Thursday, December 3, 2009

Off the chart

Today I stopped into the new library in my area to peruse their range of--guess what--fertility books. A glossy, Usborne-esque volume caught my eye with its cheery color scheme and stiff pages. In the section about optimizing your chances for conception were the usual pieces of advice about limiting alcohol intake, exercising, eating right and taking boatloads of folic acid, etc. However, in a side-bar was this little gem: "Avoid charting your temperature and timing sex to your fertile days; the stress of doing so will reduce your chances of conception beyond any benefit the charting might offer. Just have sex two to three times a week."

WOW. That breezy bit of wisdom is so intriguing. Is it condescending? Are women really so "stressed" by paying attention to their bodies and cycles that it would be more to our advantage to just live in blissful ignorance? Isn't "taking charge of your fertility" supposed to be empowering, not distressing? What happened to our belief in the power of knowledge, especially self-knowledge?

On the other hand, it can be less enjoyable to have sex in response to the fertility chart, and watching my temperatures behave somewhat erratically does make me anxious about whether or not all my hormones are lining up properly. When I'm stressed, my cycle gets all out of whack, which has to make getting pregnant less likely. If I wasn't watching so carefully, maybe my stress level would be lower and all my body systems would function at a more optimal level?

Hhmmm....what to do?

(Ironic that I'm now stressing out about the advice meant to lower my stress.)

No comments:

Post a Comment