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When I read the headline yesterday, I was confounded. "Women May Ovulate More Than Once a Month," reported the international news service Reuters. The article explained that a new scientific study found most women ovulate two or three times, so it's impossible to predict ovulation, and this is why natural birth control doesn't work. Another news story even told the well-worn joke, "What do you call people who use natural family planning? Parents!"

I reacted as if someone told me two and two is five; it just didn't add up. I have used natural birth control successfully for nearly six years, and have seen clear signs of a single ovulation month after month. I teach natural birth control, and have looked at many women's charts, all of which report clear signs of fertility that my clients use to achieve or avoid pregnancy. I also recently published a comprehensive book about all birth control methods, Birth Control for Christians: Making Wise Choices. The multiple ovulation theory would contradict much of what I had written and researched.

Natural birth control has been important to Roman Catholics for decades, and is becoming increasingly popular among Protestants. Natural birth control involves monitoring a woman's cervical fluid and temperature, looking for the body's natural signals of fertility. Natural family planning users avoid all contraception, abstaining during fertile times to avoid pregnancy (this is the Catholic approach). Fertility awareness users may use condoms or diaphragms during fertile times (this approach is more often used by Protestants). Both approaches boast effectiveness rates ranging from 85 percent 99 percent—a big range, but effectiveness is highly dependent upon the couple using the method correctly ...

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July 2003

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