Humanae vitae (HV): What has gone wrong in the last 50 years? How can we have a new beginning?

This paper outlines (A) the reasons for the lack of acceptance among Catholics of the basic principles of HV concerning “natural contraception” (in HV’s Roman Catholic terminology: postponing pregnancy). We propose (B) a concrete solution to overcome the resistance, to allow for responsible parenthood, and to implement globally the most viable NFP model: the symptothermy . This is not only for Catholics but for all people, irrespective of religion, and also for the secular population, atheist or not, who have a true ecological concern. The positive aspects of pregnancy achievement due to NFP are not controversial and will not be developed in this paper. We will not question the correctness of the Church’s teachings about marriage, love and natural cycles, which, instead of being learned and respected, are destroyed by contraception. There is wide consensus about these positive points so that we will not dwell on them; however, enlightened people still continue to discount these since the issues surrounding effective methods for postponing pregnancy remain obscure.
Short analysis of the past and present situation
In the last ten years, several pedophilia scandals among priests and other members of the Church have been reported, contributing to the discreditation of the abstinence doctrine of the Church and the exemplarity of Church members in sexual matters. HV should be seen now in the larger context of current sexual disturbances such as pornography, which was not properly addressed in HV.
(A) When HV was released in the summer of 1968, the May student rebellion in Paris had just begun to popularize the contraceptive pill as well as to “sanctify” abortion laws. Both became emblematic for a “new sexual freedom” among wide ranges of population. The right for abortion preceded the efforts of abortion prevention! This “right” does not provide a proper account of the social complexities; the resulting unmerciful attitude is equally as detrimental as the opposite we encounter now: strategies to ban abortion laws without providing viable abortion prevention measures, such as competent training in NFP! This preventing capacity of NFP knowledge has never been acknowledged and developed by the Church whether it be for women’s empowerment and health, or for postponing sexual contacts of teens, or for proposing an ecologically responsible alternative to synthetic contraception. You cannot plausibly preach against abortion without an effective symptothermy; you cannot give rules without the tools to integrate the rules!
Before May ’68, the Catholic NFP method failures had created a disastrous image for the Church. This traumatism still haunts Church members when I confront them with this issue and the Catholic press is disinterested in this topic. Most Catholic couples abandoned the ineffective Rhythm, Temperature-Only, and the fastidious Billings method, and carried on with condoms and the fashionable hormonal contraception. That’s where we still are today. The exact opposite of what HV encouraged: to elucidate the methods and to teach them on a large-scale basis. Even worse: the average Catholic is not even informed about effective family planning. There are no NFP brochures in church foyers! General ignorance is the greatest challenge today, among Catholics and non-Catholics, especially because it is inappropriate to inform any woman, irrespective of her contraceptive status, that she is ignoring her cycle. This calling out may at least serve to spark curiosity in unprejudiced women to discover a natural alternative. It would make them reluctant to accept detrimental side effects of medical devices. The sobering reality is that dogmatic feminism and contraception have alienated women from their bodies and the gender ideologies that dominate the female intellectual scene fail to take notice!
HV is a vibrant call to improve these methods and to make them more user-friendly. What has been done ever since? While the student rebellion in Paris was taking place, the first complete symptothermal method developed by Rötzer, the first effective symptothermy, was already available but the Church never popularized it. Why? Instead of endorsing this method with a central pontifical office, several different NFP methods popped up all over the globe created by different Catholic and non-faith-oriented associations. The result is a tremendous cacophony among NFP schools provoking ridicule among gynecologists across the globe: “Dear Madam, you really want to have an unwanted pregnancy using these outdated methods? Only German women are disciplined enough to practice them.” Even worse: Most of the Catholic methods competed for recognition in Rome, such as the Billings and “dissident” Billings groups, the Couple to Couple League, the French CLER, etc., and later the German, Rötzer-based, Sensiplan method. In the end, all these lobbies were and are still adamant about their achievements and reluctant to carry out honest comparisons. When they meet at congresses they carefully avoid these topics. At the same time, they do not make serious efforts to disseminate their knowledge. Therefore, the improvement and release of a proper symptothermal method, the two key recommendations of HV, are still missing.
A new beginning is possible: but only if the will to go ahead and tackle the future is present! 50 years after the publication of HV, no significant progress has been made. The truth put forth here may be, save angelic intervention, the reason for the rejection of my paper.
The Pontifical Family Council has never developed any symptothermal know-how over the last 50 years. In order to compensate for this inaction, the Magisterium was open to accepting all the methods (that have been competing against each other) as long as they were taught in the spirit of the abstinence method and backed up by proper HV quotations. One main reason for the failure to promote the methods is the lack of a standardized symptothermal knowledge, and the failure to popularize such knowledge, as recommended by the HV. This knowledge must be made available not only to Catholics but to all Christians as well as to other religions, and the large secular populations who have a strong ecological concern. Regrettably, instead of implementing these strategies of standardization and dissemination, the many schools with their various methods have restricted their communicative efforts to insiders, becoming sectarian, and thereby totally neglected the world, including Catholics in general: there still is no appropriate information to be found on the shelves of church welcome centers! As long as NFP schools blend the natural, biological processes of the cycle with theological considerations, non-Catholics will continue to reject the method and NFP will remain a well-kept secret on the fringe. This is the disaster that has been going on for the last 50 years. So how can the HV “bring blessings both on the world and on the Church” in the future?
The female cycle is based upon the same biological processes all over the world in all women. It does not work like a man-made machine or artificial intelligence, it is a subtle and grandiose symphony regulated by multiple hormones. It is also impacted by psychosomatic factors and environmental influences, such as light exposure during the night, nutrition, medical trends, unhealthy lifestyles etc. Today, it is common for girls to start using synthetic hormones as young as 14 years of age. Women who discontinue long-term hormonal birth control because of detrimental side effects, new ecological concerns or a more holistic conscience, all of a sudden discover their damaged cycles and their problematic fertility status. Their damaged bodies make it much more difficult for them to learn the method. Second: young couples nowadays travel abundantly for work, leisure and studies; for multiple reasons, women tend to think about having their first child in their late thirties. This common scenario has to be taken into account for the pastoral work addressed below (point B. 3).

B. Solutions. Three stages to make the symptothermy known
All the social changes mentioned above significantly complicate the task to establish a general, effective tutorial and a new, state-of-the-art method. Before teaching such a method, we have to first unbundle the theological reasons of HV, involving the Catholic Church, from the observational possibilities open to every woman, regardless of her spiritual orientation, which are based on biology. In a second step, after this unbundling, once we have this general method at hand, we can better understand how the cycle observations and the new couple relationship can be reunited from an anthropological point of view within the Catholic doctrine. Again: The first move is to separate theology and cycle observation for anthropological reasons; in a second move, anthropological reasons can reunite these two dimensions. Only within this reflective equilibrium among ethical and practical issues, among universal social laws and the biological essentials, further explained thereafter, can the Church openly and joyfully disseminate the best symptothermal method.
In light of what has been expounded above, the currently non-existing Pontifical Symptothermal Office, or its non-Catholic equivalent, would be able to begin worldwide dissemination following three successive steps:
1) Methodological improvements: The very first step, as already mentioned, is to follow HV’s recommendation to improve the most viable symptothermy, to make it user-friendlier for everyone, on the Internet and mobile apps. This is what the SymptoTherm Foundation has achieved without external help since 2006 with its worldwide first cycle app for mobiles, improved in 2008 on sympto.org in seven languages. Test it to determine if I am right. According to the American FACTS app comparison study of 2016, sympto is the #1 symptothermal method in app format. What about non-symptothermal (FAM) methods? Should we shun them? There is a way to include Billings-like or Temperature-Only methods, although they are less effective, yet educational for beginners and non-sexually active teens, as well as more convenient for experts (who want to simplify their observations). sympto.org has integrated all of these into one original synthesis. In other words: a separate Billings or Billings-like method, or a separate Temperature-Only method are no longer needed, much less various symptothermal methods! As with Newtonian physics, you just need one theory, methodologically the best.
What about methods that combine temperature observations with LH monitor results? Certainly, this endeavor marks a positive trend to modernize old-fashioned NFP. The modernization, however, should not be implemented by adding medical products women have to consume (and buy continuously) and blindly rely on. The true modernization lies in the development of tutorials and educational devices designed to assist women in learning, alone or under the guidance of a counselor, how to make proper observations and to become independent from medical products. In natural conception regulation, you should not mix convenient product consumption with more or less demanding self-awareness training and empowerment of the woman and the couple. There are ways for women to improve Peak Day determination if needed. But if women trust a monitor to solve this difficulty, they will never correctly learn how to identify their Peak Day. These medical crutches should be avoided when direct observation skill is at stake and sufficient; the observing woman remains the last resort that cannot be replaced by a machine. Such an educational device may include any type of tutorials; you define and openly show the minimum data required for optimal effectiveness. Misguiding women by telling them that the more information they introduce, the better, is typical for the consumption paradigm. A tutorial program should outline how to make sound observations and enable the learner to identify questionable observations. It must prevent the learner from entering incorrect observations. Of course, a woman is able to chart fake observations, purposely outsmarting the program, but this is a conscious choice!
There is a common agreement among NFP organizations to ban the hazardous calendar methods, which enjoy an unfortunate renaissance promoted by the WHO in Africa! Hundreds of ineffective cycle apps exist, based on variants of the Rhythm method, claiming to be “magic technology” (Glow) while increasing the confusion and disastrous misinformation among women. These constitute now the biggest hurdle for serious methods to gain confidence with users who seek a sound natural alternative for postponing pregnancy.
This symptothermal standard has to integrate some vital elements such as the Döring-Rötzer day in order to enable the cross-check in the beginning of the fertile window. It also has to implement the cross-check at the end of the fertile window, based on Peak Day and the occurrence of an adequate temperature rise. This standard must integrate the Sensiplan method in order to be able to publicly cite on its behalf the German reference study of 2007! “Natural methods” usually refer to this study, but this is inaccurate and cheating of the facts.
2) Communication and marketing of the method: Once you have a user-friendly, effective and scientifically approved method as well as trained competent counselors you can and must promote what we call the Gospel of the body. Missionary work is the basic task for any Christian: NFP is a mission for Christ. Knowledge of the female cycle belongs to everyone regardless of their religious convictions. Therefore, we can step into the succession of St. Paul when he left Jewish communities and turned to Gentiles to announce the Gospel. St. Paul did not keep the Gospel captive for Jews: neither should the Church keep the symptothermal method exclusively catholic. It is obvious that symptothermal knowledge, initially developed by the Church and eventually, hopefully, dispatched worldwide by it, will durably refresh its structures, enhance its image and appeal to young generations with unresolved questions of sexuality that remain.
Nobody can reasonably argue against the general utility of this knowledge: announcing the Gospel of the body will pave the road for announcing Christ’s Gospel in the future. There are multiple difficulties in this task especially as the consumption paradigm is not easily replaced by the learning paradigm: it is easy to promise women empowerment but hard to change their habits if they are addicted to solutions offered by consumption. This is the true difficulty of the symptothermy that was and still is largely underestimated by the Church representatives.
In the past and still now, there remains a detrimental fallacy about the following point: Some Church tenants advocate that the NFP method should not be too effective in order to avoid a likely surfacing of a « contraceptive mentality » among couples, meaning that the more effective the method, the less children couples will have. This argument is devoid of any facts and proofs. On sympto.org we can show facts and figures that prove the opposite: the more the method is reliable, the more the couple opens up to life and to children. This fallacy was used in the past as an excuse for some Church members not to develop better methods. In other words: the lack of sound methods was excused by the (imaginary) temptation for couples that effectiveness would hamper the wish to have children. This argument is clearly devoid of any HV foundations; HV does not mention the possibility of giving rise to a “contraceptive mentality” related to effectiveness.
3) Pastoral approach: The symptothermal method does not just reveal a highly developed technique. In this respect, the Aristotelian-Tomistic view of nature is correct: appreciating the wonders of nature implies ethical commitments for protection and respect. Sympto is foremost a tool for women and couples, and, like any tool, can be misused. But once the validity of this tool is internalized, it provides couples with a new consciousness of life and the creation: as couples integrate this tool and knowledge into their daily reality, the spiritual aspect enters their life on its own. The spirituality must not be Christian. But the method creates a platform where all religions can agree to learn the basics of human fertility. Symptothermy is an essential element of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue.
A part from being clearly contraceptive in the sense of HV, the condom is primarily a medical product, which, like other medical crutches, is not required to practice symptothermy for postponing pregnancy. The thermometer is admittedly also a medical product, I concur, but it is first mainly used for other purposes and not specifically for conception regulation. Second, the way temperature recordings are handled in the symptothermal method demands that the woman submit to a learning process so that she can distinguish good temperatures from questionable ones. Temperature apps such as Natural Cycles, which ask women to enter as many temperatures as possible, day after day throughout the cycle, are perverting the conscious symptothermal temperature recordings into blind medical product consumption. Within the concept and the common use of a medical product, questionable temperatures are supposed to be statistically smoothened by secret algorithms; “magic technology” is supposed to “know” which temperatures are accurate! They are not, as required by the symptothermal way, controlled by the user’s ability to question, with experience the results and put into brackets disturbed temperatures of the past (and only retrospectively, with adequate temporal distance)!
From a pastoral point of view, preaching against the condom is counterproductive although the condom is clearly a form of contraception and not a means of conception regulation. Why? Before couples can fully integrate the symptothermal method, they must try it. And before they can try it, they have to be informed and taught correctly. In most cases you have to convince them to discontinue the pill and other contraception first. For some, this is a difficult passage as the contraceptive hormones have made women dependent, sometimes even addicted. After initial hesitations and a new fertility awareness, couples become confident with the method and are willing to try it. At that stage, the couple will a) open up to life and b) diminish condom use. From an anthropological point of view – this argument has not been stressed by HV – it is nonsensical to forbid the condom, an unattractive device already strongly disliked by all men. The Church accepts the condom use for drug addicts, and to protect prostitutes from STD, and for people with various illnesses (Licht der Welt, Pope Benedict XVI, p. 146, Herder): why not show mercy and tolerate it as a transitional or provisional measure for vulnerable couples who learn the symptothermal method? In this respect, HV has not outlined a proper pastoral way and still maintains a Vatican-I mentality: it establishes and enforces rules without providing tools supported by rules to assist couples in implementing the rules. The HV has to be complemented by preventive measures against pornography and teenager sexuality.

Conclusions
HV has not failed: the people who should have implemented it have. The sexual disorientation has drastically increased among young men and women. Fertility issues have dramatically risen. The Catholic press is still ashamed to discuss symptothermal methods openly and routinely. There is certainly a lot of good work done by the Catholic sexual education, most of the literature is excellent but no large-scale preventive measures have been tested by dissemination of an appropriate symptothermal method. Especially in an age of sexual disorientation and exposure to sexual abuse, the preventive effect of symptothermal knowledge against porn consumption cannot be overemphasized. It is dismaying to point out that the Church was the first, and with the exception of a few orthodox movements, the only spiritual body that showed genuine interest in understanding the female cycle and fertility. No other religion shares this concern, neither Protestants nor Evangelicals: they have never tried to decipher human fertility and its significance for the couple and society!
How can the Church promote now the viable methods? We hope that this know-how will be dispersed within the offices of the Pontifical Council of Family. These specialists could free the symptothermy from its exile. But this would not suffice, since non-Catholics are very adamant about and critical towards messages released by the Vatican. The solution is for the Church, in addition to its efforts, to support a non-religious NGO Foundation to pursue this goal. The preventive aspect of this work will gain more credibility when dispatched by a neutral Foundation.

Harri Wettstein, 1950, Zürich
H.W., M.A. philosophy Heidelberg and MBA Lausanne, made his doctoral Habilitation degree in 1995 at university of Lausanne in theology and social science about end of life ethics. His Leben- und Sterbenkönnen was edited three times and had a concrete impact on the new end-of-life laws in the State of Vaud in Switzerland. In 1999, at the age of 49, he met Christine Bourgeois who introduced him to the symptothermal method by Rötzer and with whom he created the leading system for cycle observation, the Complete Manual as well as the sympto apps. He also wrote a seminal book about sexuality for “young and not so young couples” Sandra et Timmy, Une autre sexualité, racontée aux jeunes et moins jeunes, homes et femmes” (German 2017: Geheimcode des Körpers: Eine Aufklärung wieder gesellschaftliche Sexlügen). He deeply regrets that the symptothermal knowledge was not accessible for him as a student. He also writes in French and published among other titles Le jeûne pour la vie: un guide pour le jeûne chrétien de longue durée (1999, re-edited on Kindle 2014). He is the founder of the fasting group network who fasts 1 week during Lent in Catholic and Protestant congregations. He is a Catholic convert from Protestantism.

Publicités

Nur Deutsche und Amerikanerinnen können so unreif und schnodderig sein!

Mit denen ist Hopfen und Malz verloren: die Ignoranz, welche die Einbildung aufbläht.

Hello,
Calling someone aggressive and immature is no way to further a woman’s cause. You are the one that is aggressive and immature with that response after I simply requested you delete my account. To be truthful, your app is very confusing and not user friendly. I have a right to simply request my account be deleted without worrying about being chastised. That is no way for you to function as a business or service. I’ve seen negative reviews about this, and I have to wonder if it’s due to your attitude. Do not email me further with your insults. That is highly unnecessary and unwarranted.

Yes: you don’t have but you don’t have to become aggressive about this question. As we are defending a universal women’s cause we would have liked to know, but if as a woman you don’t defend this cause, it is up to you. I cancel your account and hope you will come back once you have gained more maturity. Best Harri Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND

Question 2018-01-04 14:34:56 Please delete account, I don’t need to provide a reason why.
Réponse 2018-01-04 14:22:18

Hello We have received your inquiry and would be grateful to know your problem with sympto. Please read our legal reminder and also the the disclaimer on sympto.org. Thanks! Harri: Legal Reminder/ Disclaimer: sympto is effective: Please refer to the clinical studies page on our site, especially: http://www.sympto.org/etude2014_en.html where sympto has been confirmed as the best app by an American study. Remember: sympto can only interpret valid observations. Inaccurate observations will diminish effectiveness. You must have used sympto for six months and have communicated with a sympto counselor; you may also enter six previous cycles and we will validate them for free. In addition, you have to take some personal consultations by Skype, Hangout, telephone with your personal sympto trainer. Without this requirements we cannot guarantee the accuracy and absolute effectiveness of the method.
Question 2018-01-04 04:12:01 Please delete my account

Gute Kommentare von Gina

Lieber Harri,
Ich stimme dir ja zu. Du kennst auch meine Meinung den Amerikanischen Frauen gegenüber. Sie sind eine äusserst problematische Gruppe. Ich habe viel darüber nachgedacht, da ich als Deutsche Praktikantin der symptothermalen Methode in Nordamerika eine hautnahe Perspektive habe. Die Frauen sind traurigerweise ihre eigenen Feinde. Die Lügen des Feminismus haben sie von klein auf so geprägt, dass sich die meisten permanent in einer tiefen Identitätskrise befinden ohne es zu wissen. Diese Krise wird verschlimmert, da sie im Kollektiv als ‘normal’ interpretiert wird. Die Frauen sind in totaler Dissonanz mit ihrer Weiblichkeit und die Gesellschaft hat keine Ahnung, sondern gibt Öl zum Feuer mit der kontinuierlichen Versicherung allen Frauen gegenüber, das sie auch physiologisch gleich mit den Männern stehen… Aber genug von meinen Gedanken. Es geht mir um Folgendes: es ist äusserst wichtig, unseren customer service von unserem Mandat zu trennen. Obwohl es das Mandat der fondation symptotherm ist, die Methode bekannt zu machen als überlegende Alternative zur Pille und damit die physische und geistige Gesundheit der Frauen zu verbessern, müssen wir dieses Mandat von der Notwendigkeit sympto-Beratungspakete zu verkaufen, trennen. Wenn du eine potentielle Kundin mit einer einzigen klitze-kleinen Bemerkung vor den Kopf stösst, kann uns das jahrelang in den Frauen Forums verfolgen und ultimativ das Image von sympto irreparabel zerstören. Wenn das Image von sympto aufgebaut wird durch unseren freundlichen und niemals negativen customer service, haben wir doch eine bessere Gelegenheit, der Methode den Respekt zu erwirken, den sie verdient. Das liegt mir am Herzen. Jegliche Kritik an diese Frauen fällt ja ausserdem nur auf taube Ohren, wie die Perlen vor die Säue… Habe das paypal erhalten, vielen Dank.
Liebe Grüße
Gina

Liebe Gina

Deine Empfehlungen gehen in die gleiche Richtung wie die von Pryska und in Frankreich tut sich ja einiges. Sie coached mich, wenn ich zu weit gehe. In diesem Fall der deutschen Frau bin ich aber erstaunt, Sie hat es mit gar nicht übel genommen, aber das sind wohl die schönen Ausnahmen. Diesbezüglich konzentriere ich mich ja vermehrt auf die Aertzeschaft, siehe die Auseindandersetzung mit Swissmedic auf dem blog. Schlimm ist zurzeit einfach, dass die Presse wohl viel Schlimmes über die Pille bringt, aber als Alternative nur die Spirale und das Kondom anbietet, obwohl wir im Kontakt mit denen sind und die uns sehr wohl kennen. Bislang wollen die uns einfach keinen Platz geben. Das tu uns allen sehr weh, auch Pryska.
Die hast vollkommen Recht, wir müssen da sehr aufpassen. Was du über die Frauen sagst, vertieft die Gedanken von Holly-Grigg, die wir ja auch dem blog.sympto.org haben.
Schönen Tag
Harri

INER Diskussion mit Polen.

Man sieht sich zurückgeworfen in eine dunkle Zeit der Glaubenskriege und rechthaberischen Sekten

Hi Michal

thanks for your reflections: it is important to keep the dialogue.

Indeed, as soon as your app interprets as an educational tool, we will test it – we do not test apps that are just cycle containers and which do not really help women and couples, which are not state of art.

Paul VI who has written Humanea vitae in the early sixties (which is the ethical standard) has not founded any symptothermal school – neither has his follower John Paul II. The Vatican and also the pontifical council of the family in Rome I visited several times have no practical competence and experience in the symptothermal method. Although their ethics is also accepted by me, these two personalities did not involve themselves with the problems people have in their life and with doctors who prescribe the pill. There was never a confrontation and discussion. My point is that this council should promote the good methods and make them palatable for couples. They should also earn the competence to run a symptothermal school before they can judge people like you and me. Their sin (sorry to tell you that) is that this is not the case yet. The second sin is that most catholic women in your country take hormones etc., what do you do against this, I already asked you? Doing nothing is a sin.

You must take the problem from the start: the promotion and innovation of a good method is the first commandment otherwise Humanae Vitae is not credible.

There is no officially accredited nfp organisation – they are all private organisations – that would represent the real, pastoral position of the Vatican. INER does not represent the Ethics of the Vatican either, so you cannot judge us as « inconsistent » with the teaching of the Church. What you are telling should be confirmed by nfp competent people from the Church. The judgement must come from there not from a private, non official organisation like INER.

Do you understand this point? You cannot entitle yourself to represent the Church without showing me that there is an official office in the Vatican doing this and which is competent to do it.
We will slightly modify our Manual to insist on the points above but the position we maintain is thoroughly Catholic according to HV. I think that you didn’t understand my point about the pastoral issue.

Last point: our Foundation is neutral from the religious point of view and we dispatch the Gospel of the Body also to Agnostics, protestants, muslims and atheist. You cannot oblige non Catholics to adopt what you say, even Catholics refuse to believe your view. So our reference to the Church must remain discreet!

So if you fully identify with the Church so please what is your effort to convince pill eating Catholics in your country?

Best and thanks for your advice
Harri

Le 19.09.17 à 22:42, Michał Pielorz a écrit :
> Hello (Dzień dobry) Harri,
>
> I read a little Compelte symptothermal Guide, but unfortunately it is not consistent with the teaching of paper like John Paul II or Paul VI.
> « The openness to life has nothing to do with the word contraception: »
> And here is the problem
> « Humanae vitae also asks you to adopt a pastoral, merciful attitude: in this context, when couples, after some 10 or 20 years, try to discontinue the pill you will show mercy! Tell me how can a merciful man ask the couple to do that?  »
> The inclusion of condoms or pills from the point of view of moral theology is the same sin. (eternal life most important)
> And when it comes to health, it’s better condom than pill.
> « Most apps that automatically interpret are fake apps:  »
> I did not say that your app is fake apps.
> I said that INERcycle does not interpret automatically.
> « Good symptothermal apps are educational tools, do you know this difference? »
> ok, think that’s the right direction
> « Would you be interested in the symptom test and give us your comments?  »
>
> So I think he will be in a free moment
> We see that support has changed in our moral discussions. Need some help yet?
>
> Best regards
> Michael
>

Hi Michal

I am Catholic like Rötzer too!

Did you read the relevant passages in our Compelte symptothermal Guide, even published in Polish on sympto.org? I am always open for discussion.

The openness to life has nothing to do with the word contraception:

1) Humanae vitae asks researchers to improve the method and to modernize it: this is something what you try to do and this is very positive! But why only you and not the German INER? Do they all sleep? They do not respect HV in this regard which is a very serious mistake and a sin. But to really help women you should also propose an interpretation like sympto does to facilite women the learning process.

2) Humanea vitae also asks to disseminate the best methods, this is what we try to do in Switzerland and also in Poland, but we realise that Poland is the biggest pill consumer in Europe; our Polish counsellor Agata Rolla (enclosed) is tiered to recruit in your entirely pill polluted country; nobody helps her, not even INER!! This is an utterly miserable situation: so where are your communication efforts? I would like to learn form you how you communicate npf INER in Poland!

3) Humanae vitae also asks you to adopt a pastoral, merciful attitude: in this context, when couples, after some 10 or 20 years, try to discontinue the pill you shall show mercy and not asking them not to use the condom! How can you practice abstinence in a pill-damaged cycle which has 60 ore more potentially fertile days? Tell me how can a merciful man ask the couple to do that? They just resume pill eating!! Is it this what you want?

Once the couple has learned the method properly, once the cycle is back in its normal way, they will get rid of the condom anyway: men do not like the condom, so it is futile and inhuman to be against the condom for learning but faithful couples! It is just your misconception of the Teaching of the Church. I am of course against the condom if it is for changing partners! But this is another situation. But even in this situation, Pope Dominic XVI has asked for mercy for condom using men when they go to prostitutes or aids infected people! Do you know this passage in Licht der Welt? The you know also the real teaching of the Church.

Most apps which interpret automatically are fake apps (did you see our app comparison studies?):

– because a) they are like medical products you just consume and

– b) you cannot correct disturbed passed information like on sympto (and some others, cf. our study). sympto interprets better than the expert in difficult situations! Do you agree to that? The problem is that nfp/INER specialists have not yet at all realised that the best interpretation is possible only with good observations first. And to observe correctly, the woman has to learn alone or, better, with the help if possible of the counsellor. Good symptothermal apps are educational tools, not medical products, you understand this difference?

Would you be interested to test sympto and give us your comments?

I think we have to cooperate as the Church has been awfully ridiculed in this context over the last 50 years!

Best regards
Harri

Le 19.09.17 à 11:39, Michał Pielorz a écrit :
> Hello (Dzień dobry) Harri,
>
>
> I am a Catholic like Rotzer. Therefore, I never use the name « contraception » when talking about the method of prof. Rötzer. Because the important issue with the Rotzer method is that it is compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church, which speaks of the attitude of openness to life. So the spouses (if they want, love the children) are delaying another child (for important reasons) or plan to conceive. Contraception is a completely different approach to life. Therefore, this description does not match the Rotzer method. The application itself is an interesting symptom I will look at it. Are you the creator of it ??? maybe we will cooperate.
> I can not speak English very well. I wrote that INERcycle does not interpret itself. The user has the ability to interpret himself and therefore is probably the only one. Most applications interpret automatically.
>
>
> Greetings,
>
>
> Your ticket (Twoje zgłoszenie): https://inercycle.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/735
> —
> Support Team (Zespół wsparcia)
> INER cycle
>
> Michał Pielorz
>
> Dnia wt, 19 Wrz at 10:15 AM , Harri napisał(-a):
> Hello Michal
> Thanks for your comments!
>
> According to Rötzer a new cycle cannot start if the previous days are not identified as lutal, after ovulation. This is exactly the case on sympto.org but I don’t know how you handle this point in your app. I didn’t find the link you where telling me about, sorry!
>
> The only app that does interpret (good observations of course) perfectly and according to Rötzer rules worldwide is sympto.org ever since 2009! You can see this on our app studies, confirmed by an American study:
>
> https://sympto.org/etude2014_en.html
>
> What do you mean that Rötzers teaching was not about ecologic contraception but about what? What do you have against the word « natural/ecologic contraception »?
>
> Many thanks for your answers
> Harri
>
>
>
>
> Le 19.09.17 à 09:53, Michał Pielorz a écrit :
>
> Hello (Dzień dobry) Harri,
>
> If you need to add an observation card with an earlier date. Enter in add a new cycle and change the date of the cycle to the earlier date on the card will appear earlier days. The application does not automatically resolve the cards. The assumption is that the user wants to decide how to interpret the cycle itself. This is probably the only app that allows for self-interpretation in accordance with Prof. Rotzer’s NFP.
> I’m sending a link to the files that the German user has recorded can help.
> symtho.org unfortunately is promoted as contraception and this is not consistent with Prof. Rotzer’s teaching.
> Good luck
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-v7GoTXJMI
>
> Your ticket (Twoje zgłoszenie): https://inercycle.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/735
> —
> Support Team (Zespół wsparcia)
> INER cycle
>
> Michał Pielorz
>
> Dnia śr, 13 Wrz at 5:44 PM , Harri napisał(-a):
> Hello Michel
> Thanks!
> It asks all sorts of invasive information and I do not find out properly how I can get to an earlier day than today, for example into a past cycle. Sorry I do not understand Polish on your youtube video! Does your app interpret according to the Rötzer rules?
> Can you start a new cycle, except the first one, if the former cycle has no luteal phase?
> Sorry did you see sympto.org?
> Thanks for your answers
> Harri
>
>
> Le 13.09.17 à 08:19, Michał Pielorz a écrit :
>
> Hello Harri,
>
>
> Please clear data and cache for app.
>
> https://www.androidcentral.com/how-and-when-clear-app-cache-or-data-android
>
>
> Twoje zgłoszenie: https://inercycle.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/735
> —
> Zespół wsparcia
> INER cycle
>
> Michał Pielorz
>
> Dnia wt, 12 Wrz at 9:00 PM , Harri napisał(-a):
> Hi Michal
> it says modal.errorAppearded and
> api.invalid_grant
>
> Harri
> Le 12.09.17 à 20:23, Michał Pielorz a écrit :
>
> Helo, Harri,
>
>
>
>
> And what appears on the screen or shows the place to enter the login? Can you get more details?
>
> Your ticket: https://inercycle.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/735
> —
> Support team
> INER cycle
>
> Michał Pielorz
>
> Dnia sob, 9 Wrz at 10:28 AM , Harri napisał(-a):
> I can’t log in. Please help.
>
> Email: harri@greenmail.ch
> Name: Harri wettstein
> Browser: chrome 60.0.3112.116
> OS: android Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.0; SM-G928F Build/NRD90M; wv) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Chrome/60.0.3112.116 Mobile Safari/537.36
> Screen : 412×732
> RAM: 12.11MB
> App version: 1.5.9
>
> INER cycle powered by Freshdesk
>

Highly interesting Debate on the TCOYF forum

August 20, 2016 at 4:45 pm
Why is this app only at place 11 in this study:
The performance of fabm apps marketed to avoid pregnancy? JABFM Aug 2016. 29 4. P 508 – 511?

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August 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm
Sorry, can you clarify your question?
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August 23, 2016 at 7:51 am
The question is quite clear. Why don’t you market ova graphics for natural contraception ? What is the reason ?

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August 23, 2016 at 6:39 pm
Hi Harri and W!

I read the study Harri referenced (http://jabfm.org/content/29/4/508.full.pdf+html). I found it quite interesting.

Ovagraph is 11th among apps that predict fertility. It has a 3.1 score on Accuracy (effectiveness of the method on which the app is based) and Authority (source of rules the app used to determine fertile days).

Out of curiosity, I decided to try LilyPro which is 4th among apps that predict fertility. It has a score of 4.3 on Accuracy and Authority, and it is descibed as having either a perfect score on accuracy (app-defined fertile days = evidence-based fertile days) or no false negatives (days of fertility clasified as infetile).

LilyPro allows you to chose between two evaluation setting, the US FAM/NFP method and German Workgroup NFP method. I entered 4 months of data into LilyPro and compared my charts. To my surprise, this app identified different likely ovulation day for several cylcle. For example:

cycle #1

Ovagraph likely ovulation CD15

LilyPro likely ovulation CD14

cycle #2

Ovagraph likely ovulation CD14

LilyPro likely ovulation CD12

cycle #3

ovagraph likely ovulation CD14

ovagraph possible ovulation CD16

LilyPro likely ovulation CD14

cycle #4

ovagraph likely ovulation CD15

LilyPro likely ovulation CD15

Why are these such differences in likely ovulation day when both apps, in theory, use the same FAM rules?

Does anyone have experince with some of the other apps included in the study?

Thank you for sharing your experince.

P

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August 23, 2016 at 11:12 pm
We sat down with Toni Weschler when we were creating our BBT algorithms to incorporate the information in her book and apply them to the information that a woman may chart during her cycle. There are a few different algorithms in place to give as much feedback and possibilities based on the readings and data that is charted. That’s why there may be more than one possible shift marked on our charts. I can’t say how other charting tools may function, or if they only have one algorithm.
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August 24, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Hi P
Many thanks!

I will answer to your last comment first:

A good algorithm should alsways make readings, as on sympto.org, if it really implements the TW method. Otherwise you have to adjust the method which is something quite natural when you transpose a handy method on algorithms.

Your first comment and your questions:

We compared next to our sympto.org (nfp-sensiplan and Rötzer, a new synthesis), mynfp.de (the German nfp-sensiplan rules), Lily, Fertility Friend, ovuview and CycleProGo.

Many thanks for your comments! I think we all need to discuss the criteria on which the apps should be compared. The only objective criteria are the false positive/ false negative days. But in this study, only about 6 cycles were tested. according to nfp-sensiplan, you have to test at least 13 cycles!

What a pity you didn’t compare with sympto which was especially designed for natural contraception. If you could test your 4 cycles on sympto, I would be very happy to discuss the differences, also to better understand ovugraph!

In our second app comparison study (where we took three real cases with more than 15 cycles) Lily is on third position and sympto no 1 again (we didn’t include ovagraph for some reason I cannot remember, I have to check it in the paper (did this app exist in early 2014?):

http://www.sympto.org/etude2014_en.html

But Lily doesn’t use exactly the nfp sensiplan (Workgroup) rules. You cannot combine nfp-sensiplan rules with TCOYF! Because there are some incompatible points

I hope you can do this so that we can continue this important discussion. There are only three app comparison studies now; we need more of them and we have to agree on the different criteria and their weight. This is something no group can do alone, there must be a kind of consensus of the different schools.

For me the likeliness of the ovulation day may vary but the Peak day should be on the same days. The important point is the fertile window! I hope to hear from you soon Best Harri

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August 24, 2016 at 4:15 pm
Hi Whitney and Harri!

Thank you for responding to my post.

I am currently reading TCOYF. I have a few questions related to the method as described in the book.

1) I see that the primary and most important fertility sign is cervical fluid or elixir 😉 I’ve been having a hard time with it because I appear to be very dry. I have very little cervical fluid and often times it’s of mixed quality, for example I’ll have stichy mixed with a string of eggwhite. I typically chart it as eggwhite. Sometimes stichy is indistinguashable from creamy. I’ve tested both with tissue and while checking my crevical opening. It makes no difference. Any suggestions to improve identifying cervical fluid?

2) One of the FAM rules stated that I can consider myself infertile the evening (6pm) of the 3rd consecutive day with high temperatures (after the temperature shift). Why the evening, why 6pm? Is it based on the assumption that most couples have sex in the evening? What happens to the couples who prefer morning or afternoon sex?

3) My last remark is concerning Ovagraph. In the book, the paper charts show the fertile window. Is there a setting in ovagraph to clearly show the fertile window using separation bars between the fertile window and the pre-ovulatory infertile and the post-ovulatory infertile windows?

I read the other study Harri referenced. It’s very interesting as well and very detailed in the comparison charts provided at the end of the study. I downloaded the Sympto app on my phone, but I was unable to input my information. I’m not even able to change the temperature setting from F to C. I get the message that the information is saved, but when I return to the chart there is nothing filled out. I think I originally looked at the sympto.org site, but I didn’t find it appealing. There is also the baby head logo which can be misleading. I practice this method to avoid pregnancy and when I see a baby’s head I think that the target population is couples trying to conceive. 🙂

My attitude is that I want to learn more about natural birth control and I am not opposed to trying new things. I was a little thrown off, when I saw the different analysis from the two apps. Am I fertile or infertile? Am I safe to practice free love? 😉 Luckily, my partner was away during that cycle…

I would like to end my post by saying how much I appreciate the community on Ovagraph.com. It’s conforting to read about other women’s journeys into natural birthcontrol and to be able to receive valuable feedback from the forum monitors.

Thank you,

P

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August 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Your comments are very interesting!
as to

1) It is correct to chart egg white (always put the best quality of the day). Stichy and creamy are variants of low fertile elixir, little blue stick on sympto, so this is not a problem. To discover your elixir evolution you should try to extract your elixir directly from your cervix. If you do it on your sympto account, the counselor can better follow you because she can see your chart.

2) on sympto, it liberates 12 hour after the temperature taking time, so this 6 o’clock must be relativised of course.

3) the program should show this clearly, on sympto with a colour, on ovugraph, I just discover, I don’t know.

4) In your profile on your premium account sympto.org, you can modify everything. From your sympto account, you can also ask your question directly and someone will help you. it is a bit frustrating to see (public) critiques when you can ask for free such things. 🙂 When you start you have to put the three red drops. Try it again please and leave a message if you are still lost. You can change the baby face into the condom on your profile. Some women say they leave the baby to make them more responsible during the blue fertile phase.

I must say that on this forum there had been a lot of nonsensical and bad talk about sympto.org which might have influenced your judgments. If two woman say it is not apealing the third will repeat it because what she is using must be better anyway…

I hope we can continue this discussion on your personal message box on sympto.org: try to enter your old cycles and a counselor can disuss them with you.

best

Harri

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August 24, 2016 at 6:23 pm
There isn’t a way to place vertical lines on your chart. If you are tracking your CF and vaginal sensations, you’ll see that green shading on the days that you experience and chart that though, so that can be helpful when you’re looking at your possible fertile window. Hope that makes sense.
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August 24, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Sorry, That does not make sense. The real fertile windows opens very often before the woman puts a fertile sign. And this symptothermal principle is not respected on TCOYF. On sympto you see exactly when your first fertile day starts, when the the last day comes and you can see also the most fertile days in dark blue. Without that you cannot pracitce natural contraception except you are very performant in interpreting your data. What do you need else? Do you have problems entering into your sympto account?
Harri

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August 24, 2016 at 7:24 pm
W
Thank you for clarifying. I asked because I am a visual learner and I find it very rewarding when I get a cover line and a likely ovulation bar.

Harri,

I’ve tried checking my elixir at the cervical opening, it makes no difference.

I tried the app you recommended one more time. I was able to input my cycle information. It gave some very interesting evaluations:

cycle #1 Fertile window day 1-22 out of 27 days

cycle #2 Fertile window day 6-19 out of 27 days

cycle #3 Fertile window day 6-22 out of 28 days

cycle #4 (in progress) Fertile window day 6-21 out of 25 days to date

My partner and I will have to look at the reseach and books available and decide which method/app is most suitable for our needs.

Thank you for your help.

Paula

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August 24, 2016 at 11:45 pm
That method can be helpful, but it’s assuming that you’re having a pretty regular cycle and ovulation is taking place around the same time from one cycle to the next. While working on our chart, Toni specifically did not want that to be marked on the chart in advance. We’re focused more on what signs your body is showing you to help get the most helpful feedback and work to pinpoint your fertile window.
Best wishes to you Paula!

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August 25, 2016 at 10:45 am
Hi P (for W see below)
Thanks for having tried sympto. Unfortunately I cannot appreciate your work done: It is a bit painstaking to test different cycles from the past on the sympto app (congratulation for having done this!): the app is not designed for that purpose, it is made +- for day to day observations, for displaying educational messages, giving interpetations and making possible online follow ups: Please acess your premium account on sympto.org and I will give you some more free premium days as this helps a lot understand what you do. I would like to see your charts (everything is confidential on sympto) on your premium account on sympto.org: just give me a hello by your message box on sympto (you don’t have to tell your email here). I would like to comment your work and help you and show you what you can improve!

The best is to compare apps, this helps better understand what is good and what not.

Looking forward

Harri

Hi W

All serious symptothermal apps refuse to « predict » future events like ovulation day etc. as these cannot be established seriously by mathematics: using maths does not mean that your app is more scientific. Even if a woman has regula cycles, the ovulation day may vary a lot inside the cycle from one cycle to another. On sympto you can see the green cover line but you cannot see the « ovulation day » as this is hypothetical (T. Weschler insists on this point). On sympto you can see you Peak day(s) which might hide ovulation. You cannot show (except by echography) the ovulation day. You can suggest some highly fertile days as potential ovulation days.

Your algorithms should be based on a verified method.This method must be scientifically proven for its effectiveness as the German nfp-sensiplan (Arbeitsgruppe) and Rötzer method (in the States: sympto Pro) -both methods are very similyar – and then you have to build your app around such a method, what we did with sympto.

In the new book TCOYF a clear difference is made between (inner, vaginal) sensation (like dry, humid, wet) and (external observation) like egg-white, creamy, lotiony, sticky, etc.

Why doesn’t this distinction figure on the app entry board page? Since this is not the case, you cannot argue that ovagraph is an exact replication of the book and its method. There are other examples like that, I would be glad to help you improve your app, if you really want to improve it! The book and the manual interpretation is all well and good, but if you have an app which interprets (« pinpoints ») better and quicker than the human expert, it is even much better: you can then concentrate on the observation quality of the users. That is the big problem we face: women have to learn how to observe properly and to improve their observation quality and of course know how the method works. But this knoweldge they will acquire more and more as they observe! And for this delicate learning process -we all agree on that – , it is highly recommended that the woman be followed by a specialist, online, Skype, personal meeting, etc.: the human factor for the learning process remains vital – not for all women, but let’s say for the majority! (It also helps them adopt new life styles (and discipline) that are the consequences of FABM. Not to forget the motivation: how can you motivate women to stick to FABM seriously for years (may be with interruptions) and not just for a quick trial. We don’t have the answer yet! Are women lazier than men?)

This distinction observation – interpretation has not been fully understood by the traditional schools which still wrongly pretend that only the handy (manual) interpetation (« pinpointing ») is good… There is just an epistemological fallacy that these people do not (want to) see or understand.

By the way, Toni W. knows us quite well!

When did you develop ovuGraph?

Best regards

Harri –

/www.medinstitute.org

Hi
I would like to know why you do not have any sex education project that integrates fertility awareness and the the fertility based methods, such as the symptothermal method, used on apps. Most women have one of these fertility apps, also teenies, so which one are reliable?
http://www.sympto.org/etude2014_en.html

We would like to disseminate this knowledge of sympto.org and are looking for partners interested in this idea.

Best

Dr. Harri Wettstein
Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation
Sécheron 8 – 1132 Lully VD
Switzerland
phone +41 21 802 44 18 fax +41 21 802 37 35
skype: sympto.ch
sites: http://www.sympto.org, http://www.symptotherm.ch, Symptos.ch &
harri-wettstein.de

totally frustrating dialogue with these Billings people who know every thing better but who don’t really test symptom

Réponse 2013-11-29 16:24:36 Hello Can I conclude that you accept what I have replied and that you want to stop this conversation? Excellent WE Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Réponse 2013-11-26 09:05:23 Hello I asked you why you don’t continue testing sympto. There is no reason not to do it. Your behavior is utterly unfair and unscientific. Please answer to this objection. Of course, Billings is more than PD identification, sympto too, what you say is absolutely trivial, please don’t get around the point. It is just an foul excuse not to continue testing. But refusing this test shows your generally very unfriendly, very closed attitude. But PD identification would help you to have a constructive dialogue with me. I try to learn from you, perhaps you could also learn some points from me. You don’t have the full truth, I neither. Every scientific study must define clear patterns and explain them. Otherwise it is not scientific, it cannot be tested on different people, it cannot be really compared and tested in a study. You confuse this point with the individual observation every woman makes on a daily basis. The sympto icons are not predetermined pattern, not at all, what a preposterous misunderstanding. It is a naughty insinuation. The sympto icons are nothing else than a language symbol you also use when you describe your states. You just use words, on sympto the icons correspond to different states and words the woman has to learn like a language. And all this is explained in our manual. You do exactly the same when your learn your method: to associate your states of sensation to words. So in the end it boils down on how you combine words to express sensations. Your approach is not different than ours. This point is developed in our manual which you refuse to read. What exactly are your « specified parameters »? Does your method have such an explicit educational material as we have? Yes, could I read it? Otherwise your method is not scientific at all; a scientific method must lay open all the details of the method for an outsider, not just give a rough summary that you put on internet or in your books for beginners and than you claim that you have the absolute truth. Can you show me please what are these « specified parameters » that would not fit to the sympto icon language. Can you answer to this question please? Please understand that your refusal to continue testing will fall back onto you. You will have no ground to prove of what you say. I hope you can understand my anger. I also realize now that I give a lot of energy in my explanations which are far more detailed and truth searching that yours. This is easy to see when you scroll down our discussion. So now I expect you to do what you have promised. Best Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-25 18:01:38 It is not the identification of a Peak day which would ensure this « mode » is consistent with the Billings Ovulation Method (TM). The Billings Ovulation Method (TM) is much more than a way of identifying Peak. It is a way of making observations (external sensation at the vulva), of interpreting the patterns to recognize fertility and infertility on a daily basis – these patterns are unique to each woman and cannot be pre-determined for her. It is the collection of data, according to specified parameters rooted in the scientific research of the Billings Ovulation Method (TM). Altering the parameters can alter outcomes. So the parameter changes need to be studied on their own merits to ensure the outcomes are the same. I hope that has made sense.
Réponse 2013-11-25 09:10:05 Hello, Please listen: after all the long discussions we had it was quite clear, and you confirmed it explicitly (yes you did!), that you would test sympto until the end of a cycle to see whether, yes or no, you can confirm your initial judgement that sympto is « not consistent with Billings Ovulation Method (TM) ». This is a matter of honesty and scientific correctness. I thought that your method was clinically proven and scientifically tested. If so you should also behave in a scientific way and finish your business. Can you do that? I would be glad to discuss differences and interesting points! Thanks for your understanding and have a good start of the week Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND PS: Didn’t you receive the effectiveness comparison study yet?
Question 2013-11-24 05:41:51 Oh, my apologies – poor choice of words. Indeed, I do not know what it’s all about or claim to know anything about Sympto’s effectiveness. I look forward to seeing it’s effectiveness trials! I was only interested in the « Billings mode » and I have seen enough for a general understanding of what that part is about.
Réponse 2013-11-23 21:38:11 Hello I am very disappointed about your stopping entering your observation. This is the most important point now. The other discussion about the Billings Mode is now at our President’s office and will be duly treated. Dont’ worry. I will not enter into this issue here again. I don’t think that you know « what it is all about » (and to judge the effectiveness of sympto, this would be utterly unfair). Please go ahead at least until PD and some days more to see whether sympto is giving you false negative days. Then you will know what it is all about. And then you have the sufficient knowledge. Excellent WE Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-23 19:45:38 I have seen enough of the program to see what it is all about, that is why I have entered no further observations. I am happy you are corresponding with the appropriate organizations for permissions, that is good. It is no problem to offer mucus observation instructions according to the body of research you most value. No problem at all! It is a problem to mislead your users by calling it a « Billings mode » when the instructions contradict autentic Billings. « Rotzer mode » or « temperature-free mode » would be more accurate. It would be as if I created an app to that allowed users to make Rhythm Method predictions and I called this function « Wettstein mode. » That would be most inappropriate because the work you have done is not aligned with Rhythm Method at all! In the same way, the Sympto « Billings mode » is also very different from authentic Billings. I hope that makes sense!
Réponse 2013-11-23 15:43:48 Hello Yes it will be very interesting to see your continued testing, but why didn’t you enter your observations during the last 2 days? If you don’t observe anything special, you have to put the bar, so that sympto can see that you did make an observation, a negative one. This is a very interesting and useful sign. I can fully subscribe to your statement we repeat again and again: « Interpretation is only as good as the accuracy of the observations entered. » But I do not agree, sorry, when you say: « She might say things like: « Well, I didn’t actually notice any mucus that day. But it was the time when I usually ovulate, so I put ‘wet/clear’ on the chart anyway. » HW: she is instructed to enter what she observes and nothing else, and not to invent things like « when I usually ovulate »: she knows that this kind of sentence is very misleading, also if she does it manually. The program is not at stake here. This is something that can happen also to a woman without sympto and there she has nobody to check or help her. It is not an argument against the program. Of course, it is always better to put a fertile sign if you are not sure as it keeps the fertility window open. It would be dangerous to put an infertile sign when she sees/feels a fertile sign! This is the problem of false negative days we investigated in a comparative symptothermal study where sympto easily won. « or « I am afraid to trust my dry days. I am terrified of pregnancy. So I put « wet » on the chart instead. » » This is exactly the message she should write to her counselor and her counselor will tell her exactly what I did say above. Our beginners have a 6 months follow up directly and the counselor sees her chart as I can see yours. In reality, this is what we meet in such cases you mention: the woman will enter dry and if she is terrified by a pregnancy, she takes the condom. It is a normal reaction of a woman used to years of pill. We are recruiting people who were pill consumers! We are like St Paul: the Gospel of the body must go out also to non Catholics.This is our pastoral approach (shared also by the Orthodox) which closes an eye during the learning process to meet the sinners where they are, in their sin, to help them (of course we tell them that the condom is not effective and not improving the STM at all). I think you might mix up the sympto interpretation program with those old and outdated temperature or hormone computer like LadyComp or Persona. Don’t you? We are trying to find out whether and, if yes, how we must rename our Billings mode. We have written at the address you gave me and our Foundation has to sort this out during the next weeks once we have discussed their letter. It is a very important issue for us and also for the Rötzer school who does similar quoting. Did you tell them? You say: Billings emphasizes: – external sensation at the vulva That’s Ok for us but we add also internal sensation. – no touching of mucus That’s why we call it also paper tissu exam. But we do not have any problem if the woman touches it with her fingers. – no cervical exam This difference is widely known. – no pre-determined descriptions of the appearance Sorry I do not understand this last point, what do you mean? Of course we will clarify this differences anyway in our manual and are thankful for your indications. Thanks for your clarifications Excellent WE Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-22 17:59:25 My understanding of the NWFS is that « feeling » refers to an external sensation. If Rotzer describes an internal sensation, that’s fine too. Perhaps call it « Rotzer mode » then, as the mucus classifications may be more in line with his guidelines rather than the Billings guidelines? Billings emphasizes: – external sensation at the vulva – no touching of mucus – no cervical exam – no pre-determined descriptions of the appearance Since you have included all of these, it is confusing to call it a « Billings mode. » There is NOTHING wrong with differences – but use a name that is consistent with the guidelines are you using. That is what makes it confusing. As an experienced Billings user, but I cannot take what is on my chart and accurately input it into Sympto « Billings » mode. » My observations do not « fit » with the Sympto classifications. That is what makes it confusing. I am not entirely sure of what I think about a good interpretative system. Interpretation is only as good as the accuracy of the observations entered. NFP couples are human beings; and prone to human behavior, fears, anxieties, frustrations. An interpretation program will not know whether the nature of humanity is influencing the observations. A woman’s chart only tells a portion of the story of her fertility. She might say things like: « Well, I didn’t actually notice any mucus that day. But it was the time when I usually ovulate, so I put ‘wet/clear’ on the chart anyway. » or « I am afraid to trust my dry days. I am terrified of pregnancy. So I put « wet » on the chart instead. » These are the things an interpretation program cannot know, things which can certainly influence what a woman will put on her chart. However, it will be interesting to see the work continue. I look forward to seeing the results of continued testing of this interpretive system.
Réponse 2013-11-22 09:22:16 Hello Of course, you are confident about your ability to identify PD, I have no doubt about this; the point is that we want to find out together (If you agree) whether sympto will follow you and interpret your entries correctly and also identify PD as soon as it comes to it. Thanks for what you have done until now! On symptoPro I see the chart with 2 levels: « tissue » (external observation, seeing touching, etc.) and « sensation » (feeling), this is what we have aligned to: http://symptopro.com/charting-app.html to which page do you refer? As a test, you could introduce the same as you do now with sympto.org on symptoPro of North West Family and enlarge this very interesting and useful discussion with Lauren Fuller. symptoPro does not interpret at all, so we do not have exactly the same situation as on sympto.org where you have the most powerful interpretation program that exists now. There is basically this discussion about whether it is useful for the couple to have an interpretation program. We think it is as it lets the woman fully concentrate on her observations: she has not to worry about the details of interpretation. Of course it must be an excellent program like sympto otherwise it is better not having anything. (I hope that CCL’s CycleProGo will improve! It is not sufficient to have one good program out there to fight against all this preposterous ignorance.) However NWFS and may be also you are critical towards sympo’s interpretation. So it is worthwhile testing it without a priori ideas. This is the process we are in now. In the end, are you in favor of a good interpretation program or not? Can you be convinced by a good program? Or do you have good arguments against it? Anyway, your symptoPro charting would be a great contribution to the NFP mouvement. We all should discuss (gently) more with each other to understand each other better, to sort points out and not making confusion bigger, since we are all 1) Christians and b) clearly on the side of NFP against the pill etc. In their A Couple’s Guide to Fertility, I am afraid to quote, it says, p. 24, « Lubrication: a feeling AT THE lips of the vagina of slipperiness, or a very distinctly runny-wet feeling INSIDE the vagina – both are due to highly fertile mucus. » This description is identical to what you can read in Rötzer, p. 26 of Natural Conception Regulation. Didn’t you see that? It could be very interesting to include the Pockets of Shaw into this discussion. I am not yet competent to do that. Can you feel their activity under the influence of progesterone? There is an interesting passage in Rötzer, p. 26: « The mucus of the most fertile time can be so fluid that it simply runs away like water (« waterfall »). Stretchiness cannot be tested because no mucus can be seen on the paper. This can cause confusion because one would expect to find some visible mucus on paper. » and it continues: « When the mucus is so thin, the sensation of definite wetness in conjunction with « soft » or « slippery » at the vulva ca be the most important observation (« wet », « slippery », « slidy », « wet and slippery »): this is the best quality mucus, even though it cannot be seen. The sensation can be altogether more important than what is visible to the eyes ». And, p. 117, he details the sign of « m » (L in NWFS): « A sensation INSIDE of the vagina: This sensation can be so strong that some women write across the chart « it is running », « it is flowing »; however, when they immediately examine the paper they discover that there is nothing on it. » In the book by Fuller/Huneger of NFWS quoted above you have a chapter about cervix examination with a charting of « mucus at the cervix ». I know perfectly well that all the Billings schools are against this cervix exam with all sorts of good and not so good arguments. But don’t lets fall into the polemic. The Billings schools do it without and the symptothermal schools all have cervix exam descriptions. Why should we become adamant because we have different approaches? We would better sit together and work out together how we can convince the young generation to use NFP. It is up to them to chose. We do not have the right to indoctrinate them. I tried to make a best-of synthesis out of the best NFP systems, it is certainly not perfect yet, but better than anything I have met. What confusion do you mean? Thanks for your contributions. Sorry for being long and thank you for reading me. Best Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-21 21:28:04 I have reviewed the Sympto (Northwest Family Services) manual and chart; there are no recommendations for internal mucus observations. What exactly is an internal sensation and how would one observe it anyway? Would it not interfere with the Pockets of Shaw, when they are activated under the influence of progesterone? No worries about my PD; I am confident in my ability to identify that with my Billings chart. If you are aligned with Northwest Family Services, combined with Mercedes Wilson’s method, plus some ideas from Toni Weschler, and calling it « Billings mode » – isn’t that rather confusing?
Réponse 2013-11-21 20:03:42 Hello sympto is aligned with Northwest Family Services. They make the difference of external and internal sensation indeed. And internal or external sensation of slipperiness without mucus is possible for them, that’s why I have included this rare possibility on sympto outside the standard possibilities! Rötzer (and Christine) would say that in such a case that the Mucus was so thin and runny diluted in the urine that it was not seen! We will check our manual about this point which is now being revised and I am thankful for this discussion. But this is not our main problem which is now to find out whether sympto will fail its interpretation with your observations sequences or not. We are not yet at the end! We still wait for the PD and how it is identified. Thanks! Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-21 16:56:41 As far as which system of mucus classification you should align yourself, that is just a matter of preference. Read the research of each one for yourself, decide which system would be the best fit with your Sympto program. Combining bits and bits from each one will be very confusing and not consistent with the science. As Northwest Family Services (now called SymptoPro) is also based on the work for Rotzer, perhaps aligning your program with their mucus classification would be the most practical? They emphasize sensation at the vulva (external) and discourage internal exams as well. Their instructors are very, very knowledgeable. Best of luck with it all!
Réponse 2013-11-21 09:57:38 Hello Your cycle seems to continue trying to ovulate. You better know what to expect, but from my very limited point of view, your entries yesterday were perfectly sound, because: As soon as you have external observation (seeing, touching, etc.), the sensations (feelings inside or outside) are perhaps important for the pregnancy seeking woman but they are not relevant for fertility in case of conception avoidance. Christine Bourgeois (see symptotherm.ch) is the President of our Foundation. She cooperated more than 30 with Rötzer in Austria directly. Professor Rötzer received several medals from the Vatican. sympto is a synthesis of NorthWest Family Services, which is the improved version of Rötzer, and NFP-Sensiplan (Germany), which has the best scientific records (see sympto.org, clinical studies). So she would probably give this interpretation the blue drop, Moist feeling, when there is nothing visible, as slipperiness is basically defined for clear inside sensations. Our women do not have any problems with this icon. I saw that North West Family Services and Toni Weschler had also this possibility you experienced some days ago, slipperiness outside without anything visible in the special mode you are now. But it is not something we hear very often about, so it is not a standard combination, but all the same it is very interesting to know about your experience, and it is clearly a case which shows that your cycle is not in a perfect health state. You also mentioned that you are under treatment. Thanks for this information but of course is not enough for grasping your observation situation. If our specialist counsel her women, they know all gynecological details about them (age, weight, health problems, cycle lengths, etc. cf. our profil) and they can have a much broader approach than the one I have on your cycle where we are discussing semantics of icons and the soundness of the interpretation of sympto, which has not been challenged until now. I tried to find your « slippery sensation » externally and not internally in your link but I did not find it. Can you help me finding this passage? I just need some clear statements about this point, not an overall general course which does not contain this detail. Perhaps your schools never speak about « inside » anyway, is that right? This is a very important point for our discussion to understand each other. On which system of cervical mucus classification should we align as they are several Billings Schools, yours, the one you mentioned and the Creighton Model? May be there are still others. It is strange for an outsider to see that you could not align your own schools. This does not make it easy for us, the symptothermal people. sympto clearly does not indicate yellow infertile in your chart so I do not see any diminished effectiveness, at least not in this case. Thank you for continuing entering your observations and looking forward to reading your comments and remarks! Cordially Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-20 18:35:11 Who is Christine and do you know of any research which confirms the impossibility of a slippery sensation without visible mucus? The research of the Billings Ovulation Method has found it to be possible, and common among women who are trained to observe external sensation at the vulva. From the guide: « The maximum amount of mucus may diminish, and a slippery sensation continue for a day or two. » http://www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org/2012-07-16-02-14-24/resources-download-2.html A persistent slippery sensation can also indicate chronic follicular stimulation and arrested FSH levels, sometimes caused by elevated prolactin – but in my case likely caused by insulin resistance relating to my PCOS (which is being treated, thank you.) A slippery sensation which persists for 14 days without change can also be established as a Basic Infertile Pattern. My pattern is not unchanging at present. It is changing, which indicates hormonal fluctuations and potential fertility. I think Sympto would do well to align itself with one system of cervical mucus classification, verified by solid research, and work with a representative of that system to fine tune the app to ensure utmost accuracy. Trying to mix and match understandings of the cervical mucus may result in confusion and diminished effectiveness.
Réponse 2013-11-20 14:50:34 Hello, Great! For us, fro a physiological point of view, the day 14 is Ok : it triggers the Peak Day on day 13, but then you write the following days « slippery sensation » and « seen nothing ». This is physiologically not very common, Christine says « impossible », as this kind of sensation should be paralleled by « seen something » and not: nothing. As long as you put « slippery sensation » and noting above it (which on sympto must be completed by a bar, what I did: this is the negative information which is very important to have), as long as this uncommon combination is occurring, the PD shifts to the right, as you see: this is a very interesting test and I hope you continue for some more days until the situation clarifies. With this kind of exchange we can find out much more about your systems and ours, we can fine tune the whole as you said, and this is more important than to know who is with whom etc. We do not need discuss the systems at this moment as we have a concrete case right here where important points can be sorted out. This ongoing « slippery sensation » could eventually been better understood with temperatures…if the temps remain down, it is the confirmation that ovulation is not yet done, if it rises we would have some other interesting discussions. But I hope I can understand you notations without temps in some more days when the situation has clarified. Thanks also for the references and your nice picture we will study soon in our Foundation. Best Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-19 22:15:55 Ah ha! The puzzle is solved! If Sympto « Billings mode » is based on the work of Mercedes Wilson, that explains why it is so different from the approach of the authentic Billings Ovulation Method. Wilson’s method is an adaptation of Billings, as it was in the 1970’s. I do not know to what extent these adaptations were studied, as some adaptations were a departure from the fundamental science of the BOM at that time. Billings research has continued since the 1970’s and the method has advanced since then. Consider this illustration: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v259/Cathoholic/researchtimeline_zps5507162a.jpg Sympto « Billings mode » then, may be a simplification of a simplification. To develop the « Billings mode » in keeping consistent with Wilson’s approach, you may wish to recruit the assistance of an experienced Family of the Americas teacher. http://www.familyplanning.net/
Réponse 2013-11-19 19:40:14 Hello, Sorry I remember now about the Basic Infertile Pattern of Discharge before ovulation (we also have in the breastfeeding/premenopause before ovulation mode but not in the symptothermal mode). We should discuss this issue separately. Yes I would like to invite an accredited BOM instructor for sure. I guess you are one of them, from Canada (?), and also participating in the nfpprofessionals@yahoogroups.com. Am I right? So I think we should take this issue seriously. According to me and what you said, from day 13 to 14 you could fulfill these criteria: 1. a developing, changing pattern of sensation at the vulva 2. a slippery sensation 3. an abrupt dry up. These are also the criteria I find in your Billings Manual by M.A. Wilson. The point is what you had yesterday and today. Do please complete the Remarks so that I can tell you how it transcribes into sympto language and then we get a step further in our very interesting discussion! Best Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-19 19:37:44 I think any reference to Billings should be removed – these are two very, very different ways of classifying cervical mucus. Or perhaps you might do well to invite an accredited BOM instructor to fine tune this mode, to ensure that there is no compromise of accuracy.
Question 2013-11-19 19:34:47 No, according to the Billings Method, a Peak is only identified when these criteria are met: 1. a developing, changing pattern of sensation at the vulva 2. a slippery sensation 3. an abrupt dry up I have not yet experienced a Peak as per Billings guidelines, so this notation in Sympto in inaccurate. The Basic Infertile Pattern of Discharge refers to pre-ovulatory infertility only. Each woman can have a different BIP, and so it can only be established on an individualized basis after a time of assessment. An unchanging observation for 14 days (long cycles) is an infertile pattern. An unchanging observation for 3 cycles in a row can also be a BIP, as long as the woman can recognize her Point of Change.
Réponse 2013-11-19 18:46:04 Hello I will do that, thanks a lot, in the meantime, temporarily, we say in the new manual (forthcoming) that what we call Billings mode is a simplified version of the Billings Ovulation Method (TM). It is definitely I think. But I adress Dr. J. Brown for that and change it if necessary. Did you try natural progesterone to improve your PCOS? I improved my translating your very accurate Remarks into the icon language: you can see now that you had a clear Peak Day on day 13 and, yesterday and today, there should be « seen noting » or the « cloudy mucus » (which should be sticky) but definitely not « wet sensation », I guess. But it is up to you to enter what you have seen and felt :). The pattern I described following the PD would then be the Basic infertile Pattern of Discharge which indicates clearly the infertile postovulatory phase, but I am not sure whether I understood this Billings subtlety correctly. Whenever there is again mucus today for example, which is not sticky, your PD will be annulated because it was not clearly identified (and you would not be in the infertile pattern). Let me try to understand your notation problem in the blue fertile phase on sympto: According to Billings, when fertility is manifest, the woman must be able to differentiate her sensations and seeing mix practically every day, otherwise there would be an Basic Infertile Pattern. On sympto, we have this infertile pattern notion in the breastfeeding and premenopause mode (which works without temperatures) but we do not have it in the symptothermal mode. Why not? Because we concentrate on PD identification; therefore the woman does not have to differentiate all the little changes during her fertile days, which, in the end just show variability of fertility. To say it differently, if the woman puts blue sticks on 5 consecutive days, it is still an indication of fertility even if it looks like an unchanging pattern. Am I right? Your clarifications will be very helpful for me and also for the ST-people who do less with the mucus signs and who definitely know less about it. Cordially Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-19 16:38:14 You can contact http://www.woombinternational.org/ for the necessary approvals. « Studies on Human Reproduction » by Dr. James Brown is also a good resource. What I mean is, the only way to accurately enter my observations is in the notes section. The Sympto descriptions do not match what I truly observe. If I continue to enter observations, will allow me to recognize a Basic Infertile Pattern of Discharge? (I have PCOS, I do not reach Peak regularly).
Réponse 2013-11-19 09:42:33 Hello You are perfectly free not to practice cervix exam checks! I don’t see the problem. Now you can combine the icons to your convenience and add precisions in the remarks if you think that the icon combination is not sufficient. Yes you are right, there is this notion of the infertile and fertile pattern on sympto exactly as on Billings. The name Billings cannot be trade marked. It must be Billings Method or BillingsMentor, or so. Where can we check with WOOMB whether the expression « Billings mode » is TM? Whom do we have to contact? What person? Instead of quarreling I suggest you to continue to enter your observations; once you are in the yellow non fertile phase, I am willing to discuss this matter further, in order to find out whether it is possible to mirror the Billings language by the sympto icons. I think it is possible but if you want to discuss it, you should go ahead with reading our material and entering your observations. This would be an interesting discussion and help a lot this women’s cause. Have a good day Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-18 21:56:01 Now that the chart is in Billings(TM) mode, it is telling me to check my cervix. Any sort of internal exam is ABSOLUTELY discouraged with Billings(TM). This is a major contradiction that can compromise the accuracy of the Billings record.
Question 2013-11-18 21:53:38 I did read through the manuals and the instructions are not consistent with the Billings Ovulation Method(TM). We have learned from an accredited instructor, certified by Woomb International, and the instructions in the manual were not the same as the training we received. Has Sympto been reviewed by and approved by WOOMB International, given permission to use the Billings trademark? – it speaks of internal sensation, Billings relies on external sensation. – it pre-determines which sensations and mucus characteristics are fertile and infertile. Billings does not pre-determine this. Each woman’s own unique patterns determine which observations are fertile or infertile for her. These can be unique to each woman. An unchanging observation (no matter what the characteristics) is an infertile pattern. A changing observation (no matter what the characteristics) is a fertile pattern. – it does not allow me to record my observations accurately, as my observations do not fit into the categories provided.
Réponse 2013-11-18 18:53:49 Hello and welcome on sympto! Yes that’s a good idea to call it differently! If you have a close look at our manuel (we are preparing a proper English edition of the Manual but the contents does not change), you will realize that sympto is perfectly consistent with Billings. We have just one special sign, special also for the symptothermal schools: the yellow cloud, fully explained in part 2. Just have a look at what I modified according to what you wrote into the remarks. I switched you on the Mucus only program so that the Peak day can be generated. Thanks for your feedback. Best regards Harri Wettstein PhD Secretary of SymptoTherm Foundation +41 21 802 44 18 1132 Lully (VD) – SWITZERLAND
Question 2013-11-18 17:46:42 I read that this program could be used without temperatures in order to follow the Billings Ovulation Method (TM). However, after entering my data I see that the mucus descriptions are not consistent with the Billings Method(TM), but are very very different. I think it is misleading to tell your readers that observing mucus in this way is a way to use the Billings(TM) method. It is very different. Perhaps you could call that approach « Sympto Mucus Only » or something?