Reviewed by Dr Harry Brown
By Edna McVeigh, John Guillebaud and Roy Homburg
Second edition (2013)
If you think about it, this book is really all about fertility-how to create pregnancies and also how to prevent pregnancies. As such, it has a clear audience for Gynaecologists who have a role in fertility management as well as contraception, family planning doctors and for GPs the whole book is relevant. As is typical of the excellent Oxford Handbook series, it is made of a tough vinyl cover. Within the text there is almost no superfluous information and all the text is directed to helping the healthcare professional deal with a patient in front of them. It is very much, direct, straight to the point and most importantly, practical.
Due to its format this book is ideal to sit on a desk or reside within a small case for easy access during a consultation or in preparation for consultation. It is relatively small and portable and certainly accessible. For a GP it is excellent as the whole book is relevant, the highly technical aspects of sub fertility investigation, diagnosis and management are clearly explained. A good example is the excellent, easily readable (and quickly as well) chapter (five) on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which is well worth a read. Apart from being interesting and educational, according to the book, “PCOS is the most common female endocrinopathy affecting 5-10% of women in their reproductive years”.
For a GP and their primary care staff such as nurses in particular, the real treasure of this book is the contraception sections, an issue which we have to deal with on an almost daily basis. Often contraceptive issues present no problem but not uncommonly there are tricky situations such as missing pills or overdue depot injections to name but a few. The answers to these questions are not always easily or quickly found and this book is the ideal first port of call. It’s likely you will find the answer here.
It’s an excellent and practical book, particularly for primary care health care team as well as a GP registrar. The only criticism I have is that it is a shame that there is no electronic version (such as web access or app) bundled with the purchase price. Other than that it is definitely worth having.
Dr Harry Brown