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Thank you for publishing a review of Fertility and Conception1 in the January 2011 issue of the Journal.
I was glad that Dr Wilkes found the book well written and easy to read. I was therefore puzzled and disappointed by his misunderstanding of my inclusion in the chapter on ‘Fertility Awareness’ of a full explanation of the role of measurement of basal body temperature, as an essential part of successful fertility awareness for contraception. As clearly stated, the awareness of fertility signals can be used both to help increase the chance of conception and to avoid pregnancy until ready to conceive. In the section on using fertility awareness to conceive I clearly state “Because the (BBT) temperature rise is caused by progesterone secreted by the corpus luteum after ovulation, it occurs too late to be used as a fertility signal”.
Dr Wilkes is critical of the section discussing possible methods that have been tried to affect the outcome of the baby's gender. I would like to point out that although I discuss some popular theories on sex determination, I clearly state: “While putting these theories into practice is harmless there is no good scientific evidence that they work … Remember, any method has a 50% chance of ‘working’ for you”.
I hope that the Journal's readers will read Fertility and Conception and judge it for themselves.
Competing interests None.