April 1, 2021
Editor’s Note: This year, we have featured a FACTS-trained speaker every month to highlight the expertise and diversity of our presenters. Our Speaker Training Program helps us fulfill our mission to educate medical professionals and students about the science behind fertility awareness. Our series continues with Eileen Sirois, CNM, whose training in several fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) and experience incorporating fertility awareness in different practice settings enrich our webinar program.
Meet Eileen Sirois, CNM
Eileen Sirois earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) at Ohio State University followed by a Master of Science in nurse-midwifery at the University of Utah. She has practiced as a certified nurse-midwife for over thirty years, both while on active duty and in civilian practices.
Ms. Sirois first learned about modern FABMs from a neighbor who taught the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) through the Couple-to-Couple League. Her neighbor was adamant that the STM was a very effective method of family planning. She was initially skeptical, having completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing in which FABMs were never discussed. The only family planning methods taught throughout her education were conventional contraceptives. Yet, once she attended her neighbor’s class and realized there was real science behind the STM, she began to use it, and felt angry this information was not taught during her nursing education.
Frustration Fuels Education
After learning about the STM and using it personally to both avoid and achieve pregnancies, Ms. Sirois went on to train as a nurse-midwife. “And since midwifery care focuses on supporting normal bodily functions, I made sure my clients knew there was an alternative to artificial contraception.”
During those initial years, she simply provided information to couples and referred them to others who taught modern FABMs. As a Navy nurse-midwife, she was sent to a Marine Corps base at a remote location. She searched for local teachers of the STM there without success, and decided she needed to learn to teach an FABM herself.
As she investigated different options, she learned more about the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and medical NaProTechnology. She was attracted to this method because it could be used to evaluate and treat a variety of gynecologic problems beyond its use and proven effectiveness for family planning. She trained and achieved certification as a FertilityCare practitioner and medical consultant, and was able to offer these services to women on the military base until she retired from the U.S. Navy in 2012. Since then, she has been able to incorporate fertility awareness and FABMs into her practice in the civilian sector as well.
A very rewarding aspect of this practice involved working with a NaPro-trained OB/Gyn physician. Together, they assisted many couples who had struggled with infertility to achieve and maintain pregnancies without the use of artificial reproductive technologies.
A Shared Passion for Fertility Awareness
While at a Fertility Care conference, Ms. Sirois heard a lecture by our FACTS cofounder, Dr. Marguerite Duane, in which she expressed frustration about the lack of education regarding modern FABMs in medical school. Dr. Duane first learned about evidence-based FABMs in residency from one of her senior residents, Dr. Pearl Huang-Ramirez, and decided she needed to help bring this training into medical and nursing schools. Dr. Duane was delighted to meet Ms. Sirois at this conference and discuss how she could join FACTS, and help share information about fertility awareness with even more medical professionals.
Over the years, Ms. Sirois has had many women express frustration that the physicians and other medical professionals caring for them were ignorant about FABMs. She decided to become a FACTS speaker to help educate the next generation of healthcare professionals, and to date she has been very effective! As Dr. Duane noted, “Eileen is an excellent speaker! With her years of experience, command of the methods, and calm demeanor, Eileen communicates the key aspects and applications of FABMs very effectively. We are grateful she is committed to educating future midwives, physicians, and other medical professionals about FABMs.”
Ms. Sirois cherishes the opportunity to share information about FABMs via FACTS webinars with the general public as well as medical professionals and students. She attended a FACTS live conference before the COVID-19 pandemic and “enjoyed getting to know other FABM educators, especially in different methods. I am thrilled to meet the young professionals who are now learning at the beginning of their careers about all that FABMs can offer their patients.”
We are grateful to Ms. Sirois for her passion for this important work and appreciate her and all our speakers who share the FACTS about fertility awareness throughout the country and virtually! In May, Ms. Sirois will speak at the annual American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) conference about our success educating medical and nursing students about FABMs through our online elective.
More About Eileen Sirois
Eileen is married and has three adult children and six grandchildren. She is honored to serve as a speaker for FACTS.
Become a FACTS Preceptor!
Are you trained in natural or fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) of family planning? Do you want to share your knowledge and experience with integrating FABMs into women’s health care with future health professionals? If so, we’d love to have you on our team of FACTS Preceptors!
Matching interested students with you so they may observe how you incorporate FABMs into your practice, may influence how they practice medicine in the future. If FACTS would like to place an interested student with you, we will contact you in advance to confirm your availability and the best contact information to share with the student. Signing up as a preceptor does not guarantee students will work with you, but it does provide us with a list of willing professionals should a student or resident in your area seek out a preceptor.
Join us – click here to learn more!
WHAT’S IN YOUR TOOLBOX?
The FACTS 2021 CME Conference
Fertility Awareness – Expanding Care for Women’s Health
Expand your toolbox and join us in May for our 2021 Virtual Conference! Hear presentations on FABMs and their applications for issues in women’s reproductive health, FemTech, and Functional Medicine in women’s health. Join live Q&A sessions with our medical experts and panelists, get access to exclusive pre-conference presentations and earn CME credit*. Click here for more details and registration information. We hope to “see” you there!
Can’t make it on these days?! Not to worry – Your registration will also allow access to these presentations through the end of 2021!
*AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) CME credit is pending.