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That’s how Dr. Summer Holmes Mason felt a few years into her practice.
OBGYN - Women - Health - Offering - Patients
As a board-certified OBGYN, she was dedicated to helping women manage their health. And often, that involved offering her patients contraception, like the Pill.
“Prescribing contraception was bread and butter gynecology for me,” she says. “It was probably one of the largest tools I had in my arsenal as an OBGYN to treat medical issues.”
Medication - Dr - Holmes - Mason - Trend
The medication was meant to help. But soon, Dr. Holmes Mason noticed a trend.
“After a couple of years, I realized people were coming back to me with more side effects than I thought was acceptable,” she says. One patient suffered a blood clot, a potentially deadly risk of hormonal contraception. Others struggled to find a form of the medication they could tolerate. “I’ve seen people cycle through birth control. They’d be on, sometimes, five or six or seven different kinds of birth-control pills . . . and they couldn’t find one that worked well for them.”
Dr - Holmes - Mason - Choices - Patients
Faced with this quandary, Dr. Holmes Mason knew there must be more choices she could offer her patients. “There has to be something else available,” she remembers thinking, “otherwise I can’t do my job effectively.” And she was determined to find that alternative.
It wouldn’t be easy.
Graduate - Albert - Einstein - College - Medicine
“I had to educate myself,” she confirms. A graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, she did her residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Her training gave her very brief exposure to natural forms of avoiding pregnancy. “But typically fertility awareness-based methods [FABMs] are presented like ‘the rhythm method,’” she says.
The rhythm method, also called the calendar method, is a rudimentary form of natural family planning that was used by women beginning in the 1930s. Today’s modern, evidence-based Fertility Awareness-Based Methods are light years away from the...
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