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

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4.52  ·  Rating details ·  8,067 ratings  ·  1,103 reviews
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
...more
Paperback, 10th edition, 512 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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Martina Bartu I did not read 10th edition. In the 20th anniversary edition there is a new useful color picture insert (very useful). Improved fertility charts, some…moreI did not read 10th edition. In the 20th anniversary edition there is a new useful color picture insert (very useful). Improved fertility charts, some new and updated chapters.(less)

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 ·  8,067 ratings  ·  1,103 reviews


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Katherine Lewis
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: womenfolk
This ought to be required reading for everyone in possession of a uterus.

It's totally famous and often recommended. However, I picked this hefty volume up once in B&N, and after leafing through several pages of complicated looking charts and completely gross close-up pictures of what-I-didn't-even-know, I nestled it back on the shelf and said to myself, "Well, I'll read that if I ever have any PROBLEMS with my junk 'down there.'" Fortunately, I happened upon it again in a Half-Pr
...more
Rita
May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish they gave out this book instead of pads & tampons in 5th grade. It's ridiculous that I didn't find out how my body works until now, but, better late than not at all!

The book presents sympto-thermal charting in an understandable manner, but mainly focuses on trying to get pregnant rather than trying to avoid pregnancy. The principles can be used the other way around, but this book isn't necessarily a guide for using FAM as birth control, and doesn't contain a lot of
...more
Francesca
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All my female friends
Basically this book is like my second bible. I first saw a copy next to my cousin's bed and was fascinated by the title, dipped in and then ordered my own copy! Toni Weschler is brilliant. This book literally changed my life and I really can't rate it highly enough. In it, Toni explains the sound scientific Fertility Awareness Method which, for a matter of a couple of minutes a day, can give you an understanding of your body that no biology book or visit to the doctors could possible give you. B ...more
jko
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people with vaginae, people who enjoy them, and people who must relate to them
though she attempts to demonstrate objectivity, she definitely puts her pom-poms behind this method of birth control (which, i think she would like me to point out, is not the rhythm method!).

this is an essential, comprehensive, and empowering guide for anyone who wants to understand the gross physiology of being female and/or who wants to decrease or increase the potential for becoming pregnant without the inconveniences of pills, needles, latex, medical invasions, etc.
Elizabeth
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: jamila
just wanted to take a moment to sing this book's praises. i consider myself to have had a pretty good sex education, but this book taught me just how little i actually learned (or, i should say, how little they actually taught me) about the menstrual cycle. this book is a fucking must-keep-by-your-bed-for-handy-reference if you are any bit the female health nerd that i am. you will learn so much about your own cycle, it will knock your socks off. if you are actually in the midst of trying to avo ...more
Ashleigh
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Note: I am using this book for its BIRTH CONTROL section, not its seemingly "getting pregnant" aura from the cover. So, that being said, this book was AWESOME! I have been wanting an effective way to get off of hormonal birth control because I believe it is the last puzzle piece in the search to cure my migraines. NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE RHYTHM METHOD WHICH IS A HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE FORM OF NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL!!! THIS IS NOT THE RHYTHM METHOD, I REPEAT. This book is so informative and very easy to ...more
Jo
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I agree with nearly everyone else I know (and reviews from strangers) in that this book should be required reading for women and men regardless of their opinions on sex, pregnancy, etc. And yes, I do think men should read it too. Reproduction is not exactly a one-sided arrangement.

Truly is a great presentation of a lot of information about your reproductive health - from basic cycle patterns, potential problems & how to identify them, understanding the cause & effects of it all, & h
...more
Hannah
I wish I could give two and a half stars, because "liked it" is a little too strong for my mixed emotions about this book. Pros: great charts and pictures and very user-friendly, and a wonderful resource for learning more about your fertility. Cons: Fertility awareness seems like a perfectly good method for *getting* knocked up, but not preventing it, and I'm hesitant to recommend a book that actually promotes it as a method of birth control. Also, the non-informational writing is really cheesy ...more
Jamie
Sep 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Well, it's pretty obvious what this book is about. Personally, I think it's a good one, and I give the software that comes with it four stars. It would be five stars, but it is pink and purple, and that diminishes it a bit.

I am an (usually rather quiet-ish) advocate of natural birth control, childbirth, and so on. I really like this book, although it is sometimes a bit overwhelming with the vast amount of information! Definitely a useful guide for any woman who would like to know a b
...more
Vanessa
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a fascinating and really useful read. Although not all the chapters were necessarily relevant to me at this point in time (or hopefully ever), I feel like I learned so much about my body that I was never taught in school. It will no doubt be an invaluable resource for me going forward.
Rori
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women of childbearing age
Recently picked up this book. Being a nurse and having worked in maternity with a long-running interest in women's health I considered myself to be quite knowledgeable of the subject matter, but I was amazed while reading this to realize how much I was ignorant of!

As another reviewer stated, I feel like this should be mandatory reading for all those in posession of a uterus (and perhaps all people in general). That talk you got in 6th grade barely scratched the surface! Having watched people st
...more
Tashaodd
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all women
This book was recommended to me by my female doctor. While in nursing school I lent this book to one of my instructors who used the pictures to show the class about cervical fluids and what not. Amazing that most of those women in my class had no idea that cervical fluid had any relation to fertility! I would highly recommend this book to any female of menses age. The more women know about their bodies, the more empowered we become.
Christina
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I generally reserve 5* for books that change my life. This is one of them.

Erika RS
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before trying to get pregnant, it seemed appropriate to learn more about how female fertility works. For that, I chose this book.

The first, and perhaps most important, thing to know about this book is that it is a book every woman should read. Whether you want to get pregnant or avoid pregnancy, whether you're taking birth control pills or attempting more manual methods of contraception, if you're a woman who cares about how her body actually works, you should read this book. (Note:
...more
Antoinette Maria
Dec 29, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is supposedly the bible of natural family planning and that's a real disservice to women and their partners. The author too often misuses facts, gives wrong information, and believes that anecdotal evidence is an adequate substitute for evidence. Instead of citing studies that might support or refute the effectiveness of the methods outlined in the book, she merely refers to the studies and summarily dismisses the ones that don't support her method and the ones that are more fully supp ...more
Annalisa
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every woman should read this book
Recommended to Annalisa by: Rynell
Shelves: resource, non-fiction
I think mostly women come across this book as a resource for infertility, which is a shame because what they teach you in your elementary maturation class doesn't tell you much about your body. Have you ever questioned any abnormality about your cycle? Do you know when you ovulate? Do you know why specific symptoms occur in relation to your cycle and what they mean? Do you truly understand how your body works? I didn't and sadly I didn't think I needed to know or rather I wasn't aware there was ...more
Katie
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource book for ANY woman, not just those that are trying to get pregnant. I think I learned more about my body from this book than I ever did in Health Class! If you are interested in what is happening to your body and why your body does what it does, then you should get this book! It also has an entire chapter on women and Menopause.
Carrie
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea that the things I thought were weird and gross about my body were totally natural. I'm reading this book because I want to get pregnant. Let's just say that thanks to this book, I have my husband charting my daily temperature on a graph on the fridge. It's just too cute.
Holly
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All women
Shelves: non-fiction
I have to agree with another reviewer and simply say that this book changed my life, and after reading it for the first time a few years ago I'm surprised that I waited so long to review it. I can't remember exactly how I came upon it but it was literally a lifesaver for me when I was at a very depressing time in my life as I struggled with infertility. Though not only for those trying to conceive, it's hands down the best and IMO the only book women who are in the early stages of fertility issu ...more
Melissa
I wish I'd had this information years ago when I first started menstruating. So many myths and conundrums might so easily have been sorted out. For instance, I had no idea that ovulation can be significantly delayed but that the postovulatory (luteal) phase, the time between ovulation and menstruation, is almost always the same for any individual woman (i.e. Mae's phase is 12 days long, Erika's is 11 days long, Nelly's phase is 15 days long). As a teenager I regularly suspected I had yeast infec ...more
Kirsten
Ok, people kept recommending this book to me, and I was all like, "Dudes, I'm not even trying to conceive yet, and I'm sure as hell not doing any kind of Rhythm Method crazypants birth control, so why?"

I WAS WRONG, YOU GUYS.

I finally picked this up and ended up finding it so fascinating that I basically finished it in one go. I skimmed some of the technical stuff and the many, many appendices because they don't apply to me yet, but I really, truly feel like the first few
...more
Laura
Jul 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book contains all the information we should have learned in health class in school. I couldn't believe how ignorant of my own body I was until I started reading this book. I've learned so much with it, and use it as a reference quite often.

If you are squeamish about your own body, then you will definitely not be comfortable reading it, but honestly, it's necessary. I now feel much more prepared to visit my doctor when I need to, and I feel more in control of my own body (or at l
...more
Jonna
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book several years ago and it is so cool! I would recommend it to every woman of childbearing age. It's very empowering to know what's going on with my body and what I should or shouldn't worry about.
Moirin
Oct 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
every woman, if not every person, should know how her body works, and how to work with it to achieve maximum health. fight the lack of knowledge and misinformation out there!
Cait
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in2015
This was fascinating and so informative. I would definitely recommend if you want to know more about your reproductive health.
Emma
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you know what a luteal phase is? If you don't, you should read this book. It is everything that I should have learned in health class when I was in middle and high school. Alas, it took me until I was in my 30s and we were trying to get pregnant with our second child (who is now 4 months old, by the way, so the "pregnancy achievement" part worked for me! TBD on the "natural birth control" part), that I understood how my body works. And not just in the "this is how a baby is made" kind of way, ...more
Allison
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the information that should be shared with girls when they begin to reach puberty. Despite being in my thirties, a Registered Nurse, AND a nurse working in a sexual and reproductive health clinic, I learned a lot, and am continuing to do so as I track my cycles. The appendicies are plenty, and the example charts and tables are very helpful and easy to read. Five stars for the information and putting it out into the world.

Yet, I only rated this book 3 stars? I found the tone of the book
...more
Shana
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fertility, health
This book should be required reading for ALL women. I thought while reading it that we should have learned much of this in health class in 7th grade. For all the OB's, Fertility specialists and other non-western medical practitioners I saw, this book had more clearly important and USEFUL info than the whole lot of them combined.
I believe that after 6 years of unexplained infertility, and countless painful and heartbreaking procedures, this book gave me the "tools" that helped conceive my two be
...more
Rose Elliott
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot recommend this book enough. Every woman needs to read this - whether they're trying to get pregnant, prevent it, or even those who are unmarried, for understanding their cycle. I just started using the method discussed in this book recently after conventional birth control was not computing with me, and now I wish I had found it much sooner. Knowing and understanding how your body works is so powerful.
Lisa
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be essential reading for ALL women. There was so much about my body that I never paid attention to, and this book was immensely helpful in understanding its rhythms.
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Toni Weschler is a nationally respected women's health educator and speaker with a master's degree in Public Health. She founded Fertility Awareness Counseling and Training Seminars (FACTS) in 1986, and has lectured at hospitals, clinics, and universities since 1982. She recently helped develop cycle-tracking software as an adjunct to her book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. The Ovusoft Fertilit ...more
“Once people understand that women are fertile for only a fraction of the time men are, they are especially struck with the inequity of it all. So it’s particularly interesting to examine the ways in which women have been disproportionately exposed to side effects throughout their cycle. For example, there are many who will concede that while the pill was originally designed to sexually emancipate women, it has also had the effect of burdening the woman with the sole responsibility of birth control.” 0 likes
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