Books about reproductive health, Fertility Awareness, and Natural Family Planning

More about Katie Singer

Garden of Fertility Book CoverHonoring Our CyclesIn her books, The Garden of Fertility (2004) and Honoring Our Cycles (2006), Katie Singerintroduces Fertility Awareness (also called Natural Family Planning).With these methods, a woman who charts her temperature and cervical mucus can know when she is fertile and infertile. A woman who charts her fertility signs can also know whether she is ovulating or miscarrying. You can learn remedies for problems like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and fertility.

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When Maria Hurley and Eric Simmons first got together, they didn't use any birth control. "I thought I knew when I was fertile," Maria says. "I heard somewhere that the egg leaves your body with the slippery mucus in the middle of your cycle. And once the egg's gone, you can't get pregnant." Eric figured she knew what she was talking about. "I sure didn't know," he says. The couple's son Brahm, now seventeen months old, was conceived within two months.

After Brahm was born, Maria and Eric, now married, considered their options for birth control. Maria had experience with The Pill and the diaphragm, but she didn't like either one. "We weren't comfortable with the IUD, either," Eric says. "So we used condoms. But we didn't like them much, either. We didn't have much sex."

When their midwife suggested Fertility Awareness, Maria was skeptical it could work. "I thought that was the method that had gotten me pregnant! But my midwife had used Fertility Awareness herself for years. She insisted I could learn the facts about cervical fluid and that the method could work for me, too." Curious to learn more about her cycle, Maria started charting, and eventually the couple took a class in the method.

Eric, who can read Maria's charts as well as she can says, "I have a feeling of responsibility now--because I know when Maria's fertile, and we have intercourse only when she's infertile, since we don't want another child now. We're actually enjoying sex more; and I'm glad she's not using the Pill or spermicide. They're strong chemicals."

Maria adds, "After Brahm was born, I didn't want much sex for a long time. Once I could read my charts confidently, and tell whether or not I'm fertile, I realized that a big part of my not wanting sex was that I feared getting pregnant again. Eric often felt unwanted and frustrated during that time--understandably so."

When the couple started using Fertility Awareness for their birth control, remarkably, "the questions 'Is Eric attractive?' and 'What's wrong with Maria' went away." Now, Maria says, "I don't understand it exactly, but FA has actually improved our communication."

"We're finally doing birth control together," Eric says. "It's not all on Maria anymore. Not just our lovemaking, but our whole relationship feels better for it."