A recent Kveller article by Cara Paiuk detailed the best things to do if trying to get pregnant. Cara recommended the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and I agree—that book changed my life and allowed me to have access to the intimate workings of the reproductive system easily, simply, and in the most effective way to achieve pregnancy. The book both helps you get pregnant and avoid pregnancy, since by learning your reliable and consistent patterns (which for the vast majority of women are universal), you truly can take charge of your fertility! This is not ‘the rhythm method;’ it’s just understanding biology.
But did you know that the wisdom, simplicity, elegance, and baby-planning contained in that book (and in our biological make up) has been tapped into for thousands of years by Jews? That’s right. Long before tomes of endocrinology literature charted the hypothalamic and pituitary secretions of the hormones that govern menstruation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding’s effects on our cycles, the Torah detailed it for us. Mmm hmmm.
That’s right, ladies. The Torah. The Five Books of Moses, that some-3000-year-old tome. The Torah says to count “for yourself” seven days. Over time, an additional five days (according to most customs) were added to the mix . What happens 7+5 days after you start your cycle? As any OB-Gyn, endocrinologist, or person who has read TCOYF can tell you, for the majority of women, ovulation occurs around the 12th day after you start your cycle. Yup.
Get it? The most efficient way to get pregnant is to have sex on and around Day 12 of your cycle. And that’s literally what Jewish women have done for thousands of years. Traditionally, the night of ovulation (day 12 of your cycle), women immerse in a mikveh which is basically a glorified and very sanitary pretty hot tub with no bubbles involved and only one woman at a time allowed in. Read the rest of this entry →