fruition.” He remarked he was there “as a curious and eager medical student excited to find others who were enthusiastic about FABMS!”

Tell us about your medical missions, your work at the FQHC, and other ways you incorporate fertility awareness in women’s health.  

“I’ve gone on several medical mission trips to Ecuador over the years, but my mission is truly working with the Spanish-speaking population in my community. For me, it is both sad and frustrating to see how the medical community tends to have a significant racial/ethnic bias toward Latina women in how family planning options are offered. Compared to white women, a disproportionate number of my female patients of reproductive age have already been sterilized. The sad thing is, I see many of these women now in their early to mid-thirties wanting to have more children, but feeling stuck in the decision they made before.

“This bias toward sterilization carries whiffs of the forced eugenic sterilizations of minority women that happened historically. I also see many women who have suffered from chemical sterilization from Depo or other hormonal contraceptives and feel like they have no other options, until I share with them the beauty of fertility awareness methods.”

Dr. Duane admires his support of equity and reproductive justice. “He believes every woman deserves to learn about these methods regardless of their income, ethnicity, or their place in life.” She appreciates that Dr. Garcia is “very comfortable sharing about FABMs with women all over the world. He gave a keynote presentation for FACTS during the FMEC annual conference and taught about the need to include FABM education under the Title X family planning options available.”

How do you contribute to the work of FACTS?

Dr. Garcia supports the work of FACTS as a speaker and educator and through monthly financial contributions. In the early years of FACTS, he also helped develop the training program for new speakers. He has given many presentations over the years both in person and on webinars, supporting the education of medical professionals in practice as well as medical students and residents on the FACTS elective.

In 2014, FACTS began a more formal effort to develop a speaker training program. The goal was to train speakers to teach medical professionals to give the various presentations FACTS developed, such as The Female Cycle as the Fifth Vital Sign and The Science Behind FABMs. Alongside a small team, FACTS developed a program that has now trained over one hundred speakers to give FACTS presentations throughout the United States and internationally. “Dr. Garcia was one of the first speakers trained and remains an active speaker,” remarked Dr. Duane. “He does an excellent job at sharing the evidence behind FABMs with the medical community.”

How has knowledge of FABMs enhanced your practice and/or your personal life?   

“Having a sound understanding of the female cycle has helped my patients in so many ways. Some patients have come to me after years of infertility or other menstrual issues and have only been offered ‘standard’ treatment (IVF, OCPs). Having been harmed or disappointed by these treatments, they now find a sense of renewed hope in getting to the root of their problems.” In fact, he recalls several women who presented to his office with infertility. Through their FABM-based evaluations and treatments, these patients were able to achieve pregnancy. 

“In like fashion,” added Dr. Garcia, “my wife and I struggled with secondary infertility, where it took us almost two years to conceive one of our children. Yet, through the help of the approach and philosophy that FABMs provide, we have now been blessed with four children.” 

What advice would you give students, physicians, and other medical professionals about fertility awareness?  

“I would tell them to learn as much as they can, and to not be afraid to put this knowledge into practice. It’s one thing to learn about these (methods) merely as an ‘option’ or an ‘idea,’ and it’s another to actually lean into them with your patients. I have found the best way to do this is with the support of others, like those of us in FACTS!”

For more than a decade, you have remained actively involved with FACTS. What keeps you engaged?

“The work of FACTS is so valuable because to my knowledge, nobody else is doing this. Nobody else is trying to integrate this education into medical schools and residency programs in the way FACTS is doing it. Not only that, but the content of what FACTS is teaching is beautiful medicine that in many cases can be life changing for women and couples. Not teaching women about their bodies through FABMs is, in my opinion, a grave injustice to women’s health. 

“I decided to be a regular contributor because I believe in the mission of FACTS. The medical field has a huge knowledge gap in this area. Even if we only influence 1% of the medical community, it will be worth it to get the message out there and dispel the misinformation that exists regarding FABMs.” 

Where do you see the field of fertility awareness headed in the future? 

“I believe it’s growing. I believe there’s enough momentum in our society to turn away from chemicals and hormones that pretty soon, women will start asking why they are putting these things in their bodies. And for FACTS to continue the great work they are doing, they need your help. Please consider becoming a monthly donor!” 

More about Dr. Garcia

Dr. Garcia has been married for almost ten years and they have four beautiful children ages 6 months to 8 years. Follow the links below to learn more about his efforts to educate medical professionals, medical students, women, and couples about fertility awareness.

Make Fertility Awareness Part of Family Planning Toolbox

Fertility Awareness in the Developing World

Brief video where Dr. Garcia shares some of his story


Our donors help us educate more medical professionals like Dr. Garcia about FABMs beginning in medical school!

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the demand for the FACTS online elective has steadily increased. During the 2020-21 academic year, 225 students completed our innovative elective. This year, over 270 students will have taken the FACTS course in fertility awareness, and we hope to expand even further this upcoming academic year. 

Our team is grateful for monthly donors like Dr. Garcia who make our work possible so we may continue to reach medical professionals with up-to-date, evidence-based information about FABMs.

Your generosity makes our work possible.

Your generous contribution enables us to educate and engage medical professionals and students by sharing the evidence supporting fertility awareness-based methods with them.

We appreciate all our donors. Thank you!

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