We’re very excited to be introducing a new feature to our community today: the Featured Community Content Widget.
We’re very excited to be introducing a new feature to our community today: the Featured Community Content Widget.
Join us on Wednesday, November 4th for an exclusive, Health Activist-only event: “When to See a Reproductive Endocrinologist: 7 Key Factors“.
Here at WEGO Health we’re always looking for great new resources – sites we know our community members will find helpful and informative. So we’ve created a new series, “WEGO Health Loves”, to share some of our favorite sites for Health Activists.Check back every week to see our latest crush. We hope you love them just as much as we do!This Week on …Read More
Spotlight: TrishWebsites: Fertile Hope and Remarkable RobbieBlogging for: 2 + yearsOccupation: Network support, but currently a stay-at-home mom for the next yearFavorite food: “I could eat Mexican food everyday!”Read full article
“Stick with it until you’ve exhausted your options. And if your journey doesn’t end with a biological child, don’t feel defeated. You’re a solider in the battle. You matter.”
What motivated you to start blogging about your fertility experiences?I’ve always been one to write through the pain. As a …Read More
Spotlight: Rachel Gurevich
Websites: +/1+/ and +/2+/
On the web: since 1999 (for About.com since 2008)
Favorite vacation spot: “My favorite vacation spot is a place you have probably never heard of – +/3+/ in Israel. You get an entire cottage to yourself, it’s quiet, it’s beautiful. It has a loft, a small kitchen, a cozy bedroom, a Jacuzzi, a porch with a view… and in the morning, they bring your breakfast in a basket, with local cheese and breads and veggies and… oh my G-d. I love it there!!”
Learn more about +/5+/
What motivated you to start writing about fertility?
I’ve always used writing as a way to express myself and help me cope with difficulties in my life. I write in an effort to use my experience, problems, and troubles to help others. For example: I had a traumatic childbirth when I gave birth to my first son. This led me to an interest in doulas (labor coaches). I went on to write two books on doulas. It was my way to sort of heal my own past, while helping others have better experiences.
My desire to use writing to heal myself and to help others is what led me to write about fertility. I’ve been trying to have a third child for six years now. I’ve gone through three miscarriages, lots of fertility testing and treatments, and plenty of failure too. I’ve looked into natural solutions and dealt with all the emotional blah that comes with infertility.
I know what it’s like to go through all this and feel like you’re totally alone in your feelings and experiences. There’s some information out there on infertility, but much of it is written from a removed, medical perspective. Or it’s written without any medical backing or with crazy promises (“Just do this, and you’ll get pregnant today!”). Some of the information is downright wrong or even dangerous. What I craved was a friendly, girl-friend-to-girl-friend voice that gave me the information I needed but was also firmly grounded in current medical research. That’s what I aim to offer in my writing on fertility.
What was your motivation for getting involved with the fertility conversation via About.com?
I feel About.com is the perfect place to use as my platform to write on fertility. There’s a lot of great writing out there that isn’t found because the internet is so big. About.com helps people find my articles and that’s a huge help. Plus, everything I write goes through medical screening, reviewed by a medical doctor. Though I’m not a doctor, I put a great deal of effort into making sure that I write medically accurate content. Having a medical professional review my writing helps me do just that. I also have a wonderful editor who reviews my writing so it’s not just medically accurate, but also presented clearly and typo-free.
What have been some of your favorite articles/posts?
Oh, don’t make me pick! I guess one would be an article I did on +/6+/+/7+/, mainly because it was fun to write and provides lots of information in one place. It’s one of my most popular pieces, too.
Another article that is new is a piece I wrote +/8+/. The two week wait is a crazy time. And I spent way too many years living in my head and missing out on life during two week waits. The whole anxiety over whether or not this will be the month – and what it will mean if it’s not – can take over your mind. When I wrote in this article, I wanted to share things I learned on my own over time and from my therapist – things that really help! I hope others can both read and use this advice. Infertility is hard enough, but letting it take over your life is just adding insult to injury.
What are some of the first tips/suggestions you offer to people who are in the initial stages of infertility diagnosis or are simply trying to conceive?If you’re just starting to try and conceive, try to be patient. I hated to hear that in the beginning. But often those who worry that they aren’t pregnant after three months will achieve pregnancy in another three to six months. In school, we’re taught that we’ll get pregnant if we look at a boy – so when it takes more than once, we …Read More
Blog: The Well Time PeriodBlogging Since: 2003Occupation: OB/GYNWhat prompted you to start your blog?Correcting mainstream-media misinformation about reproductive health issues, in particular contraception and menstrual management (my areas of interest) is was started it all.Helping women make informed medical decisions, by disseminating complete and correct repro health information, debunking the noxious …Read More
Primary blog: +/0+/
Secondary blog: +/1+/
How long have you been blogging? I’ve been blogging online for nine years, but I didn’t start this particular blog until my pregnancy in 2007.
Occupation Stay-at-home mom, part-time transcription editor.
What made you start blogging?
I began blogging on Open Diary nine years ago. I was 16 and wanted to vent out some teenage angst. I’ve always loved connecting with people online, because there’s a certain wall there that makes it easier to share personal or sensitive information about yourself. When I got pregnant, I really wanted to chronicle it for myself as well as share my experiences with others, so I started +/0+/.
What motivates you in your writing?
Currently, I am motivated to write for two reasons: so that I can log and remember important events related to my daughter’s development, and so I can get out my feelings on certain subjects. While I do love having an easily-accessible record of baby firsts, being able to just type out my thoughts or experiences uninterrupted is usually what drives me to write.
Who do you admire in the women’s health community?
Among many, many others: Toni Weschler, Ina May Gaskin, Martha Sears, and Kelly Bonyata of +/3+/
How do you balance pharmaceutical treatments with complementary therapies?
I think it’s all about realizing that each one has its value, and that different things are going to work for different people. Two intelligent and reasonable people can read the exact same information on traditional medicine versus homeopathy, for example, and have completely opposing opinions on which would be better for them. As for me, I prefer to try gentler and more natural remedies first before turning to pharmaceuticals, but I definitely appreciate the advances made by the medical community.
What are the biggest trends you see around birth control? Child birth?
The biggest trend I see is that more women are researching options for themselves. We have easy, instant access to so much information today, and it’s so much easier to make an informed choice. Women can go online and read up about different birth control options, and instead of talking to their doctor without any prior knowledge, they can go into that appointment knowing what they want to try. Same with pregnancy and birth – more women can decide what, if any, prenatal testing they want to go through, and what they want available for pain relief, from active positions to water birth to an epidural. We have a chance to see what’s out there and talk to health care providers with a more informed perspective.
What is your favorite health-related website?
I’m a huge fan of +/4+/, which has a ton of research-based information on breastfeeding. That’s the website I’ve consulted the most in the past year since my daughter was born. I love that despite getting misinformation on breastfeeding from otherwise awesome and competent medical professionals, I’ve had a good resource to turn to where I can find accurate and trustworthy information on my own.
What is your favorite health-related book?
I absolutely love +/5+/ by Toni Weschler. I love that Weschler promotes fertility awareness, as I think that kind of information is really eye-opening and empowering for women.
Is your writing/project therapeutic?Most definitely. On those really stressful and frustrating days, my thoughts are a jumble in my head. Writing helps me organize all that mental clutter, and then I …Read More
Spotlight: Toni Weschler
Author of the books: +/0+/ and +/1+/
How did you first become interested in reproductive health?
I spent my college years dealing with the physical ramifications, side effects and hassles of traditional birth control. In addition, I kept thinking that I was having monthly vaginal infections. It wasn’t until I happened upon a class on the Fertility Awareness Method when I was 27 years old that I realized that what I had perceived as recurring infections was, in fact, absolutely normal, healthy cervical fluid that my body produces every cycle when I am about to release an egg.
That class changed my life, even though I felt it arrived 10 years too late. It taught me how to observe my fertility signs for a scientifically-validated form of natural birth control. I vowed then and there that I would change other women’s live with this fundamental and empowering information that all women have a right to know. . .whether they want to avoid pregnancy, get pregnant, or simply take control of their gynecological health. So I got my masters in public health at UCLA, and the rest is history.
What made you decide to write your book, +/3+/?
For years, I taught seminars in Seattle on the Fertility Awareness Method. Inevitably, women would tell me that they were incredibly excited about all that they learned, but so many also mentioned that their excitement evolved into anger when they realized that this information should have been routinely taught in high school, or at a minimum, discussed by their OB/GYNs.
At a certain point, I could no longer ignore the hundreds of women who implored me to write a book to make this vital information available to more women than just the lucky few in Seattle who happened to attend my seminars!
What is the best feedback you’ve ever received?
Scores of women talk about the light bulb moment they experienced numerous times while beginning to chart their cycles. Confusing signs that at one time left them perplexed became edifying and welcome signs that only clarified what was happening in their bodies.
These are some of the themes that appear over and over throughout the thousands of letters from my readers as well as Internet postings about Taking Charge of Your Fertility:
Changed my life
Worth its weight in gold
Read it cover to cover
Couldn’t put it down
Read the whole book in one night
Wish I had learned this fifteen years ago
Should be on every woman’s bookshelf
Should be taught in every high school
Best book I’ve ever read on women’s health
I’ve given this book to every woman I know
If I ever have a daughter . . .
I learned more from your book than from my doctor
I was initially excited, then angry that I was never taught this sooner
Tell us about your partnership with Ovusoft.com (the site and the software).
When Taking Charge was first released in 1995, I started receiving scores of calls from computer programmers who thought it would be fantastic to develop fertility software to accompany the book. But I vehemently resisted, because I felt that the beauty of women charting their cycles was that it didn’t require anything other than a thermometer, pencil and paper. Otherwise, all of their fertility signs were literally at their fingertips.
Also, I felt that it would be hypocritical of me to stress the simplicity of the method throughout the book if I then offered the option of using a computer to chart cycles! The turning point for me came when women editors at the website iVillage, where I wrote a monthly column, also suggested software. Of course, once again I said no, but they challenged me to reconsider because, as they said, “you stress choice throughout your book: choice on which signs you observe, choice on whether or not you abstain during your fertile phase for birth control, and choice of what barrier you choose if you do have sex during the fertile phase, to name just a few.” They felt that the choice of whether to use software or a pencil and paper should also be left to the woman. How could I argue with that logic? And thus, the relationship with Ovusoft was born.
Are you surprised by how vibrant the community is on +/4+/? What do you think makes it work?
I’m not the least bit surprised, because once women learn about the benefits of the Fertility Awareness Method for charting their cycles, they want to shout it from the rooftops and share it with every woman they meet. I think the reason the online community works so well is that there are a myriad of different types of charts women experience, and there’s nothing more comforting than being able to compare their experiences with other women. For example, some women have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), or recurring miscarriages, or hypothyroidism, or any number of conditions that would normally be confusing or even isolating if they weren’t able to share their charts with others who actually get it.
What made you decide to write your second book, +/5+/?
The most common reaction I heard from my readers of TCOYF is: “Why were we not taught this incredible information as teenagers? It would have saved me endless years of panic, confusion, and low self-esteem.”
Quite frankly, though, I vowed that I would never write another book again after the incredibly arduous task of writing TCOYF. But after 10 years of letter upon letter imploring me to write a book for teens, I felt that I couldn’t ignore the beseeching any longer.
Clearly, I didn’t write the teen book for girls to take control of their fertility. God knows we don’t want them doing that at their age! But what I do want is for girls to grow up with a clear understanding of how their cycles work, since they affect every facet of their female being, from their self-esteem to their informed choices when they get older. And never again do I want a teenage girl growing up thinking that she’s dirty and in need of being scrubbed from the inside out. I want her to grow up with a sense of pride at how amazing her body truly is.
What are you long-term goals? Any big projects coming up?
To get Fertility Awareness taught routinely in all high school girls, with Cycle Savvy being the text of choice.
Who do you admire in the women’s health community at large?
Like probably every woman on the planet over a certain age, I was raised on Our Bodies, Ourselves, which back then was absolutely groundbreaking. And, of course, Christiane Northrup is phenomenal. I’m still trying to figure out where she stashes the extra hours in the day to do everything she does.
What areas of fertility research have you most excited right now?
The ability to freeze younger women’s eggs for fertilization when they are older and in a better place to become mothers.
What is your favorite health-related book?
Womancare, by Lynda Madaras and Jane Patterson. Interestingly enough, it’s no longer in print, but that book was written in a way that I really appreciated when I first became interested in women’s health.
Why do you feel this information is so vital for all women to know and share?It is probably the most practical way that a woman can tell on a day to day basis what is going on in her body. Not only can she use it for the obvious benefits of either natural birth control or pregnancy achievement, but it can tell her when she should expect her period, as well as help her detect …Read More
Stirrup Queens is a fabulous resource for those dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. Melissa, the writer, holds a weekly Q&A on Tuesdays called Barron Advice and she has a great site map. She covers everything from diagnosis, to surgery to meds – make sure to check it out.The Well-Timed Period is devoted to contraception and family-planning options. Make sure to …Read More