Deal Hudson at Crisis also publishes an excellent weekly electronic Newsletter. Below is an excerpt from the most recent one.
There were a couple of other news items from last week that I wanted
to point out to you briefly. One involves the latest attempt to
discredit natural family planning (NFP).
A study at the University of Saskatchewan recently announced that a
new understanding of a woman's menstrual cycle will change the way we
look at fertility and finally lay to rest those arguments in favor of
Originally, it was thought that egg sacs (or follicles) would grow
at one particular time in a woman's menstrual cycle. From those sacs,
one egg would be released and the rest would die, resulting in a
specific time every month when a woman would be fertile.
This new study, however, shows that the follicles actually grow in
waves, rather than all at once. According to the researchers, this
means that eggs could be released at different times throughout a
woman's cycle, making the old idea of one window of fertility per
Researchers say this proves that NFP isn't effective. Senior author
Dr. Roger Pierson joked, "We all know people trying to use natural
family planning, and we have a word for those people. We call them
But the studies' findings might not be so clear cut as that. Dr.
James B. Brown, commenting for the Billings Ovulation Method
Organization (WOOMB), says that scientists have known about this
"wave" pattern of follicle growth for years. Citing its importance in
helping women determine their periods of fertility, Dr. Brown
verified the findings from the University of Saskatchewan.
However, Brown explains that it does NOT mean that fertile
ovulations can occur more than once during the menstrual cycle. From
WOOMB's own research of millions of women using NFP methods, the vast
majority ovulate only once per cycle.
Even the University of Saskatchewan's own research should have told
them something similar. Out of the 50 women they examined, all but
two ovulated only once during their cycle. The two who ovulated more
than once actually had abnormal (infertile) cycles during which
conception couldn't occur.
So out of research showing that 96% of women ovulate only once per
month, and the 4% who ovulate more than once have infertile cycles,
the University of Saskatchewan concluded that multiple ovulations
spelled the end for predicting fertility and, consequently, NFP.
Seems to me they jumped the gun on this one. Dr. Pierson might want
to take his findings -- and his NFP jokes -- back to the drawing