Jess also works part-time as a GP in Thetford. As a Catholic doctor, she has had a growing interest in Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) through her medical training. This has brought into focus for her the contraceptive culture in the UK and the alternative of the Church’s teaching on Fertility Awareness, also known as Natural Family Planning (NFP).
“Sex is sacred, and fertility is a gift from God,” said Jess. She sees this as “a very different perspective from the wider societal view of sex as a leisure activity and fertility as something to be suppressed”.
“Learning the science of FAM was amazing,” she said. “FAM is highly effective, both for avoiding pregnancy and for achieving pregnancy. Sadly, it doesn’t get the same promotional or research funding from drug companies as contraceptives and assisted reproductive technologies. Few people have heard of FAMs and there is a lot of misinformation out there. I hope that many more will have the opportunity to learn about them and use this knowledge to benefit their physical and spiritual health.”
Fertility Awareness Methods involve observing signs of hormonal changes in a woman’s body that indicate whether she is at a fertile time or an infertile time of her cycle. Jess is currently training to teach the Marquette Model of NFP, which includes the optional use of the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor. However, she has trained to discuss all FAM methods with those wanting to find out more.
She has also trained in how to educate children in years 6-7 in age-appropriate, interactive ways about their fertility. “I still remember these fun analogies and activities when thinking of the science side of FAM,” she said, “oestrogen friends and progesterone party planners preparing for a special guest (baby). Celebrating that we are double champions from the moment of our conception.”
With teenagers, she would want to see the topic of fertility discussed in a wider context, exploring the physiological, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of love and relationships.
Jess has lived in this Diocese for less than a year, over half of which has been during the Coronavirus pandemic. So her ability to get out there and network is a bit impaired. She would love to hear from anyone in the Diocese who has a passion for Fertility Awareness and would like to contribute to this work – be that through an interest in teaching FAM (particularly in the Norwich area), being a link to their Parish or lay community, through an interest in education, or hosting an event with FAM input.
She would also love to hear from anyone considering using FAM themselves and would be able to direct people to some excellent teachers in this Diocese. Please have a look at the website:
Pictured above is Dr Jess Beckett