MD and Chef Team - The Show!

Dr. Emily Kirkwald / Natural Family Planning

May 08, 2021 Dr. Isabel MD & Culinary Nutrition Expert Chef Michael Season 2 Episode 13
MD and Chef Team - The Show!
Dr. Emily Kirkwald / Natural Family Planning
Show Notes Transcript

๐Ÿ”ธย  ๐’๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐œ๐ค ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ (๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ข๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ).

๐Ÿ”ทย  Dr. Emily, is the pharmacist who works for YOU.ย  She empowers women to care for and love the bodies God gave them,ย  honor your bodyโ€™s natural functioning,ย  get to the root cause of your symptoms, and rid yourself of any unneeded medications.

๐Ÿ”ธ ๐‘ซ๐’“. ๐‘ฌ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’†๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’˜๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’„๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’๐’…๐’Š๐’†๐’” God gave them through natural family planning instruction and comprehensive medication reviews. She has a Doctorate of Pharmacy, and she is certified in the Standard Days Method and the Marquette Model of natural family planning. In addition, she is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and has a certificate in medication therapy management. Dr. Emily is the founder and CEO of NFP Pharmacist, where she sees patients and speaks on natural family planning and natural
approaches to health.ย 

๐Ÿ”ทย  ๐™Ž๐™๐™š ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™– ๐™ฅ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™ข๐™–๐™˜๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ, ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™–๐™ก ๐™›๐™–๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™š๐™™๐™ช๐™˜๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ง, ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ง, ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™›๐™š, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ข. She loves running half-marathons, drinking coffee with almond milk and coconut oil, and having dance parties with her kids.

โžฅ Download & Listen for the Rest of the Story!

๐Ÿ‘‰ย  ย 
For those of you who want to continue following Dr. Emily, you can find her at โ€”
this is her handle in Instagram, itโ€™sย 
nfppharmacist ย  ๐Ÿ‘ˆ
and her website isย  nfppharmicist.comย  ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

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0 (1s):
Coming up on this episode of the MD and chef team show.

1 (8s):
Yeah. So it really was when I had my second child. So, you know, my husband and I, I had been on birth control when we wanted to have my son, you know, we went off it, I got pregnant right away. I went back on it didn't have any issues. And so when we decided that we wanted to have a second child, I went off, it thought it was going to be the same thing. And it wasn't. And we tried and tried and I reached out to my doctor and she was like, Oh, just keep trying, you know, see me in a year if it's not happening. Okay. Try and try. And thankfully we did get pregnant on our own, but it wasn't until I saw my doctor again, after I was pregnant, that she said to me, you know, it could be that the birth control contributed to the delay in fertility.

0 (1m 3s):
Welcome to the show from DMDs chef team. I'm Dr. Isabel medical doctor here at the MD and chef team. And who are you? I'm chef Michael Coleman nutrition expert. I'm the chef part of the team. And what are we going to talk about bed? Now? I can see that because he's my husband. We'll be talking about marriage relationships, parenting intimacy. Talk about mine, chest of success, overcoming depression, anxiety. I'll be getting into functional nutrition, recipes and tips from the kitchen. And we're going to both get into how to live a long, healthy, vibrant life. Yes. I love it. Our mission is to help you prevent and reverse the disease and give you hope in the process.

0 (1m 47s):
Oh yeah, we might get on the show. I'm Dr. Isabel and I am the host today. We are interviewing Emily Kirkwall. Who's a pharmacist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hello, Emily.

1 (2m 12s):
Hi. Thank you so much for having me.

0 (2m 15s):
Thank you for coming. It looks like we like the same background colors. Yes, it's good. Not to be boring. Right?

1 (2m 23s):
Definitely bringing in. It's fun.

0 (2m 25s):
Yeah, I exactly. I feel the same way. Hey, let me introduce everybody before we start going off. Okay. So many women feel stuck taking medication, including birth control and Dr. Emily, the pharmacist and natural family planning educator works for you. She empowers women to care for and love the bodies. God gave them through natural family planning, instruction and comprehensive medication reviews. She has a doctorate of, and she is certified in the standard days method and the Marquette model of natural family planning.

0 (3m 7s):
In addition, she is board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and has a certificate in medication therapy management. Dr. Emily is the founder and CEO of N F P pharmacists, where she sees patients and speaks on natural family planning and natural approaches to help. Emily is married to her husband, Ben, and they live in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota with their two children, Henry and Amelia. She loves to run, drink coffee and dance, and have dance parties with our kids. Yay.

1 (3m 45s):
Gotta have some fun again.

0 (3m 47s):
Oh man. If only we would have more fun. We could stay like kids, right? Yeah. Be healthier. Definitely. How, how old are your kids?

1 (3m 58s):
They are five and three. So they helped me have fun.

0 (4m 4s):
Yes, absolutely. And they're almost, we did that too. Ours are two years apart. Well, 22 months apart. And it was like, it's essentially raising twins.

1 (4m 12s):
Yeah. A little bit. Yeah. But it's a really fun five and three. They, they can actually go and play by themselves now, which is it's awesome.

0 (4m 22s):
It is awesome. It is awesome. All right. Well, Emily, I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions and that is, tell us what is natural family planning, because all we know is, you know, if it doesn't work, then you go to the doctor and you get hormones and you pay a lot of money. Right? Right. So tell us, share with us. What is family medicine, family practice, family planning, family practice clinic.

1 (4m 48s):
Yeah. Natural family planning. And in itself, natural family planning is a little bit of a confusing term because I'll, I'll give you a definition here, but I just want to frame it in that natural family planning is not only a for family planning. It can be used for family planning, but it's also a tool for women to use for their health. So what I like to say, natural family planning is it's finding your window and using your info. So it's paying attention to your body's natural signs, the fertility to find your fertile window with those specific days, each cycle that you can get pregnant because there only are a specific days each cycle that women can get pregnant.

1 (5m 37s):
And then using that information, whether you're using it to monitor your health, avoid pregnancy effectively and naturally, or to optimize cha timing for achieving pregnancy

0 (5m 50s):
And tell us how many days can you get pregnant out of the month? How many, how many days, Nick, Leah, you

1 (5m 58s):
Can only get pregnant six days each cycle. And that's because once an egg is released, it can only stick around. It's only viable for up to 24 hours and then sperm can actually live in good quality cervical environment. When you have a lot of good quality, cervical mucus in your endometrial lining is built up and sperm can actually live for up to five days. So that's why we say it. It's technically a six day window. It's those 24 hours of the egg and the five days before that.

0 (6m 37s):
Yeah. So how do, what do, what do you recommend? How do you recommend the natural family planning?

1 (6m 46s):
Right. So your body gives you multiple different natural signs of fertility. So it's figuring out what makes sense to you for keeping track of your natural fertility signs. So

0 (7m 3s):

1 (7m 5s):
So one of the major signs that I mentioned is cervical mucus. So your body makes this natural fluid called cervical fluid or cervical mucus as your estrogen level is rising during your cycle. And by paying attention, all you need to do is every time you go to the bathroom, you just pay attention. When you're wiping, before you toss the toilet tissue, you just pay attention. Is there any fluid here? And then what is its consistency? Is it kind of stretchy? It doesn't feel slippery. And as you continue to pay attention to that each day of your cycle, you'll notice a change. And you'll notice that near the time of ovulation, your cervical mucus will become more clear in color.

1 (7m 50s):
It will become very stretchy and it will feel very wet or slippery. So that's one of the signs that can be used.

0 (7m 58s):
And then I think one of the best ways to remember that stretchiness is what's the purpose of that is it helps the spur get to where

1 (8m 7s):
That's right. That's right. Exactly.

0 (8m 10s):
I like pictures. I'm a picture person.

1 (8m 13s):
I like that. Yeah. And then another sign that can be used is we actually have the technology now where women can do just a simple at home urine test to measure levels of their hormones at home. So there is a device that can be used that checks levels of estrogen and luteinizing hormone and gives women a reading then of a low, high or peak fertility based on those hormone levels. And so by checking those hormone levels in the urine every morning, you can see how that changes when that H when you get that high reading, that means your estrogen is starting to rise.

1 (8m 57s):
That can mean your cervical. Mucus has been produced. The sperm can live in your body. And then when you get that peak reading, that's a sign that oblation is approaching. So that's another sign that can be used. Do you have

0 (9m 12s):
The name of a kit that you recommend?

1 (9m 14s):
Yeah, the clear blue fertility monitor. So this monitor was actually developed by the manufacturers for women to achieve pregnancy, but researchers out of Marquette university have developed a protocol to use it for avoiding pregnancy as well, and

0 (9m 39s):
Then always want to be pregnant.

1 (9m 42s):
Exactly, exactly. Right. For sure. For sure. And what better way to take a break then by supporting your body by knowing your body, learning your body better and knowing, okay. If I'm wanting to avoid pregnancy, here are my signs that I'm nearing ovulation. So now I'm going to choose a different form of intimacy during these few days, instead of what's commonly done is being prescribed a medication that shuts down your body's natural function.

0 (10m 21s):
Yes. Spiritual, very true. And myself being a medical doctor from the conventional medicine side, I know that that's, that's all we're taught. We are not taught this stuff. So I'm so glad there are people like you, pharmacists, like you, doctor pharmacists, like you teaching the world about this before we go onto the other sides. Can you tell me, can any age start this? I mean, is this what happens starting at 14? 15? Yeah,

1 (10m 49s):
Definitely. Yep. As soon as you start cycling, you can start tracking your cycle with natural family planning and you can start seeing patterns in cervical mucus and in your hormone levels. Okay, good. Definitely. Oh, and I was just going to say, yeah, I didn't learn this in pharmacy school. Either pharmacy school was very much, here's how you pick out the right birth control for the patient. But, but I wish that I learned about this then. And I'm, I'm so glad that I learned about it now. And I feel like it's my duty as a pharmacist when I'm educating patients on their medication options, that they should also know what their non-medication options are.

1 (11m 32s):
When I, when I counsel a patient on a diabetes medication or cholesterol medication, we're also talking about diet changes, exercise changes, other non-medication things they can do. So why can't it be the same for family planning? I want my patients to really make an informed decision about what they're going to do. I love it. I love it.

0 (11m 55s):
Is there, were there any other signs you wanted to tell us about, about for, for fertility? Yeah.

1 (12m 0s):
Yeah. One more sign that I want to hit on is body temperature. So checking your basal body temperature or your resting body temperature daily can be another sign of fertility. What you will notice when you do this is that your temperature will rise after ovulation. So temperature is our really good add on sign to either the cervical mucus monitoring or the urine hormone level monitoring to confirm that oblation did happen. And the thing with temperature that people want to know is that these changes in your temperature are very subtle.

1 (12m 45s):
So you just want to be sure that you get a thermometer that goes out to at least two decimal points to get those subtle changes.

0 (12m 54s):
And this is early in the morning before you even put your feet on the ground, right?

1 (12m 58s):
Exactly. Yes. Yes. You do have to be committed when you're doing the temperature tracking to getting up at really the same time each day is recommended and to be checking your temperature. Exactly. Like you said in bed before you even get up, which is not practical for everyone. I also work at a hospital. I work a lot of different shifts, temperature monitoring, just doesn't quite work for me.

0 (13m 21s):
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0 (14m 4s):
The ultimate guidebook they're all yours. All you need to do is go to doctor on a and that's doctor spelled long doc T O R on a And now back to the podcast, did you use this to, to have your two children?

1 (14m 29s):
I did not, but I have used it to effectively avoid pregnancy sites since my second child.

0 (14m 36s):
Very good. Very good. And when did you become interested in them? In the Marquette program?

1 (14m 42s):
Yeah, so it really was when I had my second child. So, you know, my husband and I, I had been on birth when we wanted to have my son, you know, we went off it, I got pregnant right away. I went back on it didn't have any issues. And so when we decided that we wanted to have a second child, I went off, it thought it was going to be the same thing and it wasn't. And we tried and tried and I reached out to my doctor and she was like, Oh, just keep trying, you know, see me in a year if it's not happening. Okay. Try and try. And thankfully we did get pregnant on our own, but it wasn't until I saw my doctor again, after I was pregnant, that she said to me, you know, it could be that the birth control contributed to the delay in fertility.

1 (15m 35s):
And it was like, when she said that to me, this light went off and I just knew for me, I could never put these synthetic hormones into my body again. And I had to figure out something different. So while I was pregnant with her, I did a ton of research. And I found out about the market method and about natural family planning. And I have been a huge advocate ever since

0 (15m 59s):
That's usually what happens. We start going on our own journey and our own search and Bo cup that happens.

1 (16m 7s):
Exactly. Exactly. And as a medical professional, I just feel very strongly that women need to know this information about their own body,

0 (16m 18s):
Because the birth control pills are, can be so detrimental with the depression, the weight gain,

1 (16m 26s):
Ah, effects on the gut, not to mention, I mean, I work at a hospital too, so I see some of those worst case scenarios. I've seen 20 year old girls come into the ER with a blood clot in their lungs and their only risk factor is taking birth control. Yes. Yeah, yeah. Or having strokes. Exactly. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I think that we should at least speak questioning what I mentioned before, why birth control is really the only medication that we prescribe to perfectly healthy people to shut down their body's natural functioning.

1 (17m 11s):
I don't know if you can, but I have yet to think of another medication that we prescribe, that's shutting down a natural process. Usually medications are prescribed to fix a process or fix a deficiency or get you back to your natural functioning.

0 (17m 27s):
Very good point. Very good point. It's essentially an induced menopause,

1 (17m 33s):
Right? Yeah.

0 (17m 35s):
And how long does it take to become a market methods specialist?

1 (17m 41s):
Yeah. So out of Marquette university, they have a program where they train medical professionals to teach natural family planning, and it's a self paced program. So it's really, you know, as fast as you are willing to put in the work. But for me, it took about six months to go through the program. And then another six months working with a preceptor, starting to teach women and couples and get that guidance.

0 (18m 8s):
So how successful is this with patients? How do you find success? Yeah,

1 (18m 14s):
Yeah, definitely. And the researchers at Marquette university are very interested in being sure that the methods of they're teaching are effective. You know, people definitely question, especially for avoiding pregnancy, but the research has shown that the Marquette method is 93 to 98% effective.

0 (18m 36s):
Beautiful. Yeah.

1 (18m 38s):
So if you look at the efficacy rates of birth control, you know, people do still get pregnant, taking birth control pills. The efficacy rates is about the same, about 92% effective.

0 (18m 50s):
Very good. And you had talked about Emily. Can you talk just a little bit about how natural family planning can help women's health? Because we're all about having health, our weight? Definitely.

1 (19m 3s):
Definitely. So this is something that I'm really passionate about and even in the community of natural family planning, and I see a lot of talk about using it for family planning, which is great, but I also think it's really important. I'm so glad that you asked what age can you start using this? Because I think it's important to teach girls how to track their cycles and not just track when your period comes tracking, when your period comes can be helpful. But if you start to pay attention to your fertility signs, then you can know, okay, where am I at in my cycle? Here are the days I have my period. Here are the days before my ovulation time.

1 (19m 45s):
Here are the signs that are telling me, this is my ovulation time. And then here are the days after my ovulation time. And then my periods starts and on a whole new cycle again. And once you start paying attention to your own patterns cycle after cycle, then you can learn what is normal for you. And you can have a clue if something is off with your cycle and you can know to talk to your provider about that sooner than later, you can note, you know, Oh, these days after ovulation seem shorter, for some reason, you know, and as you know, these different phases of our cycle are tied to different hormone levels.

1 (20m 28s):
So, you know, the days before <inaudible> are tied more to estrogen, the days after ovulation are tied more to progesterone. So giving that information to your medical professional can be extremely helpful for health.

0 (20m 42s):
Great. Yes. And it's also teaching women how to be the CEO of their health. Definitely. Who's there. Who's there. Oh my little three-year-old daughter. Let me see Amelia,

1 (20m 57s):
Come here. You want to say hi. Hi.

0 (21m 0s):
Hi Amelia. How are you doing?

1 (21m 3s):
Can you say hi? Hi Here. I got, I gotta put her little ear. She can't hear. How old are you?

0 (21m 17s):
Three. You're a big girl. And do you have a brother? What's his name?

1 (21m 28s):

0 (21m 29s):
Is eat to love each other Delicia.

1 (21m 34s):
Do you love your brother?

0 (21m 36s):
Yeah. Great. Well, thank you very much for letting me talk to your mom for a little bit.

1 (21m 42s):
Can you say by doctor, You went pee in the potty.

0 (21m 53s):
That's cool. Tell your

1 (21m 56s):
Daddy. Yeah. Thank you. Good night. It's a big accomplishment. We've been working really hard on it.

0 (22m 10s):
Oh, Hey, listen. I remember when we taught our girls, they're 24 and 26. Now when, when they were peeing in the potty, we, and when it was time to flush, we'd go. Bye-bye PP <inaudible> Oh, those times go really fast. Yeah. Oh, what were we talking about? A natural

1 (22m 36s):
CEO of your own health and taking charge of your own health. I agree

0 (22m 42s):
In the teenage years, because all the girls know is go to the doctor, get a birth control pill, or get the shot or get the pill or get pregnant. And then, you know, all the stuff that happened to them, all that.

1 (22m 55s):
Yeah. Yeah. And the thing is, you know, as women we were made to cycle, we were made this way and it's perfectly normal then for us to not feel the same every day to feel differently during different phases of our cycle. And so that can be a thing teen girls can use too, if you know, Oh, those PMs kind of symptoms come when I'm in my days after ovulation, then I know when I'm feeling kind of crappy these days. Oh yeah. It's because of that. And you know, or even being able to, you know, plan, Oh, at around my time of ovulation, I feel more outgoing. I feel more energetic.

1 (23m 36s):
Maybe I want to plan getting together with my friends on those days. And maybe when my period days are coming in, I'm going to take some days and just hang out at home. That's such a point because I remember

0 (23m 47s):
When I used to have a period two weeks just before I'd have my period, I'd be like, or, you know, maybe 10 days or maybe eight days, I'd be like, can I just hide? Can I just please be left alone? Did you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel that way? Yeah.

1 (24m 6s):
Yeah, I do. But now I know luteal phase that's, that's normal for me.

0 (24m 12s):
Yeah. And it's, it's normal, but for so many of us it's called PMs, but it's the luteal phase we're supposed to be quieting down and repairing and yeah. Just resting. Yeah. Yeah. I think the Navajo, forgive me if I don't know the dates, but the Navajo nation, I remember working with the American Indians and they said, well, in the old days, the girls would just go off and be together away from us men, you know, just before their period. Well, it makes sense because they need to be away. They need to be with their girls, you know? Yes. That makes sense.

1 (24m 51s):
I think that's another key to natural family planning is if you can surround yourself with others who are doing this too, and you have that kind of shared language. Now I have a good friend and she, and I will share like, Oh yeah, like I'm in my, you know, follicular phase. I'm really like getting excited about what's coming up and she'll be like, Oh yeah, I was in my luteal phase last week. Like I just wanted to be left alone. Like we can support each other in that.

0 (25m 18s):
Yeah. I, women start cycling the same. I wish I would've known about this when my daughters were teenagers. I had no idea, no idea. So I'm excited for them to hear this because I will be in promoting this. Awesome. Now you can be found [email protected] crash site and you hold live workshops every month for natural family planning, correct?

1 (25m 49s):
Yep. It's completely free. It's called no, we are body with natural family planning in it. And it really just talks about some of the basics here about, you know, busting kind of some of the myths and also just there's time for reflecting as a group as no. What was your experience? Like getting your period and learning about your cycle and now how you can, you use this information for your health or family planning

0 (26m 15s):
And we can do this. You can do this around the world because do you do the zoom platform?

1 (26m 21s):
We'll use Google meet, but virtual can be from anywhere.

0 (26m 26s):
I love virtual. I do too. It's amazing. Look at you. You're in Minneapolis. I'm in New Zealand. That's amazing. Yeah, I agree. I love it. Was there anything else you wanted to touch base on before we landed this plane? No, I don't think so.

1 (26m 44s):
I would just love to emphasize to your women listeners who are cycling that no, this is natural. This is the way our bodies were made to work. And you are capable of learning your body signs and using that information. However you would like

0 (27m 3s):
Honey. Love it. I love it. Thank you so much, Emily. You have been such a blessing here at doctor on a mission.

1 (27m 10s):
Thank you so much for having me. This was a joy,

0 (27m 13s):
Have fun saying 99 to your children. Hello, chef Michael here. If you enjoyed today's episode, we would love it. If you subscribed to the podcast and left us a review.