“The Case for FEMM”
The FEMM white paper, “The Case for FEMM” details what FEMM provides, and why it is needed, by:
- presenting an overview of the ovulatory cycle and the role of hormones in the cycle.
- exploring the importance of monitoring hormonal biomarkers, and observing ovulation and menstruation in particular. Ovulation is a key sign of healthy hormone function, as several hormones must reach sufficient levels before ovulation can occur. Women learn to recognize patterns of health or any abnormalities. Identifying ovulation also enables women to manage their fertility; FEMM Family Planning provides instruction for achieving and avoiding pregnancy.
- comparing FEMM Family Planning to alternate methods of contraception and their mechanisms of action, effectiveness rates, and side effects, concluding that FEMM is just as effective but more attractive because it does not risk unpleasant side effects and also empowers women to monitor their health. An investigation of high contraceptive discontinuation rates proposes that women want a method that is both effective and free of side effects, two conditions that FEMM satisfies.
- reviewing international law and policy on informed choice, which requires that women have the necessary information to make their own health decisions. The paper also evaluates the many ways in which women are not informed: inability to identify when they are fertile, fertility illiteracy, lack of knowledge about and feelings of shame toward menstruation, and lack of comprehensive information about family planning methods. An analysis shows that FEMM can address these shortcomings while meeting international law standards on informed choice.
- discussing the concept of “unmet need for contraception,” a political and advocacy construct that identifies 222 million women around the world as “in need of contraception”, but ignores that many of these women do not need or want contraception. The paper concludes that FEMM is able to meet the needs of these 222 million women labeled by the construct, and all other women as well.