If you are looking for just one book to read about trying to conceive, fertility or infertility…look no further! Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH is the most comprehensive book covering these topics out there, and it’s written in terms that anyone can understand. On its own cover it says that it is, “The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health.” Boom.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a doctor.  I’m like the opposite of Bones from Star Trek.

Dammit Jim!!

But I still wanted to learn as much as possible about my body, especially with regards to trying to conceive and pregnancy. Taking Charge of Your Fertility made it so easy for that to happen!

The version I bought was the 20th Anniversary Edition. It is 354 pages long without the appendices, and 476 pages with them. It’s broken into six parts:

  1. Breaking Fertile Ground: Toward a New Way of Thinking
  2. Rediscovering Your Cycle and Your Body
  3. Being Proactive with Your Health
  4. Natural Birth Control
  5. Pregnancy Achievement
  6. Beyond Fertility: Practical Benefits of Charting Your Cycle

I knew that this book was for me by the end of the first page of the introduction. Toni writes, “What I had been perceiving as infections was in fact normal cervical fluid, one of the healthy signs of fertility that all women experience as they approach ovulation. But since conversing about one’s vaginal secretions is hardly your typical topic of social chitchat, I had no idea that my experiences were normal, universal, and – perhaps most importantly – cyclical.”

All throughout my teenage years I thought I had the most persistent, reoccurring yeast infection ever. But since it always went away, I never thought I needed to do anything about it, medically. I had NO IDEA that my cervical mucus was the gateway to being aware of my fertility. Say whaaaaat? How am I 28-years-old and don’t know that? How can I have gotten this far without someone teaching me that?! That’s a separate post though….

Toni is careful throughout this entire book to destroy as many myths as possible. One of those is the myth of the 28 day cycle. Not everyone has a 28 day long cycle, and not everyone ovulates on day 14.

One of my other favourite bits of information that Toni draws attention to is the irony inherent in our (the world’s) current birth control methods. Women have tubal ligation, IUD, Depo-Provera, the pill, Nuvaring, the patch, diaphragm, spong, spermicides, etc. Men have vasectomy, condoms and withdrawal. Men are fertile 100% of the time. Always, non-stop, constantly fertile!!! Women are only fertile for a few days a month, but for some reason almost all of the burden falls on us. I think that is insane. There is a wonderful little parody about an intrapenal contraceptive in this book that illustrates exactly how ridiculous it is.

This book teaches you how to chart and how to pay attention to the signs your body gives you. It teaches you about male and female anatomy, natural birth control, how to deal with miscarriages, how to maintain your gynecological health and touches on menopause.

This book is massive. It looks like a textbook. But I was absolutely so engrossed and intrigued and MAD about the things I was reading (for the first freaking time) that I tore through it in one evening. I just couldn’t stop reading! I grabbed a notepad and a highlighter and went to town on this book!

I can’t recommend this book enough. And for $15?! Come on! Cheapest doctor’s consultation EVER! I’m going to start giving this book as a gift to my sisters and other lady friends.

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Author: Jess Leonard

It's me, Jess! Seen here with Husband, and one of our pooches, Ainsley. I'm 27-years-old, beyond ready for babies, and super broke. Join me on this insane journey of figuring out how to live the lives we want as baby crazy, but heavily indebted millennials. Fun facts about me: I grew up in Southern California, near Coachella, I looooove jamming on my planner (I use a MAMBI Happy Planner), and my spirit animal is Leslie Knope.

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