By Jennifer Emmel
June 5, 2018
“Using an FABM gives me information about my body and my overall health as a woman.”
My earliest exposure to natural or fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) is a direct result of my faith. Growing up Catholic, I heard about natural family planning (NFP) in church and in school, but I didn’t begin to learn the details until preparing for marriage in 2014. While I initially selected a method and began charting because “I had to,” I have come to realize that I would have made the same decision regardless.
Using an FABM gives me information about my body and my overall health as a woman. I can make informed decisions regarding my healthcare with confidence and understand what’s going on throughout my cycle.
It baffles me that FABMs are not introduced to young women at their first appointment with a gynecologist. These methods enable women to have greater control of their fertility and understand their bodies on a deeper level. Every doctor should support that goal!
It would be such a welcome change to walk into a doctor’s appointment and not be met with skepticism when I state that I utilize an FABM. That is why I am a part of FACTS: I want doctors to recognize the science behind FABMs and support their patients in using a method to own their reproductive health.
Jen is the newest member of the FACTS Team, assuming the role of Program Coordinator. She organizes our educational programs, including online learning, event speakers, and the Student Ambassador program. In addition to her work in fertility awareness, Jen is an adjunct professor of special education at Seton Hall University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 2011. She also holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Jen worked as a special education teacher and job developer in Madison, Wisconsin. While there, she assisted high school students with developmental disabilities to obtain paid employment and prepare for life after graduation. Managing the schedules, transportation, and support needs of a group of teens and young adults with disabilities required attention to detail, organization and multitasking, all skills that will be invaluable as FACTS program coordinator.
Jen’s current interests include finding recipes to cook her CSA (community-supported agriculture) veggies, attempting (somewhat successfully) to finish the novels for a book club, and enjoying Metro adventures with her husband and two young daughters.