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BOM – rock solid science

The science behind the Billings Ovulation Method®(BOM) is “rock solid”. The World Organisation Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB) International Limited has published a paper with such a name ‘Rock Solid Science: Studies of the Effectiveness of the Billings Ovulation Method®’ by Gillian Barker. In this excerpt of the lengthy but well-done article the stages of development of the BOM are detailed:

“Stage 1—Clinical studies and preliminary data: For couples wishing to avoid pregnancy – no pregnancies were observed when there was abstinence from intercourse on any days of discharge; no pregnancies were observed from any act of intercourse occurring 4+ days following the last day of the slippery sensation.

This last day of the slippery sensation was designated the Peak of fertility. For couples wishing to achieve pregnancy – many couples conceived when intercourse occurred on days of mucus discharge; there was one pregnancy from intercourse on the 3rd day past the Peak, a few pregnancies from intercourse on day 2 past the Peak and more from the day after Peak, but most pregnancies resulted from intercourse on the Peak day.

Conclusions drawn:

  • mucus must be present for sperm survival
  • the Peak of fertility is the last day of the slippery sensation – the quality of the mucus is irrelevant
  • the temperature is non-specific and can be affected by other influences

Stage 2: Scientific Verification In 1962 Dr Brown arrived in Melbourne from Edinburgh where he had done research into the measurement of urinary oestrogen, pregnanediol, FSH and LH. He was appointed to set up the Endocrine Unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital for the University of Melbourne. Dr John Billings met with Dr Brown, explained the work he had been doing on female fertility and invited him to assist with verification of the clinical results through laboratory hormone assays. Professor Emeritus James Boyer Brown, MSc (NZ) PhD (Edin) DSc (Edin) FRACOG, was well known as a brilliant scientist who had received a number of awards for innovative work in measuring ovarian and pituitary hormones. His work has been published in over 230 refereed scientific journals and chapters in books. Jim Brown’s expertise was invaluable in validating the BOM. Not just a theoretical scientist, Jim Brown designed, built and patented Brown’s Semi-automatic Extractor, to enable an increased number of experiments to be performed simultaneously in the laboratory. His work on the BOM showed the relationship between progesterone and identification of the Peak—no ovulation, no progesterone rise, no Peak observed in the woman’s chart.

Dr Evelyn (Lyn) Billings joined the work initially when she was asked to proofread the manuscript for John’s first book The Ovulation Method which was published in December 1964. The following year she began working with John and Fr Catarinich on the “hard cases” – women who had a continuous discharge which had precluded identifying when fertility began. She recognized that women’s charts not only identified the phase of fertility, but also patterns of infertility. By collaborating with Jim Brown she found that if the symptoms, as described by the women, were unchanging they reflected unchanging, low oestrogens – the Basic Infertile Pattern, which consisted of days of dryness or of unchanging discharge or a combination of dry days and days of unchanging discharge when ovulation is delayed. Lyn undertook studies of menopausal and breastfeeding women and showed the importance of the presence of mucus for a cycle to be fertile.”


  • A woman can be taught to recognise a pattern of vaginal mucus secretion during the menstrual cycle and can distinguish the occurrence of a particular symptom – lubricative clear mucus.
  • This “peak mucus” closely correlates with the day of ovulation as estimated from the measurement of plasma LH and urinary oestrogen and pregnanediol.
  • The mucus symptom begins, on average, 6.2 days before the putative occurrence of ovulation.
  • The time of ovulation can be identified clinically, without recourse to temperature or more specialised tests.

Contact BOMA-TT: 384-1659, email:, website: