Fertility awareness using
natural methods is gaining more and more popularity. Taking
Charge of Your Fertility has been on the bookshelves for
over ten years. The
latest revised edition doesn't change a whole lot in terms of
information presented about FAM, because the book was brilliantly
presented in the first place. However, I would
suspect that a more current copyright date would put more
people at ease.
Use of the Fertility Awareness Method
(FAM) has its practical advantages, not
only for planning pregnancy and preventing pregnancy (birth
control), but for such things as
understanding healthy body functions, detecting
gynecological problems and maintaining gynecological health,
predicting miscarriage, and even the more tricky method of
choosing the sex of one's baby-to-be.
aware of FAM in 1990 when I was planning my first pregnancy.
Because I incorporated the method into my life, I read about
the method wherever I could. After exploring many books on the topic, I found Taking
Charge of Your Fertility, which first was published in
1995, to be the best book on the subject. It was, and remains, the
clearest and most thorough treatment of the subject that I
have seen. I was floored by the method itself, and still, to
this day, am surprised at how little most women know about
their bodies and their ovulatory and menstrual cycles. They
need only read this book, and follow at least a few months
of charting with a basal thermometer, in order to truly
"take charge" of their fertility.
the method for 15 years, it has become second-nature to me.
I used it for family planning so that I could conceive 3
children with the spacing that suited me best, prevent
pregnancy, follow each pregnancy in the early stages when
miscarriage was more likely, and follow a pregnancy that
resulted in miscarriage. Besides the more dramatic family
planning monitoring, I am thankful that the method allows me
to accurately predict when I will have my period, lets me
know when I haven't ovulated in a given month and can expect
a heavier than normal period without too much concern, and
offers me a tangible and empowering means of connecting to
my body through awareness of how it "works". I
even was able to spot a thyroid condition before any other
symptom was present--because I was intimately aware of my
regular basal body temperature, when my "normal"
pre- and post-ovulation temperature dipped, I went to a
doctor to explore what may have been the cause of this
rather dramatic change.
outlines the many uses of FAM, and then educates readers
about the three primary fertility signs (waking temperature
measured with a basal body thermometer, cervical fluid, and
cervical position). Graphs are offered for charting the
basal body temperature changes. Secondary fertility signs
(such as midcycle spotting, which is not standard but common
enough, abdominal bloating, water retention, and so forth)
are explained. Details on how to chart and observe fertility
indicators are offered.
are surprised to discover that they may not be ovulating
even if they are menstruating. The book explains why women
don't always ovulate (or menstruate), and how to determine
if ovulation has actually occurred. Menopause is also discussed.
FAM is a
natural birth control method that shouldn't be confused with
the dubious "rhythm method". Although FAM is not
just for birth control, it is an amazing birth control
method. It does require periods of abstinence if completely
natural birth control is desired. However, it can also be
combined with other birth control methods, such as use of
condoms, for the periods of time when abstinence is
necessary. Some level of maturity is a prerequisite for the
completely natural method.
offers ways to maximize your chances of getting pregnant
through FAM. Timing intercourse in order to maximize your
chances of conceiving a boy or a girl is also explained.
More topics, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and vaginal
infections, are presented in this very thorough and helpful
book. Taking Charge of Your Fertility offers ample
illustrations, graphs, and examples.
the size of the book intimidate you. The Fertility Awareness
Method itself is straightforward enough. The book is relatively
large because it not only offers "how to's", it
provides detailed information on a variety of related
is, FAM is quite easy to learn. There are other books on the
subject that will teach the method adequately, and there are sites
on the web that offer instructions and information on FAM. These resources
will suffice (I know that I started using the method five years
before this book came out). However, Taking Charge of
Your Fertility is comprehensive and for those serious
about incorporating FAM into their lives, this manual is