by Kristin Putnam
Every March, the United Nations hosts the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW is a two-week-long series of events dedicated to all advocacy issues surrounding the women of the world and the girl child. For a number of years, WOOMB International has sent a small team of women to represent the Billings Ovulation Method at CSW.
Last year, I was given the opportunity to join this team, and last March I found myself in New York City with five other amazing women, ready to share the news that every woman ought to hear. Many of you supported our team through prayers and financial contribution. Thank you!
Sharing the beauty of the Billings Ovulation Method and its capacity for true empowerment with women from all over the world was an amazing experience. I was surprised at the openness and interest of everyone I spoke with, even those with wildly different ideologies. I was able to have fruitful conversations with many non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but most notably, I was given specific favor with NGOs from Nigeria. One of these groups is the Umuada Igbo in Nigeria and Diaspora (https://umuadaigbonigeria.com/ ). After talking with me last year, they became very interested in incorporating the Billings Method into the work they do for the women they serve. I was asked to speak at one of their events last year and am still working with them to get women trained to share Billings with the women they serve. They have also asked me to speak at their event again!
This year, our team will be graced with a 7th member: my very own 6-month-old girl child. Many groups verbally uphold the importance of motherhood, but in reality, so many pit motherhood against success. I look forward to the living witness that my youngest daughter and I will be able to be as we emphasize the beauty of understanding one's fertility.
As we prepare for another CSW, I am once again writing to ask for your help. Traveling to New York for a week and staying in Manhattan are not exactly inexpensive. All of us on the team are volunteers and share the cost of our events and advertising, and we all pay our own airfare, lodging, and food costs. Would you consider giving to help us bring the Billings Method to the women of the world's leaders and influencers?
I also ask for your prayers for our team. Pray for our events, conversations, and networking opportunities. Pray for wisdom and eloquence to speak the truth in a way that women of all philosophies may be able to hear and accept.
Thank you all so much! To give financially, follow this link:
To read more about my trip last year, follow this link:
I plan tweet live updates while I am in New York as well. Keep up with the team by following me on twitter: @nfpaware
As many you already know, the founders of our method, Drs. John and Evelyn Billings, have been recognized around the world for their saintly lives. Many have expressed the hope that one day this will be made official by the Catholic Church. As part of the cause for the beatification and canonization, if opened, there needs to be documentation of faithful people specifically seeking the Billingses’ intercession for various intentions and evidence that those prayers have been answered.
There is a specific blog set up for people to record these prayer intentions,
In the middle of December 2019, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, NE, announced that he would be taking a medical absence from his ministry, saying, “I have been medically diagnosed with depression and anxiety, along with chronic insomnia and debilitating tinnitus, which is a constant ringing of the ears.”
Bishop Conley has a special connection with BOMA and Drs. John and Lyn Billings. In the late 1990s, Kay and Sue Ek planned a lecture cruise with the Billingses, who had always wanted to see Alaska. A mutual friend of then Fr. Conley paid for him to join this cruise. He and Fr. McCaffrey shared a stateroom, and they have all become great friends over the years. The Eks even visited Bishop Conley in Rome when he was with the Congregation of Bishops as a monsignor and was helping to select bishops for English-speaking countries. As a priest and bishop, Bishop Conley has always be a faithful supporter of NFP and the Billings Ovulation Method, specifically.
We would like to propose a concerted effort for as many of our members as possible to join us in praying for Bishop Conley’s healing, both body and mind, through the intercession of Drs. John and Evelyn Billings. A novena is traditionally a set of prayers offered for a specific intention said over a series of nine days. On the 10th day, graces are received. For example, the first novena to the Holy Spirit took place with the apostles in the upper room between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday. (The nine days of prayer went from the Friday after Ascension Thursday until the following Saturday, with the Descent of the Holy Spirit occurring on Pentecost Sunday.) Of course, we always ask that our prayers be in accordance to God’s Will, bearing in mind that, while our prayers are always heard, they are not always answered in the way we expect.
Feb 6th is the wedding anniversary of Drs. John and Lyn Billings. With that in mind, we would like the novena prayers to start on Jan 28th and end on Feb 5th. Any prayer can be said as long as it specifically asks for Bishop Conley’s healing to be through the intercession of the Billingses.
It is hoped that the healing of Bishop Conley on Feb 6th (if it be God’s Will) will accomplish these two great things:
1) The healing and return of a faithful bishop to shepherding the people of his diocese.
2) The recognition of the sanctity of the Billingses, an important step toward their eventual canonization, which will then bring more worldwide awareness of the Billings Ovulation Method.
If you are willing to join us in this novena, please let us know by clicking here for a link to a sample prayer to use. You will also be given the opportunity to get a daily reminder from Jan 28-Feb 5 so that you don’t forget to say the prayers each day.
Behind the link…..
Here is a sample you may use:
Loving Father, may Bishop James Conley be healed through the intercession of your servants, Drs. John and Lyn Billings, so that their sanctity may be recognized. May their prayers obtain his healing so that he can return to work in the service of the Church as one of your faithful shepherds. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Would you like to get a daily reminder from Jan 28 – Feb 5?
Q. Before we learn about your family and how you came to be an NFP-only physician, let’s hear about your family’s decision to take a year to sail on a catamaran!
A: Well that was all God! My husband was in a bad car accident in 2015 and it really made us re-evaluate our busy lives and how much time we spent working and away from our kids. We asked God for guidance and my husband had a crazy dream to “Boat School” for a year to spend quality time with the kids and focus on classical and experiential learning. I couldn’t believe it when during my devotion time over the last two years, I kept reading verses about “come follow me”, “sell your possessions”, “give to the poor”. I remember throwing my bible on one occasion after resisting these messages for so long. We lived in a beautiful home and had a wonderful community of family and friends. I loved my work at Hackley Community Care, so I was no doubt resistant, but had to admit, it sounded really exciting too! We wondered and prayed how God could use us for His glory during our sabbatical and Kyle heard “NFP by Sea”. We were already Billings Ovulation Method teachers and were teaching couples through our church and online. Fertility awareness and human dignity are game-changing ideas we are passionate about and want to share.
Q. Where are you now, what’s the next stop and how can we follow your adventures?
A. We are currently in Grenada, a small island in the southern Caribbean. We purchased a damaged boat here and have been fixing it up. As soon as we get the boat seaworthy (early 2020) we plan to head north through the Caribbean on our way to the US. While working on the boat we have been teaching the Billings Method to our local parish and even held a workshop for local women at the Missionaries of Charity. You can follow our adventure on our blog at nfpbysea.com and Facebook at NFP by Sea."
Q. Tell us about your family.
A. Kyle and I have been married 15 years. We have six beautiful children, Kyla 13, Charlie 10, Emily 8, Peter 5, Thomas 2, and we’re expecting a little girl in February who will likely be born right here on the boat in Grenada. Our midwife, Laura Slater, has agreed to come for the delivery.
Q. When did you first start thinking about becoming a doctor? How did you decide on being a Doctor of Osteopathy and what is your specialty?
A: This started after I became pregnant as a teenager and God lead me to release for open adoption my beautiful daughter, Alyssa Danielle. While I am her birth mother, her mother, Pam, mentored me during college and encouraged me to seek a career in medicine. I felt I could help prevent teen pregnancy and help other low-income mothers realize God’s love for them and plan for their children.
I was planning on attending a medical school near Kyle, but I decided on osteopathy after having a great experience with my chiropractor who encouraged me to seek a career as a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) to get the additional manual medicine training.
My medical specialty is family medicine and obstetrics. I have a special interest in restorative reproductive medicine which I credit to my training that started in the Billings Extension Course and then continued with my training with Pilar Vigil, MD (OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinologist) and her Reproductive Health Research Institute.
Q. What transpired to cause you to practice medicine without the use of contraception.
A: As a new doctor, I truly believed the way to help teens prevent pregnancy was to encourage them in chastity but to also provide birth control to help them prevent pregnancy if they failed in that virtue. With an unplanned pregnancy I would then encourage adoption as I had been so blessed by this life-giving option. However, if they wanted to parent or “choose abortion” I would refer them for whatever their choice was. Wow was I shocked to see the harm I was causing. The side effects and poor efficacy of the birth control methods I prescribed was disheartening. I went into medicine to “first do no harm” and to help people and was particularly passionate about women’s health. Why were so many women having awful side effects from their chosen method of contraception? Why were they so broken from the abortions that were supposed to “help them” in their desperate situation? I felt as though God stopped me in my tracks as He did for St. Paul on the road to Damascus. We learned a sympto-thermal method when we got married. I didn't know about Billings until I was in my Creighton training.
Q. How did you come to be one of our Billings teachers?
A: Because I worked in the underserved population of Muskegon, MI, I needed an easy, simple and effective method of Natural Family Planning that I could reasonably teach in an office visit. God lead me to one of my dear friends, Cynthia DeKuiper, who said, “you should teach the Billings Method”. So, my first step was to learn it myself. It was the best and most simple method I had ever seen! It had worked great for us … no side effects, no unplanned pregnancies. It was something we did together, it strengthened our marriage. Why wasn’t I sharing the beauty of this knowledge of our bodies with my patients?
Cynthia also mentioned that Mother Teresa had taught this to over 16,000 woman and couples in Calcutta, India when the government was forcing sterilizations. Due to its effectiveness, the Indian government agreed that if they learned this method they would not be sterilized against their will. The amazing Christy and Paul Brown, D.O. were the ones who taught us and their passion was contagious. Christy is now a fellow board member.
Q. As a board member, you will play a role in moving us forward. Tell us what you think we have to offer that is unique and how can we spread the word more effectively?
A: The Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) is the most simple, effective method of NFP in my opinion. It is highly effective in preventing pregnancy and in achieving pregnancy, particularly for couples struggling with infertility. It can be learned within one hour and implemented immediately. Busy women and couples love the ease of Billings. And, the data on its effectiveness and continuation rates speak for itself! It can be used throughout a woman’s reproductive lifetime and, my favorite, it helps women monitor their reproductive health.
As a board member, I would like to join forces with FACTS (an organization that specializes in reaching medical professionals about all Natural Family Planning methods) and I will encourage all national NFP organizations to get the CDC (Centers for Disease control) website updated to reflect the current research differentiating calendar/rhythm method from Billings Ovulation Method and others that are highly effective methods of Fertility Awareness. Then the woman and couples will come to us!
As BOMA-USA teachers, I encourage you to visit local doctors in your area to share the research on BOM and present it as the best option for avoiding or achieving pregnancy and inform them that you are available for referrals. Also, you should consider offering to teach engaged couples at local churches, Catholic and Protestant.
Q. Part of our outreach in a lot of ways involves an app that many of our teachers utilize when working with couples remotely. Is that something you have added to your practice, particularly now that you are planning to be sailing?
Yes! NFPcharting.com has been a great help to me in working with patients remotely. I would love to collaborate on ways to improve the app in order to help with interpretations. Then, I can see developing a referral system, so the women go back to their medical provider when issues are recognized on the chart. Many couples are finding free apps on the internet which are not Billings-specific. While an option for a free app could help promote learning and keep us competitive with other methods, I am very thankful that the developer of NFPCharting, Lawson Culver, is a very generous, faithful monthly donor to BOMA. He also gives Billings teachers free access to the charting software. So, I would not want to get in the way of our unique partnership.
Q. What advice do you have for Billings people when they promote what we have to offer to medical people?
A: My favorite feature as a physician is that Billings helps in diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions such as neuroendocrine disruptions like thyroid disease, PCOS, heavy and/or painful periods, infertility, endometriosis, and much more. My vision is that ALL women will learn Fertility Awareness when they first start their cycles as adolescents and then trained medical professionals will use their chart in the diagnosis and treatment, getting to the root cause of the problem instead of using the poor Band-Aid solutions of hormonal contraception, that many times cause more harm than good.
As teachers we can promote Billings as science-based, natural (no drugs), better for the environment, and morally acceptable in all cultures.
If you have not received our new password, perhaps you still need to renew your dues? If you have, we thank you so much for helping us by being a member of BOMA-USA. Even though our dues are only $50 per person this year, the cumulative effect of many people joining or renewing dues has a huge impact on our financial base.
The Importance of Effectiveness Studies in Fertility Awareness-Based Methods and the Medical Community
Clinical trials and research studies on Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABMs) are scarce, having a few published in peer-reviewed journals in 2018-19, compared to the hundreds of studies published about contraception and contraceptive methods during the same time. In September 2018, the latest and most needed systematic review on the “Effectiveness of FABMs for Pregnancy Prevention” (Peragallo Urrutia et al., 2018) was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The principal investigator, Joseph Stanford, MD, was a distinguished guest at our monthly webinar series. Dr. Stanford is a professor of family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology and the director of the Office of Cooperative and Reproductive Health at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
In his talk, Dr. Stanford described the general concepts of pregnancy rates (“pregnancies/cycles”), effectiveness (“1-pregnancy rate”), perfect use, typical use, achieving-related behavior, and avoiding-related behavior in the context of FABMs. He brought clarity on the often-confused terms: perfect use and typical use. He explained that “perfect use is equal to the pregnancy rate for ‘perfect’ use to avoid pregnancy and in which only the cycles with ‘correct use’ to avoid pregnancy are included,” and “typical use is equal to the pregnancy rate for ‘real-life’ conditions to avoid pregnancy, in which all the cycles to avoid pregnancy are included.”
In this systematic review, the research team wanted to answer the question: “What is the evidence of effectiveness of specific FABMs to avoid pregnancy, as measured by unintended pregnancy rates?” To address that question, they formed a multidisciplinary team, registered their protocol in PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews, and searched databases such as MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science. Besides, they adapted 13 quality criteria and categorized their results as high, moderate, and low indicators. They initially identified 9,868 records, and after exclusions, only 53 unique studies that described 65 cohorts of specific FABMs were included. Of those, fourteen studies evaluated the Billings Ovulation Method or variants (Peragallo Urrutia et al., 2018). According to their classification, five out of 14 were of moderate quality. Of note, none of the studies included in the systematic review had a high-quality score. In the studies of moderate quality, for the Billings Method, the perfect use pregnancy rate per 100 women-years described was 1.1 (Bhargava, Bhatia, Ramachandran, Rohatgi, & Sinha, 1996) and 3.4 (Trussell & Grummer-Strawn, 1991). The lowest typical use pregnancy rate per 100 women-years described was 10.5 (Bhargava, Bhatia, Ramachandran, Rohatgi, & Sinha, 1996), and the highest pregnancy rate was 33.6 (Medina, Cifuentes, Abernathy, Spieler, & Wade, 1980).
In his talk, Dr. Stanford mentioned that the most commonly met high-quality criteria were the type of FABM used, the duration of the study, and the characterization of the population of new users. The high-quality criteria least commonly met were the evaluation of intercourse in each cycle, the close follow-up to detect pregnancy, the reproductive characteristics of the users, and the assessments of intentions for avoiding or achieving pregnancy during each cycle. Therefore, as Certified Billings Teachers and Supervisors, we may want to pay more attention to these features when evaluating clients.
Dr. Stanford’s closing recommendations of reporting all pregnancies (unintended and intended); measuring intentions and different behavioral, demographic, and reproductive characteristics; evaluating all cycles and not only the pregnancy cycles; describing unintended pregnancies as a range; assessing any use of barriers or withdrawal; etc. not only seeds the curiosity in scientists to explore further hypotheses but set the grounds for building best practices to develop meaningful research protocols that ultimately might help the Billings community, users and providers alike.
Bhargava, H., Bhatia, J.C., Ramachandran, L., Rohatgi, P., & Sinha, A. (1996). Field trial of billings ovulation method of natural family planning. Contraception, 53, 69-74.
Medina, J.E., Cifuentes, A., Abernathy, J.R., Spieler, J.M., & Wade, M.E. (1980). Comparative evaluation of two methods of natural in Columbia. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 138, 1142-7.
Peragallo Urrutia, R., Polis, C.B., Jensen, E. T., Greene, M.E., Kennedy, E., & Stanford, J.B. (2018). Effectiveness of fertility awareness-based methods for pregnancy prevention: a systematic review. Obstet Ginecol, 132, 591-604. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002784
Trussell, J. & Grummer-Strawn, L. (1991). Further analysis of contraceptive failure of the ovulation method. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 165, 2054-9.
By Craig Turczynski, Ph.D.
There is plenty of evidence that the risk of exposure to environmental estrogens is significant. For an excellent review, read Estrogeneration by Dr. Anthony G. Jay (2017). There are several potential sources of estrogen-like substances, but curiously, an examination of the literature reveals that many studies avoid even mentioning ethinyl estradiol (EE2), the synthetic estrogen found in most oral contraception. Dr. Jay of course, being an exception, begins discussing the potential risks in his first chapter. This brings up an interesting point, that our opinions and world view influence our science and how we report on it. A few other studies are also worth noting on this topic. One was published by the EPA (Zorrilla et al., 2010), reporting the effect of EE2 on spermatogenesis in the adult male rat. Treatment of male rats with EE2 did indeed result in a decrease in sperm counts in a dose-dependent manner. Also, a review of literature was published in 2017 by Adeel et al., a group from China. This group clearly seems to avoid the politically correct posture of not mentioning EE2 as a significant source of environmental estrogen. They state:
“It is worthwhile to comment on the paucity [scarcity] of data on the synthetic EE2 compared with the natural E1 and E2.”
They make a concluding statement:
“Synthetic estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, is more persistent in the environment than natural estrogens and may be a greater cause for environmental concern.”
On the other hand, they make another statement about livestock waste being the largest source of environmental estrogen, which left me somewhat perplexed. Especially since the number of cattle in the US is less than 95 million, down from 120 million in the mid 1970s (USDA-NASS, 2018) and the number of people in the US is over 300 million. This led me to do some research and data crunching which revealed something truly startling on the magnitude of the oral contraception risk. Please indulge me on the calculations below.
The accuracy of these numbers could no doubt be disputed; they are an oversimplification and an estimate. The fact remains, however, that because of the synthetic structure of EE2, it is more resistant to degradation and therefore environmental levels are increasing over time. Dr. Anthony Jay (2017) points out the fact that most estrogens are not removed during the water recycling process and filtering them out is problematic as well. Coupled with the other sources of estrogens in our environment, the chances of health-related effects are a real concern. Concentration, duration, and age of first exposure would have a profound consequence for an individual. For example, exposure during critical times of in-utero development can have a permanent influence on the normal sexual and reproductive development of a person (Hines, 2011; Kilcoyne and Mitchell, 2019). The EPA study I mentioned above (Zorrilla et al., 2010) demonstrated that an exposure of 50 µg of EE2 per kg of weight in adult male rats was enough to reduce sperm counts, and generally rats are more resistant to disease processes than humans.
In conclusion, oral contraception is a significant source of environmental estrogen. If you care about the health of people and you say you want to clean up the environment, you can’t ignore the environmental risks of hormonal contraception, regardless of your social, religious, or political position.
Adeel, M., Song, X., Wang, Y., Francis, D. and Yang, Y. (2017) Environmental Impact Of Estrogens On Human, Animal and Plant Life: A Critical Review. Environment International 99, 107-119.
Brenner, P.F., Goeblesmann, U., Stanczyk, F. Z. and Mishell, D.R. (1980) Serum Levels Of Ethinylestradiol Following Its Ingestion Alone Or In Oral Contraceptive Formulations. Contraception 22(1) 85-95.
Daniels, K. and Abma, J.C. (2018) Current Contraceptive Status Among Women Aged 15–49: United States, 2015–2017. NCHS Data Brief #327.
Hines, M. (2011) Prenatal Endocrine Influences On Sexual Orientation And On Sexually Differentiated Childhood Behavior. Front Neuroendocrinology. 32(2) 170-182 doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2011.02.006.
Jay, A. G. (2017) Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick and Infertile. Pyrimidine Publishing. Tallahassee FL.
Kilcoyne, K.R. and Mitchell, R.T. (2019) Effect Of Environmental And Pharmaceutical Exposures On Fetal Testis Development And Function: A systematic Review Of Human Experimental Data. Human Reproduction Update 25 (4) 397-421.
USDA-NASS (2018) US All Cattle and Calves Inventory 1867-2019. https://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Cattle/inv.php
Zorrilla, L. M., K. H. Brown, L. F. Strader, and T. E. Stoker (2010). The Effects Of Ethinyl Estradiol On Spermatogenesis In The Adult Rat. EPA record 218968, https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=NHEERL&dirEntryId=218968
An Australian study published in Human Fertility demonstrated pregnancy rates of >50% in clinically infertile women and 73% in non-infertile women, without the use of ART/IVF.
Marshell et al. "Stratification of fertility potential according to cervical mucus symptoms: achieving pregnancy in fertile and infertile couples." Published online on October 29, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/14647273.2019.1671613 examined patient data from 17 clinics across Australia for women seeking to achieve pregnancy. A total of 384 women were followed for up to two years after being instructed to monitor their cervical mucus and to time sexual intercourse according to the Billings Ovulation Method® in order to achieve pregnancy.
Major finding 1: pregnancy rates
The majority of the cohort had been clinically infertile for >12 months, with more than half of these achieving pregnancy, including 7 out of 20 women who were previously unsuccessful with ART/IVF. Over a quarter of the study group were >35 years old and these achieved a pregnancy rate of >50% as well. Overall, 92% of pregnancies were achieved within the first 12 months.
Major finding 2: importance of cervical mucus in achieving pregnanc
The nature of mucus observations of the woman during the fertile window, particularly the peak mucus symptom, allowed stratification of women into low or high pregnancy potential groups. A favorable mucus symptom corresponded to 76% pregnancy rate, and an unfavorable mucus symptom corresponded to a 44% pregnancy rate.
Up to 1 in 6 couples are affected by infertility. “This is basic women’s physiology,” says Dr Joseph Turner from the University of New England, “and every GP should be able to advise women on how to make their menstrual cycle work for them.” This method provides a rapid, reliable, and cost-effective approach to a) achieving pregnancy and b) stratifying fertility potential so that informed decisions about delaying or bringing forward fertility investigations and management can be made to help couples achieve pregnancy sooner.
Billings LIFE with its head office in Melbourne, has been teaching an effective, evidence-based fertility awareness method for achieving pregnancy, avoiding pregnancy, and monitoring women’s reproductive health for more than 50 years.
If you would like further information, including potential interviews with women who have conceived pregnancies using this method, please contact:
Name: Dr Joseph Turner
Phone: +61-0419 143 154
The Passing of a Great Scientist and Friend of the Billings Method™
by Sue Ek
Recently, we received the news from the WOOMB International directors: “It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the death on 17th October 2019 of Professor Erik Odeblad. Of course, the sadness is for ourselves and especially for his family. We believe he will be welcomed home by his Creator and greeted joyfully by his wife and fellow collaborators in the Billings Ovulation Method® who had returned home before him.”
The WOOMB Directors went on to say, “He was a giant amongst the scientists, well known in scientific circles before he collaborated with Drs John and Lyn Billings. His work gave us so many insights into the significance of the cervix in producing the different mucus types and its role in sperm migration and survival. We join with all who give thanks for a life very well lived. We have all been privileged to be the beneficiaries of his talents.”
In addition, “Professor Odeblad was recognised as one of the founders of what we now know of as the MRI. In the 1970s he collaborated with the Drs Billings and along with Professor James Brown, provided the validation of the Billings Ovulation Method®. We give thanks for his contributions to our knowledge.”
In 1996, BOMA-USA had Dr. Odeblad as a featured speaker at our conference in St. Cloud, MN. His presence helped us attract nearly 200 people. In fact, we had to move our venue to accommodate so many people. I have a vivid memory of helping him check in to the hotel. It was unknown to me that he was a chocoholic. While I was at the front desk getting everything in order, he eagerly nudged me and pointed across the room, saying, “Sue! Sue! Chocolate!” It took me a while to realize that he wanted me to take him to one of those candy machines that raise money for charity by charging a nickel (at the time) in exchange for a chocolate mint. The restaurant had closed so this was his only source for chocolate at that late hour. It was such a funny scene, but maybe you had to be there.
Years ago, when we were still printing and mailing our newsletter called BOMA News, we collaborated on a couple of articles. In the winter 1997 issue, we printed his interesting explanation of the various types of cervical mucus and what he called “cell-to-cell communication.”
His extensive research on the properties and purpose of the various types of cervical mucus, as well as his discovery of the reason for the Pockets of Shaw, sets us apart from other Natural Family Planning methods. For example, we are confident in our three requirements for Peak Day (changing, developing pattern; ending in slippery; followed by a definite change) because of Dr. Odeblad’s discovery of the sequence of events that leads to the Pockets of Shaw being activated after ovulation. He determined that when the follicle containing the egg ruptures at ovulation and progesterone is released, the Pockets of Shaw are activated and cause a drying effect on the cervical mucus. So, it is because of his remarkable understanding of the Pockets of Shaw that we require an abrupt change from the slippery sensation in order for Peak Day to be identified.
As a devout Swedish Lutheran, his faith planned a significant role in his life as a scientist. As Marian Corkill of WOOMB said in an email, “It is our understanding that when he was required to do abortions he quit his obstetric and gynecology position at the University of Stockholm and undertook further research in physics. This led to him being appointed a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. His time at Berkeley was significant as it was here that he learned of the work in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, the forerunner for what we know today as MRI. His contact with Nobel Laureate Bloch led him to modify a spectrometer so that he could study human cells and secretions, particularly cervical cells. His pioneering work took a long time to be publicly acknowledged but in 2012 he was awarded the European Magnetic Resonance Award which was combined to include both Basic Science and Medical Sciences.”
We will forever be grateful to God for bringing such a tremendous gift of faith and intellect to the Billings Family. May he enjoy eternal peace.
We just learned that Dr. Erik Odeblad of Sweden died on October 17, 2019. Pictured on the right with Drs. John and Lyn Billings, Dr. Odeblad became a close friend and collaborator of the Billings over the years. Best known for his remarkable discoveries of the properties of cervical mucus, Dr. Odeblad leaves us a legacy of significant research that also includes the purpose of the Pockets of Shaw and their role in identifying Peak Day, among other discoveries. We will feature him in our November newsletter.
BOMA-USA provides education and training for The Billings Ovulation Method® which is a natural method of fertility management that teaches you to recognize the body's natural signs of fertility.