March 4, 2020
Editor’s Note: In 2013, FACTS began to train speakers to provide the presentations we created specifically to share the science of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) with medical professionals, students, and the public. Since our first training, we have equipped more than ninety speakers to share the FACTS in their universities, training programs, hospitals, clinics, and communities throughout the United States and internationally.
In 2020, we will feature a FACTS-trained Speaker every month to highlight the diversity and depth of knowledge and expertise of our talented pool of speakers. Our Speaker Training Program helps us fulfill our mission to educate healthcare professionals and students about the science behind fertility awareness. We equip them with accurate information so their patients benefit from a medical community that is well informed about FABMs.
Our new series begins with Luis García, MD, a family physician in York, PA. Dr. García has been an active member of FACTS since its inception in 2010 and was instrumental in the development of our highly successful Speaker Training Program. We are grateful for his support and many contributions to our success, including his invaluable support as a benefactor.
Dr. García’s next webinar!
March 9, 2020 | FABMs for Achieving & Avoiding Pregnancy
Meet Luis García, MD
Dr. Luis García graduated from Franciscan University with dual degrees in Biology and Theology and completed medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He is a family physician who cares for the Spanish-speaking community of York, PA. Dr. García grew up learning about fertility awareness from his parents, who used it to teach “sex-ed.” Since then, he has had a passion for sharing the message of fertility awareness with friends and family as well as his patients.
Dr. García and his wife have used the Creighton Model of FertilityCare to postpone and achieve pregnancy, but have used it primarily to help identify and treat infertility. They have three daughters thanks to the use of NaProTechnology. As a physician, he is trained in several fertility awareness based methods, including the Creighton Model of FertilityCare and Fertility Education and Medical Management (FEMM).
His Path to FACTS
Dr. García first learned about FACTS while in medical school, when he attended a presentation given by our executive director, Dr. Marguerite Duane, at the annual Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC) meeting. Hoping to incorporate fertility awareness into his future medical practice, he became an active member of FACTS. As a medical resident, he was concerned about the reaction he might receive from colleagues who so often mistake modern, evidence-based fertility awareness for the outdated rhythm method of the 1930’s. He was grateful to discover FACTS, which he felt provided the support and education he needed to achieve his goals regarding fertility awareness.
In His Own Words
Dr. García has been able to incorporate fertility awareness fully into his family medicine practice in York, PA and remains an active member and supporter of FACTS. “What’s been most meaningful about my work with FACTS is seeing the minds of young students transform and open up to new possibilities in the area of family planning. After giving a presentation, I’ve had students and residents come up to me to share how they never learned these methods in medical school, or what they did learn was very cursory and inaccurate. I’ve had others say this information they learned was a lightbulb to help them seek help for their own or a loved one’s medical conditions or infertility journey. It’s as if sharing this knowledge of FABMs opens up a side of people they’ve been hesitant or afraid to talk about, and that has really been inspiring.”
When asked how he incorporates fertility awareness into his clinical practice, he explained, “Integrating FABMs into a busy FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) where most of my patients are low income and may have low health literacy can be challenging, but not impossible. I often see women who are dissatisfied with their current method of family planning and feel lost, or like they have no other choice than to suffer with the side effects they’re experiencing. When I share with them that there is another way, they are often grateful and hopeful. One woman was so excited that she brought her husband to learn, which was a great opportunity to teach them as a couple. Having the partner’s support is key for these methods to be both effective and sustainable.”
Dr. García is grateful for the opportunity he’s had to support and treat women with infertility. “The culture in medicine towards low income women tends to emphasize helping them avoid unwanted pregnancies. While this is a worthy focus, it often misses the fact that just like the rest of the population, many of them struggle with fertility.” He has lost track of how many women with infertility he’s been able to diagnose and treat through fertility awareness so they are able to conceive after years of trying. He has accomplished this “simply by teaching them about their fertile signs. It’s truly been amazing!”
He is committed to disseminating accurate information about FABMs and has a message for medical students, residents, physicians in practice and academia, and other medical and health professionals: “Stop believing the ‘24% failure rate’ (so frequently misquoted) for these methods. When you look at the evidence that supports these methods, and then look at where that failure rate comes from, you’ll see why we’re so passionate about these methods at FACTS.”[i]
He is grateful for how FACTS impacted his career early on as a medical student and resident, and now as a practicing physician. “FACTS has given me a platform from which I can share the good news of FABMs. Prior to FACTS, I would flounder in my conversations with others about these methods, but FACTS provides the resources and support I need to be a voice in the medical field and to my patients.”
His Articles about FABMs
In December 2017, Dr. García published “Make Fertility Awareness Part of Family Planning Toolbox” in Fresh Perspectives, a blog of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The article dispels myths about modern FABMs and educates our colleagues so their patients have accurate information to make informed choices about their health and family planning. In May 2018, we published his compelling story about his experiences with fertility awareness in Ecuador.
Supporting the Mission of FACTS
After being an active member of FACTS for eight years as a student, resident, and speaker, Dr. García became a monthly financial benefactor of our work. “FACTS does something nobody else is doing right now,” he noted, “and that is spreading the evidence-based message of FABMs across the country at a grassroots level. For decades, medical professionals have been swayed by misinformation and skewed opinions. But now, interest in these methods is at an all-time high, and FACTS is there to share that these methods can be very effective not only for achieving or avoiding pregnancy, but even for medical use.”
We are grateful to FACTS Speaker, Dr. Luis García, for supporting the mission of FACTS in so many ways and for his dedication to promoting fertility awareness among colleagues and patients alike!
More About Luis García, MD
Dr. García won Teacher of the Year awards during residency. In 2016, he received a Top 40 Physicians Under 40 Award in the state of Pennsylvania. His expertise has led to interviews by local and national radio stations, and he writes for the American Academy of Family Physicians’ young physician blog.
[i] García, Luis. “Make Fertility Awareness Part of Family Planning Toolbox.” AAFP Home, 12 Dec. 2017, www.aafp.org/news/blogs/freshperspectives/entry/20171212fp-familyplanning.html.
Our NEW 2020
Beyond our core webinars, FACTS is pleased to present a series of new webinars this year — one offered each month through June 2020! These bonus presentations reflect current research and topics of growing interest in the field of fertility awareness.
Registration is now OPEN for these 1-hour webinars. To REGISTER, click on the dates below.
Evaluating Female Interest for Health Monitoring and Family Planning | Tuesday, March 24th, 8:30 pm EST
What Can Be Learned from Millions of App Records | Tuesday, April 28th, 8:30 pm EST
What’s New with Fertility Tracking Apps? | Tuesday, May 26th, 8:30 pm EST
Chart Neo & the Visual Fertility Advisor | Tuesday, June 23rd, 8:30 pm EST
Join Us for Our Core Webinars and Earn CME Credit!
Below are the webinars we offer every month.
To REGISTER, click on the dates below, then share and invite a colleague!
The Female Cycle as the 5th Vital Sign
This presentation highlights the health of the female cycle and how the fertility awareness chart can aid in the diagnosis and management of common women’s health concerns.
Wednesday, March 18th, 12:30 pm EST
Tuesday, April 7th, 8:00 pm EST
FABMs for Achieving & Avoiding Pregnancy
This presentation focuses on the use of FABMs to achieve pregnancy. It includes a case in which FABM charts assisted to diagnose and treat infertility. Evidence-based FABMs and their effectiveness rates to prevent pregnancy are also discussed.
Monday, March 9th, 7:00pm EST (Featuring Dr. Garcia!)
Monday, April 27th, 1:00pm EST
The Science Behind Fertility Awareness
Our flagship presentation, Fertility & Family Planning, reviews the latest research and science supporting FABMs and their effectiveness to prevent and achieve pregnancy.
Monday, March 30th, 5:00 pm EST
Thursday, May 21st, 1:00 pm EST