Taking Charge of Your Fertility

http://rgr-static1.tangentlabs.co.uk/images/bau/97800608/9780060881900/0/0/plain/taking-charge-of-your-fertility-the-definitive-guide-to-natural-birth-control-pregnancy-achievement-and-reproductive-health.jpgSo I went to Borders the other night to get this book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."

I first heard about this book last summer/fall when I was having some strange symptoms and thought I might have been pregnant - I had some questions about the symptoms and asked about it on a pregnancy forum, only to get nasty responses (never go on a forum that's associated with the wedding site The Knot - all my experiences over there have been negative!), however many women suggested I read TCOYF. Having no clue what the letters TCOYF stood for and too scared to ask for fear of more nasty responses, I just Googled it instead and came across the book I believe they were all talking about.

I have to say, I *strongly* recommend every woman read this book.

A lot of it talks about charting and various ways to chart and it also has a lot of interesting facts and information. After reading it, I feel I understand a lot more about my body and my cycle too.
  • Did you know that women are only fertile just a few days out of each month, yet a man produces on average 700 million sperm a day?! Yet there's at least 11 different forms of contraception for women, including a ton of different types of birth control pills that require to be taken daily, and various contraception forms that involve putting hormones into your body, and yet there's only like 3 options for men?

    Something about that just doesn't seem fair!

  • Another interesting factoid is that when your mother was in the womb, not only did her little body already contain all the eggs it was going to produce - which included the egg that formed you - but that you already had all the eggs inside you that you're ever going to produce!

    Talk about trippy!
But back to the charting - this book explains it really easily and once you chart for a few months and get to know YOUR cycle, it's so easy to do!

http://www.tcoyf.com/chartgallery/ovusoft/4824.pngOne of the simplest charting methods is to take your temperature at the same time every morning (so long as you've gotten at least 3 full hours of sleep) and chart it. During the first half of your cycle and up until your fertile days and ovulation day your temp will be somewhat low, but about a day after ovulation - the beginning of your luteal phase - you'll notice your temperature shoot up about .5-1.0 degree and stay in that range until Aunt Flo comes to visit, then it will drop back down. The luteal phase will always last roughly 14 days, give or take a day, so it's said that if you get 18 days or more of higher temperatures or if your temp goes up higher and stays there, you are most likely pregnant.

If you continue charting into your pregnancy you can also tell when a miscarriage occurred, as your temperature will suddenly drop back down.

You can also chart by getting family with your cervical mucus - something that I would think would be common knowledge, but when you start noticing CM on your underwear, you know ovulation is coming soon, as the CM on ovulation will be kind of like an eggwhite. If you're trying to get pregnant, these are the days to have sex. If you're not trying to get pregnant, avoid having sex for this 7-10 days when you are most fertile (or if you're taking your temperature, wait until your temperature goes up).

They say you can do just one of the 2 charting methods, or you can do both.

It's really neat, however it seems to only really work if you have regular cycles each month.

They say that a lot of couples who seem to think they're infertile unfortunately spend lots of money on different tests and procedures to figure out what's wrong, when the reality is not every woman has 28 day cycles and that not every woman ovulates on day 14. True, it may be the average, but that doesn't mean everyone. There's been a bunch of couples who thought they were infertile, only to read the book, began charting and they've found the reason they couldn't conceive was because they weren't having sex on the days the woman was fertile, as they were going off the day 14 myth and her cycle happened to be either longer or shorter than the average. Many of these couples conceived shortly after they began charting the woman's cycles.

http://www.tcoyf.com/app_themes/tcoyf2/images/software.gifThe book also comes with software that can help you chart, as well as the book's website which has the charting program on it as well, telling you which days you should be most fertile, with an expected ovulation date and predicted menses (Aunt Flo) and all you do is enter in your daily temperature and/or cervical mucus type and it does the rest of the work for you.

I was a bit hesitant to try this, as I don't always get up at the same time every day, but I figured I'd give it a try and once I started, it's become routine. I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 9:20 every morning (as on days I work, that's usually the earliest I get up), keep the digital thermometer and plastic liners on the nightstand, take my temperature when the alarm goes off, write it down, and either get up for the day or go back to sleep. Then later on in the day I'll go online and put it in my chart.

It's pretty easy and simple to do, and pretty neat if you ask me! I might just keep charting after I have a kid instead of going back on the pill!

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