Question 86



This Method has developed from the ground breaking research into natural fertility regulation, first conducted by Dr John Billings and Fr Maurice Catarinich in 1953.  They were later joined by Dr Evelyn Billings. 

The Billings Ovulation Method teaches women to identify the sensations at the vulva.  The scientific work of Professor Odeblad and Professor Brown prove this sensation is a   highly reliable indicator of the fertility or infertility of the woman on a day by day basis. 

Because the woman is taught to recognise infertility as well as fertility the Billings Ovulation Method applies to all phases of a woman’s reproductive life, including those times when ovulation is delayed such as: breastfeeding, pre-menopause, after ceasing chemical contraception, during times of stress and menarche.  

The Billings Ovulation Method is highly effective in assisting the sub-fertile couple to achieve a pregnancy.  In a recent trial conducted in Australia to assess the effectiveness of the Billings Ovulation Method in achieving a pregnancy there was  a success rate of 72.5%.  Many of the couples in the study were classified as sub-fertile. 

An understanding of the signs of fertility and infertility alerts the woman to any changes which may be indicative of pathology which may require medical help. 

The Billings Ovulation Method has undergone extensive scientific research and effectiveness trials  (see attached) and is now taught in most countries of the world.

The Billings Ovulation Method is taught throughout the world to people of all cultural and economic backgrounds many of whom are illiterate.  Illiteracy has never been a drawback of the Billings Ovulation Method.  Women using the Billings Ovulation Method need only coloured stamps or symbols to keep a record.  Symbols only require paper and a pen.  For those people unable to use these tools, there are many examples of charts using local symbols e.g. vine, twigs and flowers; hearth ash. 

Billings Ovulation Method is now accepted by the Chinese Family Planning Commission as a method of fertility control and has become one of the most favoured methods in China.  Up to May 2005

       39,319 Billings Ovulation Method teachers have been trained

       3,847,600 fertile couples use the BOM for avoiding pregnancy

        99% success rate.

In addition:

      16,650 of the 49,330 infertile couples achieed a pregnancy.

In certain localities where the BOM has been widely used, not only the birth rate but also the artificial abortion rate is significantly decreased. 


Billings Ovulation Method:

  • Based on sound scientific research

  • Applies to all phases of a woman’s reproductive life

  • Effective in helping the sub-fertile couple to achieve a pregnancy

  • Protects woman’s reproductive health

  • Simple to teach and use

  • Simple recording system

  • Can be taught to all people of cultural, economic or education status

  • Result of many Efficacy Trials resulting in a better than 99% success rate

Some Trials of the Billings Ovulation Method

Indian Council of Medical Research Task Force on NFP (1995)

States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Pondicherry. 

Published:  Contraception 1996, Vol. 53 pp. 69-74.  

            2,059 women,    32,957 women months of use.

            0.86 Method related pregnancies per hundred women years in initiates. 

Jiangsu Family Health Institute, China (1997)

Dr. QIAN Shao Zhen 

Published:  Chinese Medical Journal 1998. 

            1235 women,    14,280 women months of use.

            No method related pregnancies in initiates.

      (5 user related pregnancies) 

Evidence-based method-related Pearl Index for BOM

is 0-2.2 p/hwy in initiates. 

Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB