... Yet the
question remained, how could a pregnancy be initiated at a time when ovulation was not
supposed to be occurring? The data seemed to suggest that more than one ovum was released
each month. What triggers this additional ovulation? Dr. Kurt Rechnitz, having tested
Jonas' method (Lunar Phase Method) in practice and having found it to work with a
high degree of accuracy, began to seek a physiological explanation of Jonas' moon-phase
In order to comprehend this method, he says, we must begin with the
female reproductive cycle. The endometrium, or uteral mucous membrane, empties during
menstruation. under the influence of the follicular hormone. It then grows again until the
fifteenth day when a follicle ruptures and an ovum is released and sent on its way to the
uterus. If sperm come into contact with the ovum, fertilization can occur at this time. In
the ovary, the ruptured follicle is transformed into what is called a "yellow
body" (the corpus luteum), which conditions the uteral membrane by means of its
hormone and prepares it for pregnancy. If fertilization does not take place, however, then
about fourteen days later the yellow body perishes, the hormone level drops, and
The activity of the ovaries - and in particular the ripening of the
follicle, its rupture and transformation into a yellow body - is governed by the pituitary
gland, which itself is under the influence of another part of the brain, the hypothalamus.
Since it is the ruptured follicle that prepares the uterus for the
fertilized ovum, it would seem obvious, Rechnitz points out, that conception can only take
place close to the time of the follicle's rupture.
"This is in fact true for the majority of mammals," he says.
"However, there are a few exceptions. In the ovary of the cat or hare, for instance,
mature follicles are always present, ready to burst. Nevertheless, these follicles do not
burst of their own accord. The rupture always takes place during copulation. This means,
that for such mammals, conception can occur at any time [or in other words, virtually
whenever sexual intercourse occurs]. For humans as well, both methods are possible.
"In the case of an adult woman, one ovum is liberated from the
mature follicle on the fourteenth or fifteenth day of her cycle, unless she is already
pregnant. However, this process - and hence conception - can also take place at any time
during the menstrual cycle. Biologically, there is a possibility that tension, due to
the effect of certain moon phases, builds up in the woman's nervous and hormone systems,
which, in the event of sexual intercourse, leads to the rupture of the follicle and thus
conception. It is no accident that this connection was recognized by a psychiatrist
and not by an obstetrician."
Dr. Rechnitz asserts that it is surprising that conception
occurs more often at the repeated intervals of the lunar phase than at the
cyclical rupture of the follicle around the fifteenth day after the start of menstruation
when the endometrium and in fact the entire organism are prepared for pregnancy.
Conception also can occur when the lunar phase coincides with the
time of menstruation, despite the fact that at this time the endometrium. is the least
suitable to receive a fertilized ovum. "This situation is difficult to explain,"
The angle of the lunar phase that existed at the time of the mother's
birth and which repeats itself about every 29 1/2 days (while the moon alternates between
signs of male and female or positive and negative) can be precisely calculated if the
woman's time of birth is known with sufficient accuracy.
Does the recurring moon-phase angle work in some ways like a biological
clock - a rhythm beginning at a woman's birth and regulating fertility through its
influence on the hypothalamus, pituitary, and glandular hormones? The Center for Cycles
Research affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh has data showing that cycles,
rhythms, and harmonies are constantly influencing living things; even the activity of the
cells in our bodies is cyclic. Dr. B. Chance reported a 160-second chemical cycle in cells
at a December 1966 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Rechnitz points out another curious factor: the ability to conceive seems to
intensify cumulatively with each recurring angle of the lunar phase. This finding is
supported by the fact that pregnancies had been achieved by utilizing the lunar phase
theory in cases of both primary and secondary sterility - of course, only in cases where
no obstacles of anatomical, hormonal, or similar nature existed.
In a letter to us, Dr. Rechnitz reports he is preparing a detailed book
in connection with the overall lunarphase theory. "So far," he says, "my
results, achieved independently of Dr. Jonas, show that the earth's magnetism influences
chromosomes and in this way even the smallest particles in the body."
Are Jonas and Rechnitz correct in assuming that there are two fertility
cycles per month? Certainly, there is a lot of evidence that ovulation and conception
frequently occur outside the regular monthly ovulation cycle. Extensive studies of the
efficacy of the rhythm method have demonstrated this. Large-scale surveys of couples using
rhythm who scrupulously avoided the ovulation cycle of fertility showed as many as 30
pregnancies per 100 women per year.
During World War II, Rechnitz adds, when the time of furlough of the
husband could be controlled, it was found that conception occurred at any time of the
month, not just during the wife's regular ovulation cycle. "The time of conception is
thus not bound by the Knaus-Ogino hypothesis, as the latter assumes only a regular,
spontaneous separation of the ovum," Rechnitz asserts. He also cites research on
artificial insemination during the Korean war as showing that only 15 percent of the time
was pregnancy achieved on the regular ovulation cycle....
(italics and bolds added by IAM)