638 of 656 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2003
I honestly thought that just being a woman ~ I knew all I needed to know to get pregnant. I am 35 now and ready to have a baby, so I stopped taking the pill and waited 2 cycles and thought all I had to do was plan our night of fun close to Ovulation "Day 14". Was I ever wrong!!
After trying unsuccessfully on my own for 5 months, I started to question my fertility. I purchased ovulation test strips and they wouldn't show a peak ovulation. I found others online who were trying to conceive and recommended this book. Once I received the book, I couldn't put it down! I was amazed at what little information I actually knew about my cycle ~ my own body and what it had been telling me all along. I just didn't understand it.
I learned not everyone ovulates on "Day 14", for me it is actually "Day 23". I assumed I wasn't ovulating and got frustrated at day 20-21 and would stop testing. I now know to look for signals to show when I'm ovulating and now test in the correct window.
By reading this book I now have a clear understanding of my cycle. At my age, I want to have a baby sooner than later, so I plan on taking a more aggressive approach to my fertilization. I talked with my doctor after 6 months, rather than 1 year. With the help of this book and charting, I was able to explain my cycle and show my doctor all my charts. I was able to provide all the information needed to show I have a short luteal phase. By providing this information to the doctor, we will be able to treat the ovulation problem that much quicker. My doctor commented that I was extremely organized and it really helped things along.
This book is very easy to read and understand. You will be able to clearly read your own body signals during your cycle, and have a better understanding of your fertilization ~ whether you want to become pregnant - or not.
I will share this book with other women and would recommend it for every woman!
265 of 273 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 1999
I bought this book after 4 unsuccessful months of trying, which was after 3 months of waiting after having 2 miscarriages. Since I'd gotten pregnant right away with my first child, I figured there might be something I needed to learn and I couldn't have been more right. This book is an absolute must for anyone, whether you're trying to get pregnant or not. I learned more about my body in the day and a half it took me to read the book than I ever did in any of the sex ed classes in school. After 4 months of what we thought was perfect timing and no success, we thought there might be a problem. I bought the book to learn about detecting ovulation and potential fertility problems. I got pregnant the first cycle I charted because of the knowledge I gained about ovulation and its signals. I learned through charting that I ovulated on Day 21 rather than Day 14. I was also able to determine I was pregnant without even taking a test! I'm so thrilled about the knowledge I've gained by reading this book and I feel much more in tune with my body now that I am pregnant. I urge any woman to get this book if you are at all interested in your body, pregnancy achievement, or pregnancy avoidance. This book is very well written in plain English that is easy to understand. The illustrations, color photographs, and numerous charting patterns were especially helpful to me. I can't say enough about this book!
404 of 420 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2002
I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent, college-educated woman with a pretty darn firm grasp on How Babies Are Made, so when my husband and I decided to start a family, I thought it would be as easy as tossing the birth control pills aside and Let The Fun Begin! After almost a year with NO baby, followed by a miscarriage, I was starting to question my fertility. (After all, how hard can this be?) I went to the OBGYN, who immediately recommended Clomid and sex on the 14th day of my "cycle." I wasn't comfortable with the fertility pill concept, and saw a recommendation for this book instead. So, I picked it up.
WOW! Why don't they teach THIS in Sex Ed?? I wish I'd known this stuff when I was 13! I sure knew the mechanics of sex, alright, but not the mechanics of my own body. I was amazed at what I didn't know; while I had observed the various signs that are talked about, I didn't have the slightest clue what they meant. They never worried me, but they never gave me any insight, either. I started charting, figured out what day of the cycle I REALLY ovulated, and on the third try -SURPRISE!- we were pregnant! While the OB said to try on day 14, we REALLY needed to try on day 19. Sperm only live for 5 days max, so we would have missed our window of opportunity every time. :(
I have recommended this book to complete strangers whose friends were "trying to get pregnant," and lent it to my best friend when she mentioned going off the pill. She's due in December!
Now that my cycle is back, I've reclaimed the book back again to avoid another baby until we're ready. We're still breastfeeding, and using this as a birth control method doesn't come with the risk of drying up my milk supply. (I know, Micronor (mini-pill) is breastfeeding-friendly, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet.)
I am SO pleased with this book and the knowledge I gained from it; I can't believe I didn't know all this before my mid-twenties!
262 of 297 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2005
If you are anything like me, you were about 12 years old when you learned everything you know about the female body. Of course back then we were more concerned about guessing who had gotten their period so far and too busy avoiding eye contact with the boys in the room to really pay much attention.
Now, both as an adult and as a woman actively trying to achieve pregnancy, this is invaluable information that I wish I had known all along. Through Ms. Weschler's clear and easy to understand writing, you'll learn to fill in those blanks: how everything works, what exactly goes on during your cycle, how best to time sex for conception (I learned within the first month of charting that we were off by about 10 days - no wonder our first attempts didn't work!) and so much more...including how HIS parts work (700 million sperm at any given time? OH MY!).
However, I would also take Ms. Weschler's blatant distain for the medical community with a grain of salt. YES, her methods provide invaluable knowledge for women and YES this is information I believe each woman should be armed with, but I do bristle at her constant dismissal of all doctors and her negative portrayal of them. Especially alarming was her description of colonoscopy as "demoralizing." No, this procedure isn't as fun as trip to Disneyland, but it has indisputably saved thousands of lives despite the stigma many would place on it. My hope is that women read this to learn more about themselves...but not shy away from seeking medical help when and if they need it.
127 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2002
'TCOYF,' as it is known in pre-conception communities, is definitely an invaluable resource for any woman or couple wanting a child (it is often referred to as the 'bible' of pre-conception). It arms you with the knowledge necessary to maximize chances of conception (or lower the risks of pregnancy in those who do not wish to conceive) and does so in an enjoyable, easy-to-read manner that does not belittle or overwhelm its audience. The wealth of information in this book about a woman's cycle and how to chart it are absolutely fantastic, and one is left with a sense of 'how could I not have known all this was going on in my body before?' Although I highly recommend this book, I would also like to offer a much-needed word of warning about it: page after page after page of success stories are presented, leaving the general impression that the whole process of conception is MUCH easier than it is. The author repeatedly presents 'case studies' of women who conceived after only ONE MONTH of using the methods in this book. The overall effect is one of effortless and immediate conception if the guidelines provided by the author are followed religiously. Although I do not believe it is intentional, I have to say I feel the book is deceptive in this regard. It also promotes methods of determining pregnancy that absolutely are NOT definite and that, if taken to heart by the reader, can leave one devestated at the end of a cycle, when the feeling of 'but I don't understand, the book said I must be pregnant' take over. I have seen too many women experience these disappointments to consider any honest review of this book complete without mentioning these things. The reader should use a healthy dose of skepticism about some of her more controversial ideas and use the book mainly as a guide to getting to know one's body and learn how to determine ovulation. It truly is invaluable in that regard. But don't let all those case studies get you overexcited or build up unrealistic expectations. Conception still is not an exact science, no matter how much knowledge you have at your disposal, and you still may be in for a wait, no matter how faithfully you follow these guidelines.
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2000
This book is absolutely wonderful. My sister sent it to me. I stopped birth control pills in March and with the charting of my cycles, purposely avoided conceiving. July was the first month I actually tried to get pregnant and I did...on the first month! I knew I was pregnant before I "missed my period" and before I took a test. My sister read it before me, and while off the pill, avoided pregnancy for over a year. The first month she decided to try to achieve pregnancy, she too, conceived...first month! We are both expecting in the spring...2 1/2 weeks apart.
I have sent this book to several friends and recommend it to everyone. It is such an important learning tool for all women, whether they are thinking of pregnancy or not. I learned so much about my body. It is just an incredible book and method. It is such a shame that doctors do not recommend fertility awareness to women. BUY THIS BOOK...you will LOVE it!!!
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2000
This is not just a guide to getting pregnant. It is about knowing your body without being embarassed. It is quite liberating to read this book and then be able to recognize exactly where you are in your fertility cycle. Too often, women are made to feel guilty or shamed about even looking at our bodies. It's beyond imagination for some women to examine themselves or to ask questions about what exactly their bodies do. Weschler helps break this barrier and shows us why it's critical to overcome the societal embarassment or reluctance.
She makes a very good point: why is it that men are fertile all of the time, that women are fertile for just 5 days a month, yet the majority of birth control involves a woman taking a drug 30 days a month, or inserting a contraceptive device before every sexual encounter? Forget about the burden being placed on women (as long as we bear the children we will be ultimately responsible). Think about the ridiculousness of taking powerful hormonal drugs every day or having to use contraception when you're not even fertile! The drug and contraceptive industries are having a field day!
This book has three very distinct values:
1. An essential part of every adolescent girl's education about her changing body. This book will do more than almost anything else in preparing her for responsible sexual encounters, and will help her self esteem by getting rid of her trepidation about her body.
2. Tool for avoiding pregnancy.
3. Tool for achieving pregnancy.
It boils down to three basic fertility signs: basal temperature, cervical fluid, and height of cervix. Once you read the book and become accomplished at tracking each of the three signs, you can put away the thermometer. Weschler urges you to track the basal temperature faithfully for several months. But, especially if you're using the method as birth control, you can judge by the other two signs and safely avoid pregnancy. And it takes absolutely no extra effort or monitoring.
Most of us have heard the jokes about natural family planning. Weschler discusses those criticisms and shows why this book is different and reliable.
"Taking Charge of Your Fertility" will ease your mind and give you the confidence of being certain when you are fertile or not fertile.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 1999
My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for six months when I heard about this book through a website. I purchased the book on amazon.com and started charting my cycles right away. Within two months my husband and I realized our fertility problems were nothing more than timing. We got pregnant on the second month of charting. Our son's due date is in December. I have recommended this book to so many people. There is so much information in it that you just never learned in school. Above everything else I realized it is normal not to be "normal". This book saved us the agony of fertility testing and unnecessary stress. For the first time we felt in control! I showed my charts to my doctor and he was extremely impressed with accuracy and teachings of the book. My sister-in-law is now using the book as a guide for her fertility problems. She is currently taking Clomid to overcome a medical condition. "Taking Charge" is helping her to keep track of her cycles and gives her a guideline to help deal with the unsympathetic doctors!
71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 1999
After over 4 months of trying to get pregnant, a good friend of mine recommended this book. She told me that if nothing else I would feel more knowledgeable about my body, its cycles, and what it was telling me when. So I ordered it. It is so well written that I found myself looking forward to reading it. It is incredibly informative and easy to understand. And I immediately knew from reading it what my husband and I were doing wrong (we were a little late in my cycle each month). Thanks to the charting I knew that having a mild flu with fever delayed my cycle's ovulation date *and* I knew when to keep going before ovulation. I'm happy to write that thanks to my first cycle of charting I'm now 3 weeks pregnant. I very very highly recommend this book. It helped me to relax and, literally, go with my body's flow. (I wish there were one this good for during pregnancy!!) THANKS TONI!!!!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2000
If your cycles are irregular, read this book NOW. I went to my gynecologist a FULL YEAR before I wanted to start trying for pregnancy (because I'm older and wanted to speed things up when the time came), said: What do I read/do now to get ready because I'm very irregular and my cycles are unpredictable? She talked about genetic compatability screenings, but never mentioned cervical fluid or going off the pill right away to determine what my non-pill-controlled cycles were like. She sent me off to "try for 6 cycles" (which in my case took nearly a year due to long cycles during which, I now know, thanks to Toni's wonderful book, I wasn't even ovulating!) What a waste of a 35-year-old woman's precious time! I haven't conceived instantaneously like many of the other woman testifying here, but I'm confident I'm now finally truly on my way. Even though there are almost 200 reviews posted about this book at the time of this writing, I felt I must add my comments (and endorsement), in the hopes they will push one more woman to order this book NOW and truly get educated about our body's awe-inspiring ability to tell us what we need to know to get pregnant.