Fehring, Richard J.
39 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Richard J. Fehring, PhD, RN - is a Professor and Director of the Marquette University College of Nursing Institute for Natural Family Planning. He received his master and doctorate in nursing from Catholic University of America and baccalaureate degrees in biology and nursing from Marquette University. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters and has published in such journals as Fertility and Sterility, Contraception, Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, and the Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Neonatal Nursing. Professor Fehring is the writer and editor of Current Medical Research (CMR) in natural family planning a publication of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and a Contributing Editor of The Linacre Quarterly, the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association. He is a member of the Advisory Board to the Program for Natural Family Planning (of the USCCB), a board member of University Faculty for Life, and a member of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Healthcare and Bioethics Commission.

Contact: richard.fehring@marquette.edu

Articles

Natural Family Planning and Catholic Hospitals: A National Survey

A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Natural Family Planning (AANFP) found that over 55% of Catholic hospitals surveyed either provide or would like to provide some form of Natural Family Planning (NFP) services. In addition, over 60% of the respondents felt that NFP should be part of the mission of a Catholic hospital.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

Couples' Views of the Effects of Natural Family Planning on Marital Dynamics

Couples in this study reported both positive and negative aspects of NFP. Providers of family planning services need to become fully informed about NFP to adequately present all the options to their clients. The benefits of couples' knowledge, communication, and enhanced relationships, without exogenous hormones and technologic devices, might lead to wider use. As one respondent noted, "Natural family planning is the best-kept secret right now. The only negative is that it needs more publicity and for society to see its credibility."

Date posted: 2013-03-23

"Spiritual Well-Being, Self-Esteem and Intimacy Among Couples Using Natural Family Planning"

Making decisions about achieving and avoiding pregnancy and the methods used to attain those ends are some of the most central decisions during a couple's reproductive life. Health professionals (especially professional nurses) are often consulted to aid couples in their reproductive decisions and provide couples with choices of reproductive control. Information provided on family planning choices, however, is often limited and usually involves issues of effectiveness to avoid pregnancy, convenience, health risks, and life-style preferences.l,2 Little information is provided on how family planning methods compare on psychological, spiritual, and social well-being variables. One method of family planning that needs further study on these variables is Natural Family Planning (NFP). The purpose of this study was to describe how NFP influenced the intimacy, self-esteem, and the spiritual well-being of couples who used NFP to avoid pregnancy for at least a one year period. A secondary purpose was to describe and compare the intimacy, self-esteem and spiritual well-being of couples who stopped using NFP and who have used contraception for at least a year.

Date posted: 2012-09-25

Anthropological Differences between Contraception and Natural Family Planning

In today's society, fertility is viewed as a curse. It is suppressed, tricked and shunned. Menstruation and fertility are inconveniences to the modern day woman. Sadly enough, I too possessed these attitudes. I thought that my menstrual cycle was completely chaotic and irregular. I had no idea that my body was working in its own rhythm. Thankfully, through this project, I began to understand and appreciate being a woman. I realize that I possessed a Godgiven gift and that I need to respect it. Fertility became comprehensible and predictable. It was exciting and amazing to actually see the body's fertility cycle. I felt as if I had a new power, a greater worth. Through this project I became more conscientious as to my overall health, too. I began eating better and working out. I felt as though I had gained a greater control and a better participation level in my bodily processes.... I think that it is important to keep in mind that our bodies are our vessels and the more in-tune we are with them, the smoother the sailing.

Date posted: 2012-04-30

The Influence of Religiosity on Contraceptive Use and Abortion in the United States

The CDC has conducted the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) every three to seven years between 1973 and 2002 to describe contraceptive use among women in the U.S. The data from these surveys are available to researchers to examine trends in contraceptive use and sexual behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine data from the 2002 NSFG in order to determine the influence of religiosity on abortion and abortifacient contraceptive use, i.e., the use of the oral contraceptive pill (OC), the injected hormone Depoprovera (IC), the IUD, and hormonal emergency contraception (EC), among American women between the ages of 15-44. ... We concluded that religiosity has a suppressing effect on abortion and abortifacient contraceptive use.

Date posted: 2011-04-19

The Influence of Religiosity, Gender, and Language Preference Acculturation on Sexual Activity Among Latino/a Adolescents

The purpose of this study was to determine the main and interactive effects of religiosity, gender, and language preference acculturation on sexual activity among 570 Latino/a adolescents from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth.

Date posted: 2011-02-18

Methods Used to Self-Predict Ovulation A Comparative Study

Time of ovulation as detected by a self-test of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine was compared with time of ovulation as detected by self-observation of cervical mucus. Twenty regularly cycling women monitored their cervical mucus and urine LH for two complete menstrual cycles. Of the cycles that had an LH surge, 100% were on the peak day of cervical mucus or within three days before the peak day. Self-observation of cervical mucus, therefore, can be an accurate method of determining optimal fertility.

Date posted: 2010-11-27

Physician and Nurses' Knowledge and Use of Natural Family Planning

Perinatal health professionals are in key positions to either promote or dissuade the use of Natural Family Planning (NFP). The purpose of this article is to describe a survey conducted with perinatal physicians and nurses on their knowledge and professional use of NFP.

Date posted: 2010-11-15

Protocol for determining fertility while breastfeeding and not in cycles

Use of current methods of NFP (during breastfeeding) results in overestimating the actual days of fertility, prolonged and confusing mucus patterns, long periods of abstinence, and an increased pregnancy rate (1-4). Finding more accurate and simple ways of determining fertility while breastfeeding would be a help to couples wishing to use natural methods. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate a simple protocol for breastfeeding women who are not cycling and who wish to use a natural method for avoiding pregnancy. The protocol involves the use of an electronic hormonal fertility monitor. The protocol was evaluated by comparing the number of days of required abstinence using the fertility monitor with the self-observation of cervical mucus by breastfeeding women.

Date posted: 2010-10-26

Efficacy of the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning

To determine the effectiveness of the Marquette Method (MM) of natural family planning (NFP) as a method of avoiding pregnancy. Clinical Implications: When used correctly, the MM system of NFP is an effective means of avoiding pregnancy. The efficacy of the MM system includes proper preparation of the professional nurse NFP teachers.

Date posted: 2010-10-25

Efficacy of Cervical Mucus Observations Plus Electronic Hormonal Fertility Monitoring as a Method of Natural Family Planning

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of an electronic hormonal fertility monitor plus cervical mucus monitoring to avoid pregnancy. ... Results: There were a total of 26 unintended pregnancies, 3 with correct use. With 1,795 months of use, the correct-use pregnancy rate was 2.1% per 12 months of use (i.e., 97.9% effective in avoiding pregnancy when rules of the method were always followed) and the imperfect-use pregnancy rate was 14.2% per 12 months of use (i.e., 85.8% effective in avoiding pregnancy when rules of the method were not always followed and all unintended pregnancies and months of use were included in the calculations). ... Conclusions: Correct use of an electronic hormonal fertility monitor with cervical mucus observations can be as effective as other fertility awareness - based methods of natural family planning. Comparative studies are needed to confirm this conclusion.

Date posted: 2010-10-24

The Influence of Religiosity on Contraceptive Use among Roman Catholic Women in the United States

Abstract: This study uses data from National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to determine the effect of religious belief among Roman Catholics on contraceptive use and to make recommendations for catechesis and education.

Date posted: 2010-10-13

The Association of Religiosity, Sexual Education, and Parental Factors with Risky Sexual Behaviors Among Adolescents and Young Adults

This study examined the association of religiosity, sexual education and family structure with risky sexual behaviors among adolescents and young adults. The nationally representative sample included 3,168 women and men ages 15-21 years. Those who viewed religion as very important, had frequent church attendance, and held religious sexual attitudes were 27-54% less likely to have had sex and had significantly fewer sex partners than peers. Participants whose formal and parental sexual education included abstinence and those from two-parent families were 15% less likely to have had sex and had fewer partners.

Date posted: 2010-10-05

Effects of Biofeedback-Aided Relaxation on the Psychological Stress Symptoms of College Students

Stress and the management of stress are very much an integral part of health and well-being today. In recent years, many papers, books, and journals have been written on the subject and multiple approaches have been advocated to manage it. This recent interest in stress stems not only from the apparent pace and change of a modern life-style but also from various studies supporting the age-old theory that life's stresses can lead to many health problems.

Date posted: 2010-10-03

The Influence of Religiosity on Contraceptive Use and Abortion in the United States

The purpose of this study was to examine data from the 2002 NSFG in order to determine the influence of religiosity on abortion and abortifacient contraceptive use, i.e., the use of the oral contraceptive pill (OC), the injected hormone Depoprovera (IC), the IUD, and hormonal emergency contraception (EC), among American women between the ages of 15-44.... We found (based on statistical odds ratios) that those women who viewed religion as very important attended church frequently (i.e., at least once a week) and held traditional attitudes on religion were less likely to have had an abortion in the past twelve months and less likely to use OCs, ICs, and ECs. There was no difference in the likelihood of ever having used IUDs. We concluded that religiosity has a suppressing effect on abortion and abortifacient contraceptive use.

Date posted: 2010-09-12

Couples' Views of the Effects of Natural Family Planning on Marital Dynamics

Couples in this study reported both positive and negative aspects of NFP. Providers of family planning services need to become fully informed about NFP to adequately present all the options to their clients. The benefits of couples' knowledge, communication, and enhanced relationships, without exogenous hormones and technologic devices, might lead to wider use. As one respondent noted,"Natural family planning is the best-kept secret right now. The only negative is that it needs more publicity and for society to see its credibility."

Date posted: 2010-07-27

Basal Body Temperature Assessment: Is It Useful to Couples Seeking Pregnancy?

Advanced practice nurses (APNs) have an important role in the initial evaluation of both fertility and infertility and are frequently asked to discuss fertility issues with couples who desire a pregnancy. It is essential, therefore, that APNs understand the most current data regarding ovulation, optimal timing of intercourse in relation to ovulation, and time frames in which couples can expect to conceive. For many decades, basal body temperature (BBT) charting has been one of the methods discussed with couples to help them establish the presence of ovulatory cycles and to help them time intercourse. In view of the fact that now there are more accurate and prospective biologic markers available to predict and detect ovulation, it is relevant to ask whether BBT charting should be recommended. The purpose of this article, then, is to review the research basis for BBT to help APNs give the most current advice to couples seeking pregnancy.

Date posted: 2010-07-05

Accuracy of the peak day of cervical mucus as a biological marker of fertility

The (PD) peak day of cervical mucus is an important biologic marker for the self-determination of the optimal time of fertility in a woman's menstrual cycle. The purpose of this article is to provide evidence (literature and empiric) for the accuracy of the PD of cervical mucus as a biologic marker of peak fertility and the estimated day of ovulation.

Date posted: 2010-06-11

A Comparison of the Ovulation Method With the CUE Ovulation Predictor in Determining the Fertile Period

The purpose of this study was to compare the CUE Ovulation Predictor with the ovulation method in determining the fertile period.

Date posted: 2010-06-10

Accuracy of the Ovulon Fertility Monitor to Predict and Detect Ovulation

A recently developed device to aid in the prediction and detection of ovulation is the Ovulon fertility monitor. The Ovulon prototype consists of a hand-held digital monitor and a vaginal sensor that is inserted like a tampon, for about 30 seconds, on a daily basis.

Date posted: 2010-06-01

A comparison of the fertile phase as determined by the Clearplan Easy Fertility Monitortm and self-assessment of cervical mucus

The implications for health professionals are that both the CPEFM and the tracking of cervical mucus could be recommended for those women/couples trying to achieve pregnancy. However, the use of cervical mucus will necessitate training and guidance. The use of the monitor for avoiding pregnancy with other markers of fertility has promise. However, the monitor is not recommended for use in avoiding pregnancy at this time. Protocols for such use are currently in review and research.

Date posted: 2010-05-30

Contraceptive Sponge is Back on the Market But Contains Nonoxynol-9

According to an article in The Alan Guttmacher Institute's journal, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, the Today contraceptive sponge is back on the market.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Condom Use Errors Common Among College Men

I find it fascinating that correct condom use entails more than 24 behaviors. I also find it fascinating that the use of abstinence is not a viable option among unmarried male college students.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Use of Oral Contraceptives Linked to Breast Cancer in Finnish Study

Studies on the link between the use of oral contraceptives (OC) and breast cancer continue to give a mixed picture, i.e., some studies show a correlation and some studies do not.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Vitamin C Found to Increase Progesterone Levels and Correct Luteal Phase Defect

Up to 10% of women with primary or secondary infertility and up to 35% of women with repeated or habitual (miscarriages) have a luteal phase defect.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Isoflavones Lengthen Menstrual Cycle and May Help Prevent Breast Cancer

One of the known risks of women developing breast cancer is the frequency of menstrual cycles over a lifetime and the proliferation of breast tissue during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Waves of Follicular Development Found in Human Menstrual Cycles

Based on the observation of ovarian follicular development during the luteal phase among women undergoing high-resolution transvaginal ultrasound, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada speculated that there might also be waves of follicular development in women as in animal models.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Early Start of Follicular Growth and Limited Oocyte Pool Helps Explain Age Related Fertility

Researchers from the Netherlands recently conducted a study to help explain age-related loss of fertility by comparing menstrual cycle parameters from a group of healthy "relatively" young women with cycle parameters from a group of older women.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Menstrual Cycle Disturbances Observed for up to nine months following discontinuation of oral contraceptive

Very few studies have been published on the effects of oral contraception on menstrual cycle parameters. Researchers from the University of Dusseldorf have been collecting charts of Sympto-Thermal users for over 15 years.

Date posted: 2004-06-18

Quality of Fertility Monitors Assessed by German Researchers

Over the past ten to fifteen years a number of fertility monitors have been developed to help women users determine the fertile phase of their menstrual cycles.

Date posted: 2004-06-15

Determining the Fertile Phase: A Comnparison of the Clearplan Easy Fertility Monitor(TM) With Self-Assessment of Cervical Mucus

The accurate determination of the 6 days of fertility during the menstrual cycle (i.e., the fertile phase) and the peak of fertility is critical for women and couples who wish to use natural biological markers to achieve or avoid pregnancy.

Date posted: 2004-06-15

Ovarian Monitor Results Found to be Comparable to Laboratory Standards

The Home Ovarian Monitor has been in development for over 10 years primarily under the influence of James Brown from Australia.

Date posted: 2004-06-15

Users of Periodic Abstinence in Developing Countries Have Fewer Abortions Than Contraceptive Users

According to studies conducted through the auspices of the United Nations, at the turn of the (21st) century approximately 27 million (2.6%) couples of reproductive age world-wide were using some form of periodic abstinence (PA) as a means of child spacing.

Date posted: 2004-06-12

Close to 90% of Fertile Couples Achieve Pregnancy within 6 Months Using STM and Fertility Focused Intercourse

There are relatively few published prospective studies that estimate cumulative pregnancy rates among couples trying to achieve pregnancy with the use of natural markers of fertility.

Date posted: 2004-06-12

Simple Natural Family Planning Methods for Breastfeeding Women

Breastfeeding not only affects the regularity of cycles (both the length and phases of the cycle) but also the common natural indicators of fertility such as cervical mucus and basal body temperature patterns.

Date posted: 2004-06-12

Turkish Women Able to Use Billings Ovulation Method to Determine Patterns of Fertility

Turkish researchers from Istanbul Medical School at Istanbul, Turkey recently conducted a small study to determine the accurate usage of cervical mucus to estimate the time of ovulation.

Date posted: 2004-06-12

Study Suggests That Peak Mucus Day Has Highest Probability for Conception

Researchers at the University of Utah and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recently conducted a study to determine the day-specific probabilities of pregnancy in relation to the timing of intercourse and the quality of self-observed vulvar mucus among a group of normal and sub-fertile couples.

Date posted: 2004-06-12

Religiosity and Desire for Tuture Pregnancy Stimulates Choice for NFP

Past studies have shown that when women (in the United States and Germany) are presented with information on NFP in a positive light, about 20%- 40% will indicate that they have interest in using NFP for family planning purposes.

Date posted: 2004-06-12

Majority of Couples Experience Improved Relationships With Use of NFP

Researchers from Marquette University College of Nursing recently replicated the Crowley study among couples who have or were using a modern method of NFP. The open-ended question asked of husbands and wives was whether the use of NFP had been helpful or harmful to their marriages.

Date posted: 2004-06-12