SERENA is a national organization that specializes in the teaching of the sympto-thermal method of natural family planning. Serena’s services are available in most provinces across Canada. Volunteer couples are trained locally, and then accredited by Serena Canada. Where there are no teacher couples available, our services can be obtained by distance education. Our national team consists of medical advisers and program managers. The dedication of our volunteers and professionals assures high quality services. The Serena Manitoba office is located in the Misericordia Education and Resource Centre and is staffed by one part time employee.
Serena was founded in 1955 by Gilles and Rita Breault from Lachine Quebec (Montreal area). They first developed the sympto-thermal method for their own needs, but soon realized that couples in their community were also in need of this same knowledge to plan their family in a way that respected their values. The first team was established in 1962 under the name of SERENA. The name “SERENA” is an acronym taken from the French “le Service de régulation des naissances”, or service for the regulation of birth.
In 1965 Dr. Paul and Louise Adams initiated Natural Family Planning in Manitoba. Some years later, the organization became affiliated with Serena Canada. Serena Manitoba was incorporated in 1977.
Serena’s mission is to enable couples to manage their fertility in a natural and effective manner based on a better knowledge and understanding of the female cycle of fertility. We are committed to: building healthy marriage relationships based on respect and trust, and supporting couples in seeking to delay or achieve pregnancy through the utilization of the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning.
Our philosophy is that every couple can understand their fertility, and that this awareness can provide the information on which they base their family planning decisions and behaviour. Respect for individuals and for human life from conception is central to our philosophy.
Serena’s approach is couple to couple. Volunteer teacher couples meet inquiring couples on this basis and the initial instruction is given in a two-hour class setting. We believe that successful family planning needs the involvement of both partners. Family Planning is not a medical issue because anyone can be taught to understand their fertility and become self-reliant in managing their fertility. It does not have to be in the hand of medical professionals. Serena respects the natural fertility cycle and is committed to the empowerment and support of couples. We believe that family planning should be available to all people and we teach a method that is environmentally friendly and helps to protect health. The $150 registration fee covers the cost of almost all the resources and materials you will ever need to use the method, a six-week follow-up session, any refresher classes the couple may wish to take, and ongoing fertility counselling.
Serena’s success is largely due to the teamwork of our dynamic and passionate members, which include teacher couples, board members, medical advisers and staff. We recognize the tireless efforts of our volunteer teacher-couples, as well as many collaborators who generously give of their time to share, promote and teach this knowledge
Serena is honoured by the long commitment of one of our medical advisers, Dr. Suzanne Parenteau-Carreau, who is a world-respected fertility researcher and a vital part of our team. The method we have today has largely been developed and refined by Dr. Suzanne. She continues to develop and review our technical materials and advise teacher-couples when charts are difficult to interpret.
“I started to work for a group that later became Serena while I was still a medical student at the University of Montreal. At that time, I worked with Dr. Claude Lanctôt (who has since retired from both gynecology and public health) in researching the scientific foundations of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and specifically, of the sympto-thermal method (STM). It was a remarkable experience for us to work with founders Rita and Gilles Breault in developing the practical tools (such as specific charts, general instructions and various publications) for couples interested in adopting the STM as their NFP method. I have been blessed with great opportunities to speak internationally. In addition, I have served as a board member and President of the International Federation for Family Life Promotion subsidized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and other international institutions devoted to development. One of the highlights of my research career was providing the Canadian samples for two major international clinical studies: one about the effectiveness of the STM, and the other about the return of fertility in breastfeeding mothers. I’ve performed many empirical studies to answer questions triggered by new basal thermometers, various chemical or electronic ovulation detectors, the contribution of detailed cervical mucus observation, cervix self-examination, and cycle changes associated to menopause. It is a joy for me to work with Serena and to help married couples and families thrive.”
In house research on thousands of women’s cycles, reproductive histories, breastfeeding experiences and menopausal experiences has been conducted by Serena Canada over the last 50 years. This has contributed to the refinement and standardization of teaching and charting of the sympto-thermal method as well as the development and publication of Serena’s teaching materials. Serena has also been involved in consultations with other NFP organizations and professional agencies both within Canada and Internationally. Serena’s expertise and experience are well recognized throughout the world.
Serena’s goal is to continue to stay at the forefront of scientific development to better understand the female cycle and how this relates to fertility. We review scientific research constantly and refine the method as appropriate. Research advances have led to the accurate, comprehensive and improved sympto-thermal method that we teach today. We are continuing to strive to adapt to the needs of today’s women and couples to provide STM teaching that is accessible to all.
Serena Manitoba is a charitable organization incorporated in the province of Manitoba. Whereas we are a non-profit organization, we rely on grants and donations from benefactors to make it possible for us to offer classes and distribute information on Natural Family Planning. We gratefully issue tax-deductible receipts to individuals for donations of $20.00 or more. You can also support us by volunteering on our board, distributing materials, and helping with office jobs.
Our mailing address for your financial donation is: Serena Manitoba, 99 Cornish Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1A2. Contact us at 204.783.0091 (call or text) or toll free from outside Winnipeg at 1.866.317.5362. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also support us by making a one time or monthly donation via Canada Helps.
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