Fertility Awareness Symposium

Provider: “What are you going to use for birth control?”

Patient: “We practice the symptothermal method of natural family planning. It uses cervical mucus and basal body temperature.”

Provider: “So…what are you going to use for birth control?”

We’ve experienced this situation ourselves and have heard of many other, similar experiences. We know that modern 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. Yet, these modern methods are often excluded from medical education [4], despite guidance from the American Academy of Family Physicians [5] and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [6]. These methods are also misrepresented in or excluded from family planning information provided to female patients. We recognize that this is not the fault of our providers, but we want to address this educational gap in order to have supportive, truly knowledgeable providers who can empower us and others to successfully use drug-free, IUD-free family planning methods.

Please help us raise money to provide this educational opportunity for our medical community to learn about modern fertility awareness-based methods while earning up to 5.5 Prescribed CME credits.

The event took place on February 3, 2018 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa in Albuquerque, NM. For more information, visit our website:

2/13/18 Update:
Thank you to all who donated for this event! You made it possible and it was a successful symposium.

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. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.
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Barry Reinholz 
Albuquerque, NM
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