SASKATCHEWAN, July 9, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com)  Scientists and ovulation experts have expressed surprise at the glowing worldwide coverage trumpeting the ovulation findings of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan as a ‘scientific breakthrough.’ The Saskatchewan researchers, led by Dr. Roger Pierson, claimed that their ‘discovery’ that women have waves of developing follicles during each cycle, all of which could result in ovulation, proves that natural family planning techniques will often be ineffective. The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Members of the Ovulation Method Research and Reference Center (OMRRC)  in Melbourne Australia, the world’s leading center of expertise on the Billings Ovulation Method, which is currently the most widely accepted method for Natural Family Planning practitioners, expressed incredulity at Dr. Pierson’s claims that his discovery was something new. Professor Jim Brown, a member of the Center and a world renowned expert on estrogen chemistry, first reported on the “waves” of follicular activity fully thirty years ago. Such knowledge has long been incorporated into the successful rules of the Billings method. 
Dr. Hannah Klaus, director of the Natural Family Planning Center of Washington D.C., and lifetime Fellow of the American College of OBGYN explained follicular waves to LifeSite news saying they “can be likened to trying to start an automobile motor in the Canadian winter, but having the motor sputter out a couple of times. In a similar way, with follicular waves a few start and don’t take.”

Professor Brown and his associates disagree with Dr. Pierson’s claims that his discovery means that there is no period of time to have intercourse without conceiving children. A message from OMRRC to its members exclaims, “We can all say as Billings Ovulation Method teachers of long experience, that we have seen this phenomenon in the charts of the women we teach and that the rules of the Billings Method cover these occurrences and do not result in unplanned pregnancies.”

The Billings method does not depend on a stable menstrual cycle as did long outdated and rejected methods such as rhythm method, the method which was the primary natural family planning method mentioned by many of the newspapers covering the story. Instead, accounting for follicular waves, it utilises the changes in cervical mucus production as observed by the woman herself for identifying the underlying events of the ovulatory cycle.

In the early 60’s, Drs. John and Lyn Billings and their colleagues discovered a interrelationship between the cervical mucus and the cyclic changes in the ovarian hormones and fertility and alleged the use of mucus symptom as the main index of ovulation and fertility applicable to all phases of female reproductive life. Their rules suggest that the women, “Judge fertility by making observations, not by counting days. It is normal for cycles to vary in length.”  When mucus appears suggesting follicular activity the rules advocate a “wait and see” approach for three days for those with reasons not to conceive. 

Professor Brown verified the effectiveness of the Billings Method from scientific information gained from 750,000 cases which he examined while he was a member of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.  Yet, Dr. Pierson had the audacity, and was supported by the media in this audacity, to reject Natural Family Planning on the basis of one study of 63 women over the period of one month.  The OMRRC stated that numerous independent trials have confirmed the 99% success rate of the Method including a recent study following thousands of women for more than a year.  If any further proof is needed, the method has been regularly used up to date by over more than 2,686,400 fertile couples in China for avoiding pregnancy with an overall success rate of approximately 99%.

Dr. Klaus cut to the heart of the argument by exclaiming, “The Billing’s method has less than a miniscule 1% rate of unplanned pregnancies related to a correct use of the method.  I’ve been working with the method since 1973. If the rules were not adequate such a rate simply could not be reported.”

The OMRRC has asked people worldwide to write their local media asking them to report properly on this issue.

See World Organization Ovulation Method Billings Website:
http://www.woomb.org/index.html