by Emilee Reinholz
October 30, 2018
“That’s too much detail. Why don’t you try fertility beads?”
That was my gynecologist’s response when I enthusiastically showed her my Sympto-Thermal charts, hoping she would investigate a reproductive health problem I was facing. Six months earlier, I had completed a course on the Sympto-Thermal Method and had been charting since the first class. I was shocked by my doctor’s lack of knowledge concerning the valuable health information contained in my chart.
A few years later, my husband and I completed the courses to become certified Fertility Awareness Based Method (FABM) instructors. Still, medical and health professionals typically discouraged us from using this modern, effective family planning method, and we quickly realized our students were facing the same problem. No local medical professionals could interpret our charts, so we had to drive two hours to find a physician who was familiar with the Sympto-Thermal Method.
Furthermore, I was often given disapproving looks for reporting my decision to use FABMs for family planning, particularly after childbirth. My students and I felt so unsupported and frustrated that medical professionals were not knowledgeable about FABMs and did not acknowledge our desire to learn about our physiology. In fact, many of us were motivated to make other healthy lifestyle changes, such as improving diet, exercise, and stress management and, of equal importance, we sought open and frequent communication about sexuality within our relationships.
Frustration Drives Educational Opportunities
This common frustration, along with the importance of FABMs in our lives, motivated me to assemble a team of local FABM instructors and coordinate a one-day fertility awareness conference. The generous FABM community helped fund this innovative event. We called it “Modern Fertility Awareness for Family Planning & Women’s Health,” and it was approved for 5.5 AAFP Continuing Medical Education (CME) prescribed credits.
We featured presentations on the scientific background, effectiveness, and applications of modern evidence-based FABMs. We also had a presentation on fertility and nutrition, and another on technology and FABMs. The most popular presentation was “The Female Cycle as the Fifth Vital Sign,” presented passionately and articulately by FACTS Executive Director, Dr. Marguerite Duane, and Dr. Deidre Wilson, founder of Body and Soul Healthcare in Arizona. The energy in the room during that presentation was palpable, as sixty attendees learned and practiced a systematic approach to identify health issues from a woman’s chart. The intrigued participants were thrilled to identify a short luteal phase causing infertility in a woman with so-called “regular cycles.” This is just one example of practical applications of learning to analyze charts of the female cycle.
The evaluations for the FACTS presentations were overwhelmingly positive, and learners responded that their favorite aspects included:
“Interpretation of charts—such excellent learning!”
“Emphasizing fertility is normal, not an illness.”
“Reviewing charts and getting some familiarity with a systematic approach to interpreting charts.”
“The Q&A at each table and analyzing the different charts.”
The most memorable response from a participant was, “See you next year!”
Fall 2019: More details to come soon!
Presentation topics will include:
- The Female Cycle as the Fifth Vital Sign (FACTS presentation)
- Fertility Awareness Based Methods for Achieving & Preventing Pregnancy (FACTS presentation)
- Addressing Endometriosis with FABMs
- Using FABMs in the Postpartum & Perimenopausal Periods
- Diagnosis & Management of PCOS
- Performance of FABM Apps Marketed to Avoid Pregnancy
For these conferences to be successful, we need your help in the following ways:
- DONATE to help cover the cost of the conferences so we can keep registration affordable
- SHARE conference information on social media starting today!
- INVITE medical and health professionals to attend with you
- VOLUNTEER to help with a conference in your area
We will announce more details on our website as we continue to plan these events. To volunteer, ask questions, or for more information, please contact me, Emilee, our Conference Coordinator, at Speaker@FACTSAboutFertility.org. We hope to see you in 2019!
Author Bio: Emilee Reinholz graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Santa Clara University in California. She then studied chemical engineering and earned a Masters of Science with distinction from the University of New Mexico and conducted her thesis research at Sandia National Laboratories. Since 2014, Emilee and her husband have taught the Sympto-Thermal Method for the Couple to Couple League. She is passionate about FABM education and joined the FACTS team as Conference Coordinator in June 2018. Emilee resides in Albuquerque, NM with her best friend and husband, Barry, and their two young daughters, who rock their world.