Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th Edition)

Today I found The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th Edition)  at the used bookstore for $10.00 - score! I haven't finished all 511 pages, but so far I like it. I vastly prefer the tone of the 4th edition to the more recent edition, which seemed a little dumbed down to me. The book still has very overtly Catholic sections, which I am "meh" about (same feeling towards the most recent edition). At the same time, I think I slightly prefer the tone of the 4th edition to "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." I think there is a greater emphasis on marriage and using NFP to grow your family than in TCOYF, which more closely aligns with NaturalGuy and my goals.

The 4th edition covers NFP for preventing pregnancy under typical circumstances, as well as post-pregnancy, during menopause, and with other health issues. The latest editions have separated these into several (shorter) books. I think I prefer having all the information in one book, as a reference manual, but the current edition may be a less intimidating introduction. The 4th edition does include a chapter on how to start NFP for the first time, as well as "for beginners" sections throughout the book.

The 4th edition covers many rules for special situation that are not covered in the most recent books - things like unusual mucus patterns and temperatures patterns. All of the rules include a section on how it effects the risk of pregnancy, which is especially helpful for couples who must avoid pregnancy for serious reasons, or for couples who would like to abstain for fewer days and are comfortable with a higher chance of pregnancy.

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