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The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles & Optimize Your Fertility Paperback – January 16, 2019
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-- Toni Weschler, MPH, author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and Cycle Savvy
"With The Fifth Vital Sign, Lisa dives deep into the menstrual cycle and fertility and provides valuable new insights gleaned from more than 150 interviews with women's health experts! It's a reference that I will undoubtedly refer to again and again."
-- Lara Briden, ND, author of Period Repair Manual
"The Fifth Vital Sign is an essential book for every woman's library. Lisa blends science, tradition, and intuition in her writing -- the result is a beautiful and practical guide to all things fertility!"
-- Dr. Fiona McCulloch, ND, author of 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS
"The Fifth Vital Sign educates and empowers women to take control of their cycles and reach beyond to take charge of their total health. I could not recommend it more highly."
-- Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva and author of Healing PCOS
"At last, a book celebrating the menstrual cycle as the vital sign it is, an indicator of our overall health. Packed with useful information written in a warm, engaging style, The Fifth Vital Sign shows you how to take charge of your hormonal health and contraceptive needs in a way that nourishes and empowers. A must-have for all women in their menstruating years."
-- Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, co-authors of Wild Power and co-directors of Red School
About the Author
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The first big problem I had with this book was the section on Hormonal Birth Control causing women to choose the wrong partner.
There are several issues with this. Saying the word "cause" is misleading, she is implying that HBC directly causes women to choose the wrong partner. However, if you look at the research, they specifically state the study is too small to warrant a cause and effect conclusion. It goes on to state more research must be done before broad conclusions, like that presented in the section, are made.
The section is also small and doesn't have a conclusion or any advice on what to do if you met your partner while on HBC which makes it feel incomplete.
I felt it was careless to present something as serious as HBC destroying a marriage without some sort of resolution. It made me feel scared to go off of HBC, which is already scary in itself because the FAM is going against current medical advice. I applaud the effort the FAM is making, but it's still a scary transition.
When information like that is presented without a conclusion, who is your book for? Women who have never been on HBC and want further validation of their choices or married women like me, who want to go off of HBC but want to do it responsibly?
Bottomline, I did not appreciate that section and it really turned me off to the whole book.
The other issue I had was that this book is not everything you need to start charting successfully.
She says outright that you should find a certified instructor to start charting "because of all the nuances." I bought this book assuming it would be enough for me to chart successfully. Instead, I could have bought a course that has the same information AND is comprehensive enough to start charting with confidence. Most courses include one-on-one time with the instructor and FB communities to ask questions. The author herself has several courses on this as well, which I'm sure covers everything in the book too.
So, if you are the kind of person who wants to read everything there is about FAM as well as A LOT of info on why HBC is terrible, then this would be great for you. But if you’re like me and would prefer one comprehensive source to start charting successfully, look for a course-instructor combo.
The section on the effect of hormonal birth control on our health is, by far, THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE I've seen anywhere. It's absolutely shocking how many health problems arise from being on the Pill and this book has made that clearer than any other women's health book to date (with soooo many research citations backing everything she says).
If you've dabbled in charting your cycles, know that this book is even more in-depth than the classic, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It's truly a comprehensive resource that all women and healthcare providers who work with women should have on their bookshelf.
Top international reviews
And you know what happened? After reading this book in just a few days, I realised that I didn't know much…,) I've opened for myself a complete new universe regarding the FA! I am so thankful that this book has crossed my way because it will definitely change many things in my life. I am happy and at the same time, really angry as I didn't have a clue about many things till the age of 31. How could it happen that an adult independent and intelligent woman was lacking such essential information about her own body? Well, because nobody talks about it I guess - neither your friends, nor your own doctor.
To make the long story short - this book is more than a must for every single women! For every woman, who appreciates her own body, who values the endless (and secret) power it has. This book is extremely inspirational and will trigger lots of thoughts in your head! Read it, enjoy it and start changing your life now!
Before this book was published, Lisa worked with me as a fertility awareness educator to make sense of my cycles after coming off the pill for the first time in a decade, and to prepare my body for pregnancy. I now have a beautiful and healthy baby girl and I'm 100% confident that Lisa's knowledge played an important role in the whole journey - from pre-pregnancy to now. The Fifth Vital Sign is like having Lisa (and all of her expertise!) right there on your Kindle.
I loved reading it. EVERY woman should read it.
J’ai adoré la partie explicative du cervical mucus ! Bravo ! C’est nickel !
Que tu veuilles tomber enceinte ou pas du tout, cette méthode de « fertility awareness » est tout simplement nécessaire, toute femme devrait connaître comment fonctionne son corps et ce livre est plus qu’un bon début , il est super complet !
Merci Lisa d’avoir pris le temps d’écrire une merveille pleine d’informations si précieuses pour les femmes !