Fertility Awareness

About  Fertility awareness

Fertility awareness (FA) refers to a set of practices used to determine the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Fertility awareness methods may be used to avoid pregnancy, to achieve pregnancy, or as a way to monitor gynecological health.

Methods of identifying infertile days have been known since antiquity, but scientific knowledge gained during the past century has increased the number and variety of methods.

Systems of fertility awareness rely on observation of changes in one or more of the primary fertility signs (basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervical position), tracking menstrual cycle length and identifying the fertile window based on this information, or both. Other signs may also be observed: these include breast tenderness and mittelschmerz (ovulation pains), urine analysis strips known as ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), and microscopic examination of saliva or cervical fluid. Also available are computerized fertility monitors.

Terminology[edit]

Symptoms-based methods involve tracking one or more of the three primary fertility signs: basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervical position. Systems relying exclusively on cervical mucus include the Billings Ovulation Method, the Ovulation Method, the Creighton Model, and the Two-Day Method. Symptothermal methods combine observations of basal body temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, and sometimes cervical position. Calendar-based methods rely on tracking a woman’s cycle and identifying her fertile window based on the lengths of her cycles. The best known of these methods is the Standard Days Method. The Calendar-Rhythm method is also considered a calendar-based method, though it is not well defined and has many different meanings to different people.

Systems of fertility awareness may be referred to as fertility awareness–based methods (FAB methods); the term Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) refers specifically to the system taught by Toni Weschler. The term natural family planning (NFP) is sometimes used to refer to any use of FA methods. However, NFP specifically refers to practices that are approved by the Roman Catholic Church: the Lactational amenorrhea method and periodic abstinence during fertile times. A method of FA may be used by NFP users to identify these fertile times.

Women who are breastfeeding a child and wish to avoid pregnancy may be able to practice the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). LAM is distinct from fertility awareness, but because it also does not involve devices or chemicals, it is often presented alongside FA as a method of “natural” birth control.

History[edit]

Development of calendar-based methods[edit]

It is not known exactly when it was first discovered that women have predictable periods of fertility and infertility. St. Augustine wrote about periodic abstinence to avoid pregnancy in the year 388 (the Manichaeans attempted to use this method to remain childfree, and Augustine condemned their use of periodic abstinence). One book states that periodic abstinence was recommended “by a few secular thinkers since the mid-nineteenth century,” but the dominant force in the twentieth century popularization of fertility awareness-based methods was the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1905 Theodoor Hendrik van de Velde, a Dutch gynecologist, showed that women only ovulate once per menstrual cycle. In the 1920s, Kyusaku Ogino, a Japanese gynecologist, and Hermann Knaus, from Austria, independently discovered that ovulation occurs about fourteen days before the next menstrual period. Ogino used his discovery to develop a formula for use in aiding infertile women to time intercourse to achieve pregnancy. In 1930, John Smulders, Roman Catholic physician from the Netherlands, used this discovery to create a method for avoiding pregnancy. Smulders published his work with the Dutch Roman Catholic medical association, and this was the first formalized system for periodic abstinence: the rhythm method.

Introduction of temperature and cervical mucus signs[edit]

In the 1930s, Reverend Wilhelm Hillebrand, a Catholic priest in Germany, developed a system for avoiding pregnancy based on basal body temperature. This temperature method was found to be more effective at helping women avoid pregnancy than were calendar-based methods. Over the next few decades, both systems became widely used among Catholic women. Two speeches delivered by Pope Pius XII in 1951 gave the highest form of recognition to the Catholic Church’s approval—for couples who needed to avoid pregnancy—of these systems. In the early 1950s, Dr. John Billings discovered the relationship between cervical mucus and fertility while working for the Melbourne Catholic Family Welfare Bureau. Billings and several other physicians, including his wife, Dr. Evelyn Billings, studied this sign for a number of years, and by the late 1960s had performed clinical trials and begun to set up teaching centers around the world.

First symptoms-based teaching organizations[edit]

While Dr. Billings initially taught both the temperature and mucus signs, they encountered problems in teaching the temperature sign to largely illiterate populations in developing countries. In the 1970s they modified the method to rely on only mucus. The international organization founded by Dr. Billings is now known as the World Organization Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB).

The first organization to teach a symptothermal method was founded in 1971. John and Sheila Kippley, lay Catholics, joined with Dr. Konald Prem in teaching an observational method that relied on all three signs: temperature, mucus, and cervical position. Their organization is now called Couple to Couple League International. The next decade saw the founding of other now-large Catholic organizations, Family of the Americas (1977), teaching the Billings method, and the Pope Paul VI Institute (1985), teaching a new mucus-only system called the Creighton Model.

Up until the 1980s, information about fertility awareness was only available from Catholic sources. The first secular teaching organization was the Fertility Awareness Center in New York, founded in 1981.Toni Weschler started teaching in 1982 and published the bestselling book Taking Charge of Your Fertility in 1995. Justisse was founded in 1987 in Edmonton, Canada. These secular organizations all teach symptothermal methods. Although the Catholic organizations are significantly larger than the secular fertility awareness movement, independent secular teachers have become increasingly common since the 1990s.

Ongoing development[edit]

Development of fertility awareness methods is ongoing. In the late 1990s, the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University introduced two new methods. The Two-Day Method, a mucus-only system, and CycleBeads and iCycleBeads (the digital version), based on the Standard Days Method, are designed to be both effective and simple to teach, learn, and use.

Fertility signs[edit]

Most menstrual cycles have several days at the beginning that are infertile (pre-ovulatory infertility), a period of fertility, and then several days just before the next menstruation that are infertile (post-ovulatory infertility). The first day of red bleeding is considered day one of the menstrual cycle. Different systems of fertility awareness calculate the fertile period in slightly different ways, using primary fertility signs, cycle history, or both.

Primary fertility signs[edit]

The three primary signs of fertility are basal body temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, and cervical position. A woman practicing symptoms-based fertility awareness may choose to observe one sign, two signs, or all three. Many women experience secondary fertility signs that correlate with certain phases of the menstrual cycle, such as abdominal pain and heaviness, back pain, breast tenderness, and mittelschmerz (ovulation pains).

Basal body temperature[edit]

This classifies a temperature reading collected when a person first wakes up in the morning (or after their longest sleep period of the day). In women, ovulation will trigger a rise in BBT between 0.3 and 0.9 °C (0.5 and 1.6 °F) that lasts approximately until the next menstruation. This temperature shift may be used to determine the onset of post-ovulatory infertility.

Cervical mucus[edit]

The appearance of cervical mucus and vulvar sensation are generally described together as two ways of observing the same sign. Cervical mucus is produced by the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vaginal canal. Fertile cervical mucus promotes sperm life by decreasing the acidity of the vagina, and also helps guide sperm through the cervix and into the uterus. The production of fertile cervical mucus is caused by estrogen, the same hormone that prepares a woman’s body for ovulation. By observing her cervical mucus and paying attention to the sensation as it passes the vulva, a woman can detect when her body is gearing up for ovulation, and also when ovulation has passed. When ovulation occurs, estrogen production drops slightly and progesterone starts to rise. The rise in progesterone causes a distinct change in the quantity and quality of mucus observed at the vulva.

Cervical position[edit]

The cervix changes position in response to the same hormones that cause cervical mucus to be produced and to dry up. When a woman is in an infertile phase of her cycle, the cervix will be low in the vaginal canal; it will feel firm to the touch (like the tip of a person’s nose); and the os—the opening in the cervix—will be relatively small, or “closed”. As a woman becomes more fertile, the cervix will rise higher in the vaginal canal, it will become softer to the touch (more like a person’s lips), and the os will become more open. After ovulation has occurred, the cervix will revert to its infertile position.

Cycle history[edit]

Calendar-based systems determine both pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory infertility based on cycle history. When used to avoid pregnancy, these systems have higher perfect-use failure rates than symptoms-based systems, but are still comparable with barrier methods, such as diaphragms and cervical caps.

Mucus- and temperature-based methods used to determine post-ovulatory infertility, when used to avoid conception, result in very low perfect-use pregnancy rates. However, mucus and temperature systems have certain limitations in determining pre-ovulatory infertility. A temperature record alone provides no guide to fertility or infertility before ovulation occurs. Determination of pre-ovulatory infertility may be done by observing the absence of fertile cervical mucus; however, this results in a higher failure rate than that seen in the period of post-ovulatory infertility. Relying only on mucus observation also means that unprotected sexual intercourse is not allowed during menstruation, since any mucus would be obscured.

Use of certain calendar rules to determine the length of the pre-ovulatory infertile phase allows unprotected intercourse during the first few days of the menstrual cycle while maintaining a very low risk of pregnancy. With mucus-only methods, there is a possibility of incorrectly identifying mid-cycle or anovulatory bleeding as menstruation. Keeping a BBT chart enables accurate identification of menstruation, when pre-ovulatory calendar rules may be reliably applied. In temperature-only systems, a calendar rule may be relied on alone to determine pre-ovulatory infertility. In symptothermal systems, the calendar rule is cross-checked by mucus records: observation of fertile cervical mucus overrides any calendar-determined infertility.

Calendar rules may set a standard number of days, specifying that (depending on a woman’s past cycle lengths) the first three to six days of each menstrual cycle are considered infertile. Or, a calendar rule may require calculation, for example holding that the length of the pre-ovulatory infertile phase is equal to the length of a woman’s shortest cycle minus 21 days. Rather than being tied to cycle length, a calendar rule may be determined from the cycle day on which a woman observes a thermal shift. One system has the length of the pre-ovulatory infertile phase equal to a woman’s earliest historical day of temperature rise minus seven days.

Other techniques[edit]

Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) can detect imminent ovulation from the concentration of lutenizing hormone (LH) in a woman’s urine. A positive OPK is usually followed by ovulation within 12–36 hours.

Saliva microscopes, when correctly used, can detect ferning structures in the saliva that precede ovulation. Ferning is usually detected beginning three days before ovulation, and continuing until ovulation has occurred. During this window, ferning structures occur in cervical mucus as well as saliva.

Computerized fertility monitors, such as Lady-Comp, are available under various brand names. These monitors may use BBT-only systems, they may analyze urine test strips, they may use symptothermal observations, they may monitor the electrical resistance of saliva and vaginal fluids, or a combination of any of these factors.

Benefits and drawbacks[edit]

Fertility awareness has a number of unique characteristics:

  • FA can be used to monitor reproductive health. Changes in the cycle can alert the user to emerging gynecological problems. FA can also be used to aid in diagnosing known gynecological problems such as infertility.
  • FA is versatile: it may be used to avoid pregnancy or to aid in conception.
  • Use of FA can give insight to the workings of women’s bodies, and may allow women to take greater control of their own fertility.
  • Some symptoms-based forms of fertility awareness require observation or touching of cervical mucus, an activity with which some women are not comfortable. Some practitioners prefer to use the term “cervical fluid” to refer to cervical mucus, in an attempt to make the subject more acceptable to these women.
  • Some drugs, such as decongestants, can change cervical mucus. In women taking these drugs, the mucus sign may not accurately indicate fertility.
  • Some symptoms-based methods require tracking of basal body temperatures. Because irregular sleep can interfere with the accuracy of basal body temperatures, shift workers and those with very young children, for example, might not be able to use those methods.
  • FA requires action daily—detailed record keeping. Some may find the time and detail requirements too complicated.

As birth control[edit]

By restricting unprotected sexual intercourse to the infertile portion of the menstrual cycle, a woman and her partner can prevent pregnancy. During the fertile portion of the menstrual cycle, the couple may use barrier contraception or abstain from sexual intercourse. Or the couple may attempt to control birth in the opposite sense by timing intercourse to achieve pregnancy.

Advantages[edit]

  • There are no drug-related side effects to FA.
  • FA can be free or have a very low up-front cost. Users may employ a coach, use computer software, or buy a chart, calendar, or basal thermometer. The direct costs are low when compared to other methods.
  • FA can be used with barrier contraception so that intercourse may continue through the fertile period. Unlike barrier use without FA, practicing FA can allow couples to use barrier contraception only when necessary.
  • FA can be used to immediately switch from pregnancy avoidance to pregnancy planning when the couple decides it is time to plan for conception.

Disadvantages[edit]

  • Use of a barrier or other backup method is required on fertile days; otherwise the couple must abstain. To reduce pregnancy risk to below 1% per year, there are an average of 13 days where abstinence or backup must be used during each cycle. For women with very irregular cycles—such as those common during breastfeeding, perimenopause, or with hormonal diseases such as PCOS—abstinence or the use of barriers may be required for months at a time.
  • FA has a higher failure cost than many methods. Typical use effectiveness is lower than most other methods; thus the cost for failures is higher than for most methods.
  • Fertility awareness does not protect against sexually transmitted disease.

Effectiveness[edit]

The effectiveness of fertility awareness, as of most forms of contraception, can be assessed two ways. Perfect use or method effectiveness rates only include people who follow all observational rules, correctly identify the fertile phase, and refrain from unprotected intercourse on days identified as fertile. Actual use or typical use effectiveness rates include all women relying on fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy, including those who fail to meet the “perfect use” criteria. Rates are generally presented for the first year of use. Most commonly, the Pearl Index is used to calculate effectiveness rates, but some studies use decrement tables.

The failure rate of fertility awareness varies widely depending on the system used to identify fertile days, the instructional method, and the population being studied. Some studies have found actual failure rates of 25% per year or higher. At least one study has found a failure rate of less than 1% per year with continuous intensive coaching and monthly review, and several studies have found actual failure rates of 2%–3% per year.

When used correctly and consistently (i.e., with perfect use) with ongoing coaching, under study conditions some studies have found some forms of FA to be 99% effective.

From Contraceptive Technology:

  • Post-ovulation methods (i.e., abstaining from intercourse from menstruation until after ovulation) have a method failure rate of 1% per year.
  • The symptothermal method has a method failure rate of 2% per year.
  • Cervical mucus–only methods have a method failure rate of 3% per year.
  • Calendar rhythm has a method failure rate of 9% per year.
  • The Standard Days Method has a method failure rate of 5% per year.

Reasons for lower typical-use effectiveness[edit]

Several factors account for typical-use effectiveness being lower than perfect-use effectiveness:

  • conscious user non-compliance with instructions (having unprotected intercourse on a day identified as fertile)
  • mistakes on the part of those providing instructions on how to use the method (instructor providing incorrect or incomplete information on the rule system)
  • mistakes on the part of the user (misunderstanding of rules, mistakes in charting)

The most common reason for the lower actual effectiveness is not mistakes on the part of instructors or users, but conscious user non-compliance—that is, the couple knowing that the woman is likely to be fertile at the time but engaging in sexual intercourse nonetheless. This is similar to failures of barrier methods, which are primarily caused by non-use of the method.

To achieve pregnancy[edit]

Intercourse timing[edit]

A study by Barrett and Marshall has shown that random acts of intercourse achieve a 24% pregnancy rate per cycle. That study also found that timed intercourse based on information from a BBT-only method of FA increased pregnancy rates to 31%–68%.

Studies of cervical-mucus methods of fertility awareness have found pregnancy rates of 67%-81% in the first cycle if intercourse occurred on the Peak Day of the mucus sign.

Because of high rates of very early miscarriage (25% of pregnancies are lost within the first six weeks since the woman’s last menstrual period, or LMP), the methods used to detect pregnancy may lead to bias in conception rates. Less-sensitive methods will detect lower conception rates, because they miss the conceptions that resulted in early pregnancy loss. A Chinese study of couples practicing random intercourse to achieve pregnancy used very sensitive pregnancy tests to detect pregnancy. It found a 40% conception rate per cycle over the 12-month study period.

Problem diagnosis[edit]

Regular menstrual cycles are sometimes taken as evidence that a woman is ovulating normally, and irregular cycles as evidence she is not. However, many women with irregular cycles do ovulate normally, and some with regular cycles are actually annovulatory or have a luteal phase defect. Records of basal body temperatures, especially, but also of cervical mucus and position, can be used to accurately determine if a woman is ovulating, and if the length of the post-ovulatory (luteal) phase of her menstrual cycle is sufficient to sustain a pregnancy.

Fertile cervical mucus is important in creating an environment that allows sperm to pass through the cervix and into the fallopian tubes where they wait for ovulation. Fertility charts can help diagnose hostile cervical mucus, a common cause of infertility. If this condition is diagnosed, some sources suggest taking guaifenesin in the few days before ovulation to thin out the mucus.

Pregnancy testing and gestational age[edit]

Pregnancy tests are not accurate until 1–2 weeks after ovulation. Knowing an estimated date of ovulation can prevent a woman from getting false negative results due to testing too early. Also, 18 consecutive days of elevated temperatures means a woman is almost certainly pregnant.

Estimated ovulation dates from fertility charts are a more accurate method of estimating gestational age than the traditional pregnancy wheel or last menstrual period (LMP) method of tracking menstrual periods.

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia · Edit on Wikipedia

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit ovulation….

This is a new to me article which has been making the rounds on Facebook so I feel it is important to post here also.

FULL STORY

New findings suggest that readily available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could have a harmful effect on fertility.
Credit: © Werg / Fotolia

The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) show that diclofenac, naproxen and etoricoxib significantly inhibit ovulation in women with mild musculoskeletal pain. Of the women receiving NSAIDs, only 6.3 percent (diclofenac), 25 percent (naproxen) and 27.3 percent (etoricoxib) ovulated, compared with 100 percent of the control group.

These findings suggest that readily available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could have a harmful effect on fertility, and should be used with caution in women wishing to start a family.

‘After just ten days of treatment we saw a significant decrease in progesterone, a hormone essential for ovulation, across all treatment groups, as well as functional cysts in one third of patients,’ said study investigator Professor Sami Salman, Department of Rheumatology, University of Baghdad, Iraq. ‘These findings show that even short-term use of these popular, over-the-counter drugs could have a significant impact on a women’s ability to have children. This needs to be better communicated to patients with rheumatic diseases, who may take these drugs on a regular basis with little awareness of the impact.’

NSAIDs are among the most commonly used drugs worldwide, and are taken by more than 30 million people every day. Available without prescription, NSAIDS are largely used for the treatment of pain, inflammation and fever — all common features of rheumatic conditions.

Thirty nine women of childbearing age who suffer from back pain took part in the study, and received diclofenac (100mg once daily), naproxen (500mg twice daily) and etoricoxib (90mg once daily) or placebo. Treatment was given for 10 days from day 10 of the onset of the menstrual cycle; hormonal analysis (progesterone level) and follicle diameter were conducted via blood sample and ultra sonsography respectively. At the end of the NSAID treatment period, the dominant follicle remained unruptured in 75 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent of patients receiving diclofenac, naproxen and etoricoxib respectively. Rupturing of the dominant follicle, and subsequent release of an oocyte (unfertilised egg), is essential for ovulation to occur.

‘These findings highlight the harmful effects NSAIDs may have on fertility, and could open the door for research into a new emergency contraception with a more favourable safety profile than those currently in use,’ concluded Professor Sami Salman.

Source from:
European League Against Rheumatism. “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit ovulation after just 10 days.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150611082124.htm>.

 


Why aren’t women told the truth about the pill and blood clots?

I have recently came across an article regarding this and would like to post it here. One of our Board Members David Kahn gave a very good responce to this article, which I posted in Facebook David stated: “Follow the dollar. The pill is the ideal product for a drug company. Something taken daily over many years by half the fertile population. There is very big money at play here.” Which I totally agree with. I feel people need to know more about what the pill actually does. David also stated: “The pill is a unique medication. Most medications are designed for unhealthy people to restore natural functioning. Whereas the pill is designed for healthy people to create unnatural functioning.” Which really is a good point. Thank you David for your impute!
So i am posting the article here for you to get more information. Thank you to STOPP American Life League’s STOPP International for posting this which I am using here

Why aren’t women told the truth about the pill and blood clots?
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2015-05-06

The young newlywed put herself at risk for collapse, stroke, heart attack, and death every day when she popped her birth control pill. Tragically, she had no idea there was any danger. Even medical personnel thought her symptoms were no big deal, and on more than one occasion chalked her symptoms up to dehydration. They never told her it could be that her contraception was causing blood clots.

Her name was Kate. She was a 28-year-old business woman whose story is told in “What Every Woman Needs to Know about Blood Clots” posted on the National Blood Clot Alliance “Stop the Clot” website. Kate’s symptoms started while she was in Hawaii on her honeymoon. She suffered pain in her calf that was so intense it woke her up at night. She went to an orthopedic surgeon, who ordered scans, found no problems, and dismissed her. She forgot about it. Seven months later she passed out in an airport following a flight. Medical personnel said she was dehydrated.

Completely unknown to her, Kate had developed deep vein thrombosis in her calf. From there, blood clots began breaking off and going to her lungs. These blood clots in the lungs, called pulmonary emboli, “can be life-threatening and in 10-15 percent of cases, cause sudden death,” according to Dr. Jack Ansell. Dr. Ansell is a hematologist and member of the National Blood Clot Alliance’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board. The Alliance website goes on to quote Dr. Ansell: “The first sign of a PE can be death.”

Thanks to Kate’s mother, a nurse, who suggested that she might have pulmonary emboli, Kate got help and did not die. She caught it before it killed her. Many other women are not so lucky. They don’t learn the truth until it is too late.

The truth is, “[t]he relative risk for thrombosis in patients who take COCs [combined oral contraceptives] is three- to five-fold higher compared with that of nonusers.” Thrombosis means blood clots that can cause stroke, heart attack, blindness, brain damage, and death. Still, women are not warned about the risk of blood clots with their daily steroidal hormone pill. This is serious and senseless deception and negligence.

According to a Canadian Broadcasting Company report in June 2013, birth control pill manufacturer Bayer paid out in excess of $1 billion to settle thousands of birth control pill lawsuits in the United States. Those settlements were all related to two low-dose contraception pills, Yaz and Yasmin. At the same time, an investigation by the CBC revealed that pharmacists suspected the deaths of 23 Canadian women were attributable to those two same pills.

Miranda Scott, only 18, was working out at the University of British Columbia gym when she fell over backward and died. Her autopsy showed that she died of blood clots throughout her body. She was taking Yasmin at the time of her death. Her mother is now part of a Canadian class action lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, along with hundreds of family members and women who have been harmed or killed by the pill.

Yet, even as Bayer pays out huge settlements, it says it “stands by” its birth control products. Even Elizabeth Kissling, writing for the radical feminist magazine Ms, is troubled by the cover-up and lack of education and testing women are given before being prescribed the pill.

“Today . . . young women are again dying from something purported to help them, something that affects mostly women. Thousands more are experiencing life-threatening, health-destroying side-effects, such as blindness, depression, and pulmonary embolism,” Kissling said, citing accounts of young women who had suffered all these consequences.

She referenced a first-person account posted on xojane.com, that highlighted this shocking quote by a young woman who almost died from pulmonary embolism caused by her birth control pill. “‘Isn’t this bizarre?’ [the young woman] asked doctors in the hospital. They shook their heads and informed me that they regularly encountered otherwise healthy young women with blood clots, almost all caused by birth control.”

The pill kills truth. It exists and is prescribed to women amid a swirl of chaos; amidst contradictions and lies; and amidst dead, blind, and profoundly injured women. Prescribing doctors tell women birth control is perfectly safe if they don’t smoke. Emergency room doctors tell women they “regularly encounter otherwise healthy young women with blood clots, almost all caused by birth control.” Billions of dollars are paid out by drug companies to settle lawsuits, while they say they still stand by their contraceptive pills.

 

Women need to know. Join American Life League and a host of sponsors around the nation on June 6 to expose the lies and shine the light on the truth about the pill. For more information, visit our website, thepillkills.org. To sign up to sponsor the National Day of Action and/or organize a local event, click here.

This Ariticle was posted in the Toronto Sun Oct 13, 2014

This item was posted by one of our Serena members, Louise Bourdea, who had found this older artical. I wanted to share it here. Thank you Louise.

Women delaying childbirth based on misinformation:
study

Judith Daniluk has met too many women who put off having babies for years and years, only to realize it’s too late.

Daniluk, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, said advances in fertility science have been greatly exaggerated by the media, and in some cases, by family doctors, such that women are misled into believing they can start a family whenever they want.

Over the past 25 years, Daniluk has worked as a clinical consultant to fertility clinics in Alberta and B.C., where she’s counseled many women in their late 30s and early 40s — or sometimes, even older — who try, and often fail, to get pregnant.

“Many of these women were surprised to learn that their chances of a successful pregnancy were significantly reduced based on age-related fertility declines — declines that couldn’t be compensated for by the use of assisted reproductive technologies and treatments. It was heartbreaking to see their disappointment and despair when they were unable to achieve a viable pregnancy,” she said.

That’s why she’s leading research to figure out why women are putting off childbirth and how informed women are about their own reproductive health.

So far, 45.5% of women who responded to the survey expect to give birth between 36 and 41, and 13.2% think they will have children at 42 or older. Nearly half said they expect to use a sperm donor, an egg donor or invitro-fertilization to achieve their goals. More than half said they were likely to freeze and store their eggs.

Misleading websites, uninformed doctors and high-profile middle-aged moms like Celine Dion make women think they can delay childbirth, she said. The truth, however, is technology-aided birth is extremely expensive and not very reliable for anyone over 34. The chances of getting pregnant, even with fertilization treatment, are less than 1% for women over 46.

And even if it does work, older pregnant women are more likely to experience miscarriage, pregnancy-induced hypertension and birth defects.

“We need to be sure women and their partners have accurate information upon which to base their child-bearing decisions, but we also need to ensure family physicians are provided with continuing education about the advances and limitations of assisted human reproduction,” she said.

But it’s not just science and education that are failing women, she said. It’s a social structure that makes it very difficult for young, fertile women to balance their family goals with careers and education.

“We also need broader social changes that support women to have their children earlier without compromising their educational and career progress and success,” said Daniluk, Statistics Canada says Canadian women with children earned 12% less per hour than childless women, and that gap increases with each additional child.

As well, the gender wage gap is smaller in countries like Denmark and Sweden, which have better access to child-care services and maternity leave.

The survey is ongoing and available at laterchildbearing.com.

 

I have been off for bit….back up and going…

Well I was off for a time upgrading my computer system to a newer model. I have been trying to get to know this new version and getting things working the way I like things. It has been very new for  me. So I am now back some and will again continue to get those posts out for you. Thank you for your interest in Serena Natural Family Planning. For the first back post going to use one I have seen many times and i love it. Pregnancy is what were about. enjoy!

 

Teacher Couple Training Weekend

We are currently looking for couples who practice the Serena method to train to become teacher couples.  We are hosting a training weekend in November, with 4 very experienced teacher couples to share their skills and train the new teacher couples.  At the end of the weekend, couples will become certified teacher couples.

Serena Alberta is needing some rejuvenation – we need some new teacher couples to help move Serena Alberta forward.  Please consider becoming a teacher couple.