With all of the excitement about the super blood moon yesterday, I’m excited to share this information about how the moon is connected to women’s fertility cycles. Not only that, but specifically, the idea that women can not only be aware of their ovulation, so they can achieve or avoid pregnancy, but that they can control when ovulation happens!
I first heard of this book, Lunaception, from Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist, over here. I was totally fascinated by the concept that women can sync their fertility cycles with the cycles of the moon. The basic principle is that you are at your highest reproductive functioning as a woman if your period starts with the new moon and you ovulate on the day of the full moon. The book suggests that women were meant to be in sync with the moon. Sounds romantic doesn’t it? Tonight’s a full moon, so maybe some of you are already in sync and are ovulating today.
Here is my review of the Lunaception book and an announcement of a giveaway of a copy of the book. If you struggle with infertility, this concept may help you to have fertile cycles and get pregnant. If you struggle with irregular cycles, too long or too short, this book may help so that you know when your period is going to start and aren’t taken by surprise. If you have a fairly regular cycle but would like to know the exact day that you ovulate, then this book will definitely help! (I haven’t tried the method out, but after reading the post on Sarah’s site many months ago, I noticed just the reading of the idea seemed to have an effect on my body as my cycle did sync up with the moon over the summer.)
This book is the personal journey of the author, Louise Lacey, to find a method of “birth control” that wouldn’t violate her body and the sacredness of life (I don’t like that phrase “birth control,” I prefer “fertility awareness.”) Her journey started when she was told by a doctor that she might have breast cancer, because she had lumps in her breast. She was told to get a second opinion from a surgeon. So she did, and was relieved to find out that the lumps weren’t cancerous, they were fibroid masses, probably from taking the Pill. The doctor told her that a lot more women had been having these lumps since the Pill came out. This launched Ms. Lacey to avoid the Pill for the rest of her life. She started searching for another “birth control” method that didn’t “artificially regulate or pervert the natural balances of the body” (her words) with synthetic hormones. She knew that she did not want to be pregnant, so she had to find something to stop pregnancy from happening.
She had had an abortion and had a lot of negative feelings after that. The negative feelings that came from that event motivated her to find a method to avoid pregnancy while being sexually active, that wouldn’t bring on any more negative feelings. She examined what “birth control” methods that she was aware of in the early ’70s and decided against all of them, because all of them involved some kind of violation to her body and life, or weren’t effective. So if you want a review of the technicalities of “birth control” methods, then you can get that by reading Chapter 3. Since the book was written in the early 1970s, some of the information is outdated, but I agree with the basic principle of what I think she is getting at, that no matter the method of artificial birth control, they all violate the sacredness of life.
At this point in my reading of the book, I thought, “What about NFP or fertility awareness? What about the Creighton method? I wish she had known about those!! They don’t violate life or alter hormones with lasting damage and they are effective!” The Creighton Method involves noticing the easiest fertility signal of the woman’s body to notice, namely cervical fluid (it’s what I use). Other NFP methods involve other signals, such as basal body temperature. (I don’t like tracking BBT because it’s such a hassle to take your temperature first thing in the morning, especially if you are a nursing mom. It’s so much easier to notice and track cervical fluid.)
(If you are on the Wasatch Front and want to learn more about the Creighton method, go here.)
OK, OK I will get back from my Creighton NFP digression to the review of the book. The result of Ms. Lacey’s journey is her idea, Lunaception, outlined in the book, which tells the whole story of the idea and how to do it. This is where you sleep in a room that mimics the sleeping environment of being out in the wilds, as primitive women lived, before artificial light, with only the moon to give you light at night. By tracking her BBT and controlling the light, she was able to control when she ovulated. Happily, I noted that along the way she found out that she did have the fertility signal of cervical fluid and that she did use that to note when she was fertile.
I enjoyed reading about her discovery and appreciate the work she put in to discover Lunaception. Fair warning: The book does have a evolutionary/humanist perspective and does describe her abortion graphically for a paragraph in the first chapter. Skip the first chapter if you don’t want to read about that. I read this book and put my God-based perspective into it. It makes sense that she would have negative feelings after having an abortion, because abortion is a sin. She was feeling guilt and regret. And the Enemy was getting in there, giving her shame feelings. She rose above all that and used the regret to motivate her to find a method of “birth control” that treats life as sacred. She acted like a scientist, conducting an experiment by reading the studies of the affect of light and fertility of the time (early 1970s), talking to others, and controlling the amount of light she got while she slept and tracking her fertility signals (BBT and cervical fluid). To get to her discovery part of the book, skip to Chapter 4.
The whole idea of Lunaception is so liberating! Imagine being able to know exactly what day you are going to ovulate, ahead of time, instead of in hindsight! With natural fertility signals you don’t know exactly when you ovulate until after the fact, when you have a record of fertility signals that you can look back on and pinpoint the end. I mean, slippery, stretchy cervical fluid is a sign of impending ovulation, but if you have the fluid on a certain day, you still don’t know if that’s THE day you will ovulate, because you could have several days of that in a row. The last day of the stretchy cervical fluid is usually pinpointed as the peak fertility day, or day of ovulation. You don’t know what the last day is until after the fact, when you get several days of no cervical fluid after several days of it.
All sorts of questions flood my mind as I ponder Lunaception. Did God give us the gift of the moon, not only to have natural light during some nights, but also to give womankind a way to control ovulation? Did he choose the moon because it is round and beautiful and mysterious, like women are? Is the moon a symbol of the depths of the mysteries of womanhood? So does this mean that if every woman used Lunaception we would only ever have babies born 40 weeks after a full moon, close to another full moon? Could the whole world be on a cycle of lots of births and then no births? Would this give those babies born 40 weeks after a full moon some kind of advantage in life for starting out life in harmony with the moon’s phases? Can a woman control when ovulation is so she can pick the gender of the baby she wants? What exactly are all of the advantages of having your reproductive cycle in harmony with the moon’s cycle? Are you somehow more energetic, able to sleep better, and happier?
Lots to ponder! If you would like to win a copy of this book, please comment below. The winner will be announced on Thursday November 5.