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African American patient explaining issues to Asian doctor using tabletModern fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) are highly effective, natural, and can be used to detect underlying health problems. Modern FABMs demonstrate effectiveness rates as high as 99.6% (correct use) and 98.4% (typical use) [1-3], as opposed to the low effectiveness rates of the Calendar/Rhythm method of the 1930s. Modern methods rely on a scientific understanding of a woman’s hormonal cycle and real-time external signs of fertility, so they work with irregular as well as regular cycles. These methods have numerous health advantages, and one in five American women expressed interest in FABMs when given information about them [2]. Having health care providers who are knowledgeable about these methods, including how to use these methods correctly for family planning and health information, is a real need.

The American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Education recommends that FABMs counseling be included as one of the core skills in Maternity and Gynecologic Care Recommended Curriculum Guidelines [4], and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that even adolescents should learn to track cycles [5]. Yet in 2013 a pilot survey showed that modern FABMs are often excluded from the women’s health curricula in family medicine residency programs [6].

Come address this important gap at an activity approved for 5.5 AAFP Prescribed credits.*

Attendees will be able to describe the scientific basis for modern FABMs, effectiveness evidence, indications of underlying health issues, nutritional strategies, and critiques of fertility monitoring apps and devices.


This symposium was organized by a collaborative team of certified Natural Family Planning (NFP) instructors from the Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and East Mountain areas of New Mexico. We teach for the Couple to Couple League, CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare™ System, and Family of the Americas. Many of us hold graduate degrees in science and engineering.

1. Frank-Herrmann P, Heil J, Gnoth C, Toledo E, Baur S, Pyper C, Jenetzky E, Strowitzki T, Freundl G. The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple’s sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study. Hum Reprod. 2007;22(5):1310–19. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dem003

2. Manhart MD, Duane M, Linda A, Sinai I, Golden-Tevald J. Fertility awareness-based methods of family planning: a review of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy using SORT. OFP. 2013;5(1):2-8. doi: 10.1016/j.osfp.2012.09.002

3. Trussell J. Contraceptive failure in the United States, Table 1. Contraception. 2011;83(5): 397-404. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.01.021

4. American Academy of Family Physicians. Recommended Curriculum Guidelines for Family Medicine Residents: Women’s Health and Gynecologic Care. http://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/medical_education_residency/program_directors/Reprint282_Women.pdf. Updated August 2016. Accessed October 2, 2017.

5. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 651: Menstruation in Girls and Adolescents: Using the Menstrual Cycle as a Vital Sign. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(6):e143-6. https://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Adolescent-Health-Care/Menstruation-in-Girls-and-Adolescents-Using-the-Menstrual-Cycle-as-a-Vital-Sign Accessed October 2, 2017.

6. Gordon L, Motley RJ, Duane M, et al. Survey of fertility awareness methods incorporated into women’s health curricula in family medicine residency programs. Oral presentation at: 2012 Family Medicine Education Consortium Northeast Region Meeting; September 27–30, 2012; Cleveland, Ohio.

*AAFP Prescribed credit is equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™ toward the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit must be reported as Prescribed, not as Category 1. For more information, see the CME page.

 


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