Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

by Toni Weschler

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Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler

Celebrating 10 years of helping hundreds of thousands of women achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy naturally, and gain better control of their health and lives, the 10th Anniversary Edition of the classic bestseller will include: -New Preface to the 10th Anniversary Edition" -Updates on new fertility technologies -Natural approaches to conception -Updated Resources and Books For any woman unhappy with her current method of birth control; demoralized by her quest to have a baby; or experiencing confusing symptoms in her cycle, this book provides answers to all these questions, plus amazing insights into a womans body. Weschler thoroughly explains the empowering Fertility Awareness Method, which in only a couple minutes a day allows a woman to: -Enjoy highly effective, scientifically proven birth control without chemicals or devices -Maximize her chances of conception or expedite fertility treatment by identifying impediments to conception -Increase the likelihood of choosing the gender of her baby -Gain control of her sexual and gynecological health

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060881900
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Edition description: 10th Anniversary Edition
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 7.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.29(d)

About the Author

Toni Weschler, MPH, is a nationally respected women's health educator and speaker and the author of Cycle Savvy, a book for teenage girls about their bodies. A frequent guest on television, Internet, and radio shows, she lives in Seattle, Washington.

Read an Excerpt

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition

The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health
By Toni Weschler

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Toni Weschler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060881909

Chapter One

Fertility Awareness: What You Should Know and Why You Probably Don't

How often have you heard that a menstrual cycle should be 28 days and that ovulation usually occurs on Day 14? This is myth, pure and simple. And yet it is so accepted that it's sadly responsible for countless unplanned pregnancies. Furthermore, it has prevented many couples who have desired a pregnancy from attaining one. Much of this fallacy is a legacy of the dangerously inaccurate Rhythm Method, which falsely assumes that individual women have cycle lengths that, if not precisely 28 days, are reliably consistent over time. The result is that Rhythm is nothing more than a flawed statistical prediction using a mathematical formula based on the average of past cycles to predict future fertility

In reality, cycles vary tremendously among women and often within each woman herself, though most cycle lengths are 24 to 36 days. The myth of Day 14 can affect individuals in the most astounding ways:

Ilene and Mick were virgins when they got married on May 21. They wanted to start a family soon after their wedding, so they had their joint medical insurance start on May 15. When they discovered that Ilene hadgotten pregnant on their honeymoon, they were pleasantly surprised that it happened so fast. Imagine their shock when the insurance company refused to cover the pregnancy and delivery, claiming that since her last period started on April 19, she must have gotten pregnant about three weeks before the wedding.

"That's impossible," she insisted, "we were both virgins until our wedding day." She tried to explain to them that her cycles had become quite long and irregular since she started jogging and dieting in order to be a "picturesque bride."

The insurance company wouldn't hear of it. They adhered to the frequently used pregnancy wheel, the calculating device that doctors rely on to determine a woman's due date. It is based on the assumption that ovulation always occurs on Day 14. As Ilene lamented, "We were sunk. How does one prove virginity in a courtroom? And why should it be anyone else's business?" Needless to say, the Day 14 myth had very expensive consequences for Ilene and Mick. The only consolation they took from their experience was the fact that their son was born just when they expected, three weeks after the insurance company 's due date! He was, in the words of Ilene, "worth all the trouble anyway."

Luckily, with advances in our understanding of human reproduction, we now have a highly accurate and effective method of identifying the woman's fertile phase: The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). Fertility Awareness is simply a means of understanding human reproduction. It is based on the observation and charting of scientifically proven fertility signs that determine whether or not a woman is fertile on any given day. The three primary fertility signs are waking temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position (the last one being an optional sign that simply corroborates the first two). FAM is an empowering method of natural birth control or pregnancy achievement, and it is an excellent tool for assessing gynecological problems and understanding your body

Why the Fertility Awareness Method is Not Better Known

As you read in the introduction, probably the greatest resistance to the acceptance of FAM has been its dubious misassociation with the Rhythm Method. Unfortunately, just the phrases "Natural Birth Control" or "Fertility Awareness" inevitably conjure up jokes along the lines of "What do you call Rhythm Method users?" -- "Parents." Given the prevalence of this type of joke and the confusion of Rhythm with Fertility Awareness, is it any wonder that FAM is so misunderstood?

Furthermore, because the Rhythm Method is still practiced by people morally opposed to artificial methods of birth control, FAM tends to be falsely perceived as used only by such individuals. But in fact women from all over the world have been drawn to FAM simply because it is free of the chemicals associated with hormonal methods such as the Pill. Just as important, it allows them to minimize the time they need to use the devices that make other methods unpleasant, impractical, or unspontaneous. Many of these people tend to be oriented toward leading a natural and health-conscious life in other ways besides taking control of their fertility and reproduction.

It is true that many religious people have discovered the benefits of Fertility Awareness, though they may technically practice "Natural Family Planning" (NFP). The primary distinction between FAM and NFP is that those who use NFP choose to abstain rather than use barrier methods of contraception during the woman's fertile phase. But regardless of the differing values that often divide users of FAM and NFP all are drawn by the desire for a natural method of effective contraception.

FAM's Conspicuous Absence from Medical School

If FAM has so many benefits as a method of birth control (and as an aid to pregnancy achievement, as you will later read), why, then, is it not better known? One of the most critical and mystifying reasons that people have rarely heard of it is that doctors are still seldom taught a comprehensive version of this scientific method in medical school. It is amazing to think that women who practice the Fertility Awareness Method are often more knowledgeable about their own fertility than gynecologists who are trained to be experts in female physiology!

Years ago when I taught at a women's clinic, the entire staff except one doctor took my seminar to use FAM as a method of contraception. One day, the one who had never attended pulled me aside and whispered, "Toni, I'll be honest with you. I don't refer my patients to your classes." "Oh really, why is that?" I casually asked, trying not to act surprised. "I got pregnant using your method and haven't trusted it since," she replied. "You're kidding! What rules did you use?" . . .


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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Heal 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this book from a friend when I started thinking about getting pregnant. It was so enlightening to learn so much more about my body and cycle - things I wished I'd known years ago. I recommend this book to all my friends who are ready to start family planning. It certainly worked for me - pregnant on the 1st try. I bought the book to start planning for baby #2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at the beginning of March 2010 just a week prior to starting our baby journey. I had irregular cyles ranging anywhere from 26-35 days and had expected the process to take a year and was praying after a year I wouldn't be a candidate for fertility aid. This book taught me an amazing wealth of knowledge on my own body. I wish I would have read it 10 years ago while trying to avoid getting pregnant :) I've recommended it to everyone I know. We were successful in our 2nd attempt at achieving pregnancy! I'm currently 8 weeks along and everything is clicking along smoothly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taking Charge of Your Fertility helped my husband and I get pregnant naturally despite my husband's very low sperm count. The thing I found most helpful was the methods I learned on how to determine when I was ovulating. We tried to get pregnant for six months and after reading the book in August we were pregnant by early December. I was pregnant again before I even got my period back from the first pregnancy because I knew I was ovulating! God bless Toni Weschler!
Ella24 More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life. For many years I have suffered from irregular periods, cysts, and chronic lower abdominal pain. I have switched GYN's many times trying to understand what was going on with my body. The sad part is I never got an answer. After reading this book I felt enlightened to finally take charge of my own body through understanding. Then I was a bit mad that no doctor had ever explained this method to me.

Lots of reviews talk about this book as a way of getting pregnant, but it is so much more than that. It is an essential book for every woman's library because it helps in understanding what it means to be a woman!

Before I read this book I did not know:
1. Just because you have a period does not mean that you ovulated!!

2. That there are healthy ways to prevent and achieve pregnancy without subjecting your body to harsh chemicals.

3. Most importantly, you do not always need to take a trip to the doctor to understand what is going on with your reproductive system.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got an earlier edition of this book when TTCing and have loaned and given it to many, many friends. It should be required reading for girls in highschool so they can understand what's normal and what's not normal with their bodies and their monthly cycles. Toni Wescher gives more information than any OB/GYN ever tells you. An excellent book for TTCers and any woman from puberty through menopause.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So we all thought we knew everything we needed to know about our cycles? This book was such an eye-opener and extremely helpful in TTC. Charting 'using BBT and CM' was instrumental in helping us get pregnant and I'm happy to say after only one month charting 'read the whole book!' we're expecting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I had been ttc for a year and a half. I have very irregular cycles and had been told by my OB-GYN that it was time to see a fertility specialist. I read the reviews on this book and decided to give it a try before a specialist. After the first cycle using FAM, we are pregnant! This book truly works, and I highly recommend it to anyone else ttc!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We tried to get pregnant for 6 mos and had no luck. After following the guidleines in this book, we were able to conceive in first attempt. Since then I have been using the advice in this book on birth control, and it has once again been very effective. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommended this book if you are convinced the best day to get pregnant is 'Day 14.' This book explains, in great detail, the simple ways to increase your odds of getting pregnant(and how to avoid it too).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book aided my husband and I to conceive two children and what we believe to be planned genders!! Through a friend and myself we have recommended this book to countless people and it really works! It shatters many myths about concemption and gives practical advice to managing your fertility! This is a must have for anyone in their Birthing years!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have found this book to be very eye-opening in terms of popular fertility/infertility myths, and what is really needed to sustain a pregnancy. My husband and I are trying to conceive our first child, and with the help of this book, I know that we can make it a reality now that I'm more tuned-in to my body. I'm really glad that I found this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like most of the other raters here, this book changed my life. It is singularly the most informative and empowering book I have read on women's reproductive health. I first bought this book six years ago to learn natural birth control. Then years later when my husband and I wanted to start a family, I used the same principles outlined in the book for pregnancy achievement (currently I am five weeks away from welcoming our little one!). Over the years, I have bought numerous copies of this book because I constantly give my copy to friends who are trying to avoid or achieve pregnancy. Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF) will instruct you on things you didn't know about your reproductive cycle and fertility. The natural signs of when you are fertile have always been right in front of you. you just never knew what they were. Read this book to find out. It is so easy to take charge of your fertility without the use of drugs, hormones, IUDs, rings or any of the other things that are marketed to women. Empower yourself! Read this book!
HRS More than 1 year ago
Don't just take for granted what your body does every month, learn what it does so when something happens, you're knowledgable about it! This book was so informative but in a great way that wasn't over my head. I love the stories from real couples, I love the cartoons and the story from the author. There was really NOTHING i didn't like about this book! I learned so much from this book and completely contribute all my pregnancies to this! If you're interested in learning what your body goes through every month, definitely read this book! you won't be sorry.
Malibu_Stacy More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when I was struggling to get pregnant and it made an immediate impact on my life. It is such a valuable resource that I wish I had discovered it 10 years ago or more, even before I thought I wanted to be a mom. I understand the way my body works so much better than before, and it was downright fascinating! (Who would have thought?) Even my husband enjoyed reading it. Learning all this new info helped us work through the infertility frustrations together in a very constructive way. I have repeatedly gone back to the book and re-read parts for clarification when my body sends me confusing signals. After only a few months of charting I was able to definitively show my doctor that I needed fertility treatment due to annovulation. And another few months later, here I am finally pregnant!
adsax98 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to learn more about more natural forms of birth control and it was highly recommended from various sources. It provides valuable information about the female reproductive system in general. It also offers some info that is not normally shared by physicians, info I was unfamiliar with that could have prevented me from worrying about my body. I recommend it to any woman, even if she is not concerned with pregnancy. It must be good since the library copies are always out! I'm only in chapter 3, but it's outstanding so far-check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book in hopes of getting off hormonal birth control and going the natural route. It was extremely informative, but mostly aimed towards people who are trying to get pregnant. It's a great resource for information about women's reproductive systems. I have been able to get off of hormone based birth control, but there are a lot of chapters in the book that didn't apply to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so easy to understand. I have recommended it to many of my friends and have given it to friends that are planning on trying for a baby. This book has helped me understand my body in ways that I didn't was possible. It is nice to feel in control rather than guessing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the BEST Book ever! My husband & I were trying to get pregnant for 10 months & nothing. I bought this book & got pregnant the 1st month using the FAM method explained in it. It was the BEST $16 I have EVER spent! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Actually, I think it is a MUST HAVE for everyone having difficulties!
allidahl on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I learned more about my body from this book than anything I was taught in health class. Even if you are not interested in birth control or becoming pregnant, every woman should read this. It is so rewarding to be in tune with your own body and this book gives you the tools to do that in a format that is not overly medical or over simplified.
Babtakie More than 1 year ago
This is the best book on Fertility and Natural Birth-Control, a definite MUST for every woman! I have recently purchased and read this book with the hopes of learning more about fertility and trying to conceive and this book has taught me sooo much. It is a wonder that we, as women, do not get a more appropriate education regarding our own nature and sexuality. If every woman could learn early on (adolescence or post adolescence) the amazing teachings of this book, there would be way less misconceptions as to our sexuality, anti-conception and pure basics of the changes our bodies go through during our lives. Secondly, thanks to this book I have totally 'taken charge of my fertility' and achieved my desired pregnancy. Anyone looking to get pregnant, should read this book. And anyone looking for natural contraceptive methods should also read this book. I believe EVERY woman SHOULD read this book.
mrsabc More than 1 year ago
I think every woman should read this book whether trying to avoid kids or conceive. So much basic knowledge I wish they had covered in health class!
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