If you are a woman who is used to being in control of her life, the time it can take you to get pregnant may come as a bit of a shock. After all, until you start “trying” for a baby, you have probably spent your adult life avoiding pregnancy. Why don’t you conceive as soon as you come off the pill?
Dr Jean Twenge has written this book for modern women who are in control of their career, their relationships and their homes and who want to take charge of their fertility. Her previous books have focussed on exposing how the statistics we often read in the media are used to scare people, especially women. If you believe everything you read in the popular press, you might be forgiven for thinking that it is virtually impossible for a woman who is over 35 to get pregnant. However, Dr Twenge breaks down these statistics, and proves that while it may be slightly more difficult to conceive when you are in your late thirties and older, it is by no means an impossible feat.
By referring to her readers as “impatient”, Dr Twenge is a little tongue in cheek but women throughout the world who have spent months waiting to see those two lines appear on a pregnancy test will relate to this.
So what can you do to improve your chances of getting pregnant quickly? The central theme of Twenge’s book is being aware of your own fertility. Before you try to start a family, Twenge suggests that you overhaul your diet and take the appropriate supplements. So far, so sensible.
But what is really good about this book is that she breaks down step by step how to chart your monthly cycle without being too alarmist or coming across like a biology teacher. It is clear, judging from her academic pedigree, that she is a well-respected scientist. The bibliography behind The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant is as extensive as it is impressive.
At the same time, her style is so chatty that the book comes across as sound advice from a very well informed friend with a good sense of perspective.
There must be very few women in the world who have a 28 day cycle that they can set their watch by. However, many texts of this sort make out that this is the “norm”, and that anyone who varies from it is biologically in big trouble.
Twenge is much more reassuring, explaining that much longer or shorter cycles can also be normal, and that the secret to conceiving in a short timescale is being able to read the biological signals being given out by your own body. Taking the menstrual cycle stage by stage, Twenge informs her reader about what to watch for in ovulation symptoms, and then describes when the best times are to have sex.
There is a slight danger that Twenge’s readers could be lulled into a false sense of security, believing that they can delay seeking medical intervention for a few more cycles while trying Twenge’s methods.
However, Twenge herself does make it clear that this book is a companion to, rather than a replacement for, medical assistance. It is worth buying no matter how many months you are into your conception journey.