Pursuing Health

FACTS about Fertility with Dr. Marguerite Duane PH155

August 4, 2020

“When women learn to chart these observable external signs or symptoms that help them understand what’s happening internally with their hormones, it is so empowering, and we really should be about empowering our patients with this information. I mean, that’s why we encourage our patients to track with they’re their eating, or patients with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar so that they can use that information to to make healthier choices to better improve their overall health and well-being.  Fertility awareness based methods are such an incredibly effective tool to educate and empower women, and honestly, engage men back in the conversation of family planning.”
- Dr. Marguerite Duane


Dr. Marguerite Duane is a board-certified family physician and co-founder and Executive Director of FACTS, the Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science.  She serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University, where she directs an introductory course on natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning.

She is a practicing direct primary care physician and she has served on the board of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC).

After receiving a Bachelor of Science with Honors and a Master of Health Administration from Cornell University, she earned her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed her family medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital.

During her residency, she was surprised to hear her senior resident explain to a postpartum patient that there is a way women can learn to manage their fertility without any medical side effects, such as those that occur from hormonal birth control.  She wondered how it was possible this topic hadn't been covered in her medical training.

This insight planted the seed that changed the trajectory of her career. Dr. Duane began to focus on learning more about these methods, for her own personal health as well as that of her patients.  She went on to complete training in the Creighton Model of natural family planning and has since made it her passion to educate other healthcare providers and patients.

After recently completing the FACTS course for medical students and residents myself, I was excited to have the opportunity to chat more with Dr. Duane about the basics of the female cycle, the efficacy of natural family planning, and the science behind fertility awareness based methods.

*Dr. Duane's bio adapted from the FACTS website.


In this episode we discuss:

  • How Dr. Duane became interested in fertility awareness based methods
  • How FACTS came to be
  • The need to educate doctors about FABMs
  • The benefits of being in tune with your cycle
  • The efficacy of this method and the best way to get started
  • The basics of the female cycle, and what women can observe throughout their cycle
  • How following your cycle can give insights to your health
  • How FABMs can help explain underlying reasons for infertility
  • Where to look for a practitioner and how to get started
  • Factors to consider when choosing the right method for yourself
  • Preferred apps and what to look for when selecting an app to use
  • The value of using FABMs to help with underlying medical conditions
  • Dr. Duane's experience with Teen STAR and the benefits of learning these methods from an early age
  • Three things that Dr. Duane does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Duane

You can follow the Fertility Awareness Collaborative to Teach the Science (FACTS) on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.


Related episodes:

Ep 83 - Pelvic Floor Health for Athletes with Julie Wiebe, PT

Ep 126b - Nicole Christensen on Coaching Pregnant Athletes

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.


Disclaimer: This podcast is for general information only, and does not provide medical advice. We recommend that you seek assistance from your personal physician for any health conditions or concerns.


This post was originally published on August 3, 2020.

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