by Brianna Wynne
March 13, 2018

The Legacy of Dr. Evelyn Billings

Dr. Evelyn Billings (1918 – 2013)

At FACTS, we celebrate the uniqueness of women every day. This month, we celebrate by highlighting Dr. Evelyn Billings, a remarkable pioneer in the field of natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning.

One of the most popular methods of natural family planning worldwide is the Billings Ovulation Method®, developed by Drs. Evelyn and John Billings of Australia. Their research, which began in the 1950’s, led to a revolutionary discovery: women can sense the presence or absence of cervical mucus, learn to track it daily, and use the chart to monitor their fertility, with no need for fancy tools or artificial hormones to avoid pregnancy effectively. These observations and information can also be used to help couples conceive, and this is one of the simplest and most effective methods of natural family planning.

Dr. Billings wrote The Billings Method: Using the body’s natural signal of fertility to achieve or avoid pregnancy. Published in 1980, it was translated into twenty-two languages, thus allowing a much larger audience to learn about the method. In 2011, she released an updated edition, modernized to appeal to the next generation of women.

“This is knowledge of her body that every woman ought to have,” declared Dr. Billings.

Her identification of the patterns of fertility and infertility was groundbreaking. An unchanging pattern indicated infertility, while a changing and developing pattern denoted fertility. By unlocking the key to pre-ovulatory infertility, she removed the burden of excessive abstinence during long, irregular cycles, breastfeeding, and pre-menopause.

Dr. Billings and her husband traveled the world teaching the Billings Ovulation Method® and founded the World Organisation of the Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB International). Through this organization, they reached families in over a hundred countries. She has been recognized with honorary degrees from universities around the world for her research on women in various stages of reproduction—from breastfeeding to perimenopause, and everything in between.

Dr. Evelyn Billings was a pioneer in the area of natural family planning and we honor her commitment to empower women and families. Her contribution to this important field has enhanced the lives of generations of women and couples and set the stage for research that continues today.

To learn more about the Billings Ovulation Method®, please visit their website.


Author Bio: Brianna Wynne is a FACTS Ambassador and first year resident in Family Medicine.

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