Monday, July 23, 2012

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: A Book Review

I'll admit, it's been many years since I've read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" (aff link) cover to cover.  But, I still think it's a great book, and I still consult it on a regular basis when I answer questions over at the Christian Family Planning Network. So, I thought I'd do a little post about it here.

One of the main reasons I like "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" (hereafter TCOYF) is that it teaches women to interpret their natural fertility cycles, giving them a viable alternative to hormonal birth control.  I think TCOYF should be required reading for every engaged woman, at least until someone comes out with a book that covers the material from an evangelical Christian perspective.

And that brings us to my first caution in regards to TCOYF. It is written by Toni Weschler, MPH, from a secular standpoint.  She doesn't say anything against religion in the book but in the chapter on practicing the Fertility Awareness Method responsibly, it is clear that she views sex as something that can be shared between two consenting single adults, and not solely within a marriage relationship.

If you can get past the author's stance on sex outside of marriage, then you will find TCOYF to be a very helpful book. Weschler does an excellent job of laying the ground work for the more complicated concepts through sections on changing the way we view our fertility and reproductive health, explanations of the natural fertility cycle, using FAM as birth control, achieving pregnacy, and even practical benefits of charting your cycle.

Within each section, she breaks the issues down into chapters, and covers the material in manageable chunks.  Many women are intimidated by the size of TCOYF, as it's 473 pages long, including the index, but the chapters are short, with many pictures, diagrams and sidebars.  Weschler writes in an easy to read, humorous style. When I read TCOYF for the first time, I found it difficult to put down!

All in all, TCOYF is a great resource for any couple who is looking for a natural alternative to hormonal birth control, if they can look past the pitfalls of the secular perspective.

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