OOPS! We mistakenly sent our blog post this week with the incorrect subject line and apologize for any confusion that may have created. But, in issuing this correction we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of the great graphic work Barri has been doing to help publicize our webinars. If you haven’t yet participated in a FACTS webinar, now’s your chance as we have several options (many available for CME credit) coming up in the months of May and June. To register, click on your preferred option below. And remember, if you’re a FACTS member – all webinars are FREE to you – Why not join today?!
Here is a FACTS webinar graphic for you to print and share!
You can post it in your office, at your residency program, or even on your student information board to help #ShareTheFACTS about fertility awareness!
By Barri Burch
May 1, 2018
Tell me more…
It has been serendipitously perfect timing for me to live and work during the Information Age. To be clear, that’s not because I am particularly skilled with ‘all things tech,’ but rather because I am a bit of an information junkie, especially when such information comes in the form of a compelling story. Early curiosity led me to pursue an education in sociology and journalism, and a career in marketing merged these interests together.
Good marketing is founded on the ability to tell untold stories effectively. My interest in FACTS grew initially out of a sense of unrest that an entire layer of understanding in women’s health was going untold or, at the very least, under-told.
In truth, I was stunned to learn the FACTS about fertility awareness. The first time I heard the female cycle explained in relation to fertility awareness, I was a well-educated woman well past my childbearing years with four college-aged children. My reaction was quite simply, What? In no high school health class, by no practicing primary care physician, obstetrician or gynecologist, through no friends or family members – never had I heard the whole story. I didn’t even know the basics, let alone what I might be able to do with information related to my cycle and my fertility.
Stunned and frankly, angry, my curiosity grew.
I met Dr. Duane through the friend of a friend who mentioned her project could use some help with web development and media exposure. FACTS needed to augment its efforts to get the word out. After just a few minutes with Dr. Duane, I was on board, partly because her passion is infectious and, primarily, because the mission of FACTS is easy to understand and support.
Only 3% to 6% of have accurate knowledge about the effectiveness rates of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs). When practiced correctly and learned through trained educators, FABMs have effectiveness rates comparable to conventional birth control to avoid pregnancy, without the side effects commonly associated with hormonal contraception. Additionally, charting can reveal practical information about issues of general health, aiding in diagnosis and health management for conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and more. For women and couples struggling with infertility, fertility awareness cycle charting can be used to time lab testing and medications optimally for couples undergoing fertility treatment, and to pinpoint the best times for intercourse when trying to conceive.
When I share the story about FACTS, I often emphasize FABMs are not your grandmother’s rhythm method. As information about fertility awareness spreads, it is, at times, still stymied by a misperception that fertility awareness is limiting, religiously motivated, or just plain ineffective. The leadership of FACTS has sometimes been criticized for being one-sided, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the FACTS team strives and intends to build bridges to the various evidence-based fertility awareness based methods to educate healthcare professionals about the many excellent choices women and couples have for family planning and women’s health monitoring. The signs of fertility, when monitored, provide an important profile of a patient’s overall health. This is about information and education. This is about better healthcare for women. This deserves to be part of the considered set. This is a story that needs to be told, heard, and magnified.
As a woman, I have always advocated for our right to be fully informed about the choices available to us. Fundamentally, I respect the right of every woman to learn as much as possible about her own biology and to use that information to empower her individual decision-making. It seems obvious to me that access to information about fertility awareness and to physicians who understand and support its applications should be readily available to all women. At its core, the FACTS mission is to make this a reality, and the medical community is an integral piece of this story. Without their involvement, the understanding and practical application of fertility awareness cannot grow.
As marketers, we work to reach people with relevant messaging that informs, educates, and engages. I am happy to be part of a very passionate FACTS team, and to be in a position to help tell the FACTS story – to women, to physicians, to the research community, to students… and to all who will hear with the same openness and curiosity that drew me to learn the FACTS!
Marketing Consultant and Webmaster
Barri has worked with the FACTS team since the fall of 2017, focusing primarily on the launch and continued development of the FACTS website as well as targeted marketing initiatives. A marketing and advertising professional with more than 35 years of experience, she has focused the last decade on healthcare, working specifically to raise awareness in women’s health and elder care.
In her (relatively little!) free time, she enjoys traveling, sports, art, music, and trying to keep pace with the busy lives of her husband, four children, one daughter-in-law, and new (totally spectacular!) grandson.