Archive for the ‘Sympto-Thermal Method’ Category

Natural Family Planning: A very effective rule ignored!

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Recently the writer of a chart review article in CCL’s Family Foundations wrote as follows concerning the start of Phase 3, post-ovulation infertility.  “Don’t ever consider the start of Phase III before P+3.  Using the ST [Sympto-Thermal] Rule, there will never be a start of Phase III before P+3, so don’t even bother looking there.”  (Andy Alderson,  FF, Sept-Oct 2016, p 36).  If Mr. Alderson had said that this applied only to the current CCL version of Dr. Josef Roetzer’s version of the ST system, he would have been correct.  However, that is not the only contemporary ST system, and another system finds that the start of Phase 3 can start on the evening of P+2.

For years, the CCL taught that Phase 3 starts on the evening of Peak Day plus 2 days of drying up crosschecked by at least 3 days of full thermal shift—three temps consecutively at least 4/10ths of one degree F above the lower level of temps.  That rule is based on the excellent results reported by Dr. G. K. Doering who reported a 99% level of effectiveness with a three-day temperature-only rule.  Note that Dr. Doering’s study was based only on the temperature sign without any crosscheck from the mucus sign.  When Dr. Konald Prem, longtime chief medical advisor to CCL, was asked whether CCL should teach that rule, he wanted to teach it only in a Sympto-Thermal version, so he insisted that the three days of full thermal shift had to be crosschecked by at least two days of drying up past Peak Day.  This was to guard against a “false” temperature rise caused by a cold or fever or something else not related to post-ovulation progesterone.   Our combined thinking was that if the couples in Dr. Doering’s study could achieve an effectiveness rate of 99.2% without any crosscheck from the mucus sign, our couples should be able to do just as well or even better with a crosscheck from the mucus sign.

It is also of interest that the pregnancies that counted against the Doering system’s effectiveness were all “imperfect use” pregnancies; that is, the couples did not follow the rules of the system being tested.  In fact, Dr. Doering wrote: “On the 3rd day of the hyper-thermal phase a conception has never been observed [and recorded in the literature], so that later the strict form of the temperature method was formulated in such a way that not until the 3rd day of the hyper-thermal phase could infertility be counted on.”  In our website text, we added [and recorded in the literature] because we are skeptical of 100% claims regarding natural phenomena.

To the best of our knowledge, NFP International is the only American-based organization to teach this highly effective approach.  The CCL organizations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia also continue to teach this approach.

When we first saw this change in 2007, we objected, but we were told that a couple can always wait one more day.  That’s true in one sense, but not in another.  That is, on the next day, one of the spouses may be out of town for a day or a week or even for months in the case of a military deployment.

The philosophy that we and Dr. Prem brought to the CCL was to give couples sufficient information so that they could make a well informed decision.  We pray that CCL will return to that philosophy of education.

Thanks for reading.  Please come back again next week.

John and Sheila, November 12, 2016


Natural Family Planning International: The one to support

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Do you know
that breastfeeding is the only variable that offers lifelong protection against breast cancer?

―that if every mother worldwide did predominant breastfeeding 823,000 lives of children under 5 would be saved each year?

―that the frequent nursing of “ecological breastfeeding” offers the best hope of a long-term milk supply?

Do you know

that NFP International teaches ecological breastfeeding as a form of natural family planning?

that ecological breastfeeding provides, on the average, 14 to 15 months of natural infertility?

And what is ecological breastfeeding?   Eco-breastfeeding is that form of nursing in which

1) the mother fulfills her baby’s needs for frequent suckling and her full-time presence and

2) in which the child’s frequent suckling postpones the return of the mother’s fertility.

Do you know that NFP International is the only American NFP organization that teaches all of the following?

  1. Ecological breastfeeding and the Seven Standards as a form of natural family planning.
  2. The covenant theology of human sexuality as an easy way to grasp the teaching of Humanae Vitae.
  3. Systematic NFP with different answers for different situations.
  4. The need for a sufficiently serious reason to use systematic NFP to postpone pregnancy.
  5. The immorality of using masturbation and sodomy during the fertile time as a form of “NFP.”

Do you know that NFP International needs your help to grow as a corporal and spiritual work of mercy?

We believe that developing a culture of life requires a widespread rejection of marital contraception and conversion to God’s plan for life, love and family.  That entails generosity in having children, acceptance of ecological breastfeeding, when possible, for spacing babies, and using chaste systematic NFP when more spacing is needed.

If you share this conviction, please help the NFPI apostolate.  Please make your check to NFPI and send to:
NFP International, P. O. Box 861; Steubenville OH 43952
Or donate online at the website.

Thank you for reading this.  Please pray for us and for the NFP International apostolate.  Please donate; your gift will make a difference.  NFPI is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization.  Gifts are tax-deductible.

–John and Sheila Kippley
PS. Please visit our website. We are working to make it the “go-to” site for 1) practical help with NFP including a downloadable manual for a small donation and free charts, 2) theological support for Humanae Vitae and 3) breastfeeding research.

Natural Family Planning and Dr. Konald Prem

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

The Sympto-Thermal Method

Konald A. Prem M.D. and the STM. We met Dr. Konald A. Prem through his interest in ecological breastfeeding. He and Sheila were scheduled to be on the “breastfeeding and spacing” panel at the La Leche League convention in 1971. Because a job change brought us to the Twin Cities, we were able to meet with Dr. Prem before the convention so they could decide who would cover what material. When that was done, we asked him if he would be interested in helping us get an NFP organization started, and he was very enthusiastic about the idea. He was already teaching individual couples and giving talks in one parish after another, and he realized that something more was needed. He was well respected nationally, served a term as the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Minnesota, and was selected as the advisor to the STM side of the 1976-1978 comparative study in Los Angeles. When I asked him about teaching the temperature-only system of G. K. Doering, he insisted that we cross-check the three days of full-thermal shift with at least two days of drying-up of the cervical mucus—what we label as Rule K— with the K standing for Konald.   The 1967 Doering study is at our website ( . This may be the only English translation; we didn’t find one available so we hired a translator.)

Dr. Konald Prem taught us the sympto-thermal method during our first year of natural family planning classes at St. Odilia’s Parish in St. Paul MN. He came to every class each month that first year.

John F. Kippley