Repository logo

Fertility management through the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM): a study of perceptions of its use among adults from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study sought to determine how the users of the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) perceive their experiences of using it as a natural method of fertility management; whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with it as a method; their views of the benefits and challenges associated with it and their opinion of why many people do not seem to use it. A qualitative approach was applied in implementing the study. The study was done in two purposively selected settings in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal province; namely, Northdale hospital and St. Marry Catholic Church. The study used purposive sampling to recruit six (6) study participants. Oppong (2013) and Patton (1999) agree that purposive sampling is a technique that is utilized in in-depth studies whereby the researcher co-opts the participants with information-rich cases or experience of an issue of interest in the study. Participants were co-opted on the criterion of their experience of using or having used BOM within the past twelve months; and, in addition, were above the age of eighteen. The study adopted the indepth interview as the research instrument. The in-depth interview included ten questions for individual interviews aimed at gathering relevant data for answering the main questions investigated in the study. The study established that majority of the participants who use BOM are satisfied with it as a fertility management device; preferring it to other methods available due to its naturalness and lack of harmful side effects. The study also established that although some participants highlighted the problem of, at times, struggling to identify the cervix mucus that is central in the successful use of BOM. Yet they persist in using it on account of its safety and its effectiveness in helping them to monitor and interpret the changes in their bodies that guide them as to when they could become or not become pregnant. And, to the question of how to explain why some people do not seem to prefer to adopt it as a fertility management strategy, the participants speculated that it is possible that people who do not prefer to adopt BOM are those who are ignorant of it as a fertility management device; or those who even though they know about it, have not achieved sufficient mastery of how to use it. The implications of these findings are drawn and the suggestion was made of the need to popularize the use of BOM as a fertility management strategy in South Africa. Some limitations of the study were also noted and suggestions for further studies along the lines of the present research were made.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.