By Adelaide Mena
Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2015 / 04:13 am (CNA).- Read the headlines of major news outlets and you might think women’s fertility is an unknowable force understandable only by “voodoo” or some other inscrutable form of divination. Women wishing to avoid pregnancy have to use pills, implants or a physical barrier to keep their fertility in check, and women facing difficulties attaining pregnancy must hand over thousands of dollars for artificial reproductive technologies, the conventional wisdom says.
However, the science behind fertility awareness shows that women can know what their bodies do and make decisions based on that information – and now, a Colorado app developer and a New York City filmmaker are among those doing their best to bring this knowledge to popular attention.
Dr. Victoria Jennings, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the director of the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University Medical Center, told CNA that there are a number of “myths and rumors” that persist about fertility awareness methods.
“The reality is that natural methods or fertility-awareness based methods of family planning can be extremely effective,” she said, explaining that “there are several fertility awareness methods” with differing protocols.
Many of natural methods do not require a woman’s cycle to be regular in order to work, she continued, with most natural methods relying on awareness of a woman’s day-to day fertility signs. Scientific studies, including ones published in 2007 and in 2009 have shown these methods to be highly-effective, comparable to many of the most effective means of artificial contraceptives for postponing pregnancy.