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The Art of Natural Family Planning Paperback – July 1, 1996


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The Art of Natural Family Planning + Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health + Nexcare 524560 Basal Digital Thermometer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Couple to Couple League; 4th edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0926412132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0926412132
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Erin Arlinghaus on February 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is the "bible" of Natural Family Planning (NFP)---NOT the "rhythm method," but a proven method of monitoring a woman's cycle signs to determine when her "window of fertility" begins and ends. It can be upwards of 95% effective!
This book is used as a textbook for the Couple to Couple League International NFP course. It's the best book for a "beginner" to buy---and it will guide you through your entire reproductive life. There's an extensive section for "beginners" and a chapter on the special charting needs of women just quitting the Pill. It explains how to use your fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy, as well as how to beat marginal infertility. It tells how to know you're pregnant and how to maintain infertility during breast feeding, as well as how to tell when you become fertile again. Finally, it explains how to chart all the way through menopause. There is plenty of info about the effects of nutrition and pharmaceuticals on your cycles too!
While the technical information will help anyone, the book is particularly well-suited for Christians as it has sections which delve deep into the morality of family planning. But non-Christians shouldn't be scared off either---this is simply the best book around for learning how to use your natural body signs to prevent or achieve pregnancy, no matter what your reasons.
My husband and I use this method, and we think our marriage and my health is better for it.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I would definitely recommend this book over others on fertility awareness and natural family planning. The review at the end of each chapter is very helpful in learning the basic concepts, and the sample chart exercises are invaluable -- they cover "real-life" cycle irregularities as well as some "textbook-perfect" cycles. There is also a lot of information on the return of fertility following childbirth, which I don't remember seeing in the other books I've read. There also seem to be more rules for chart interpretation than in other books, which allows for a shorter period of abstinence given individual cycle patterns. This is a very well researched book, and includes lots of references to medical journal articles. One section of this book covers Christian teaching on birth control and Catholic teaching in particular, and is very interesting for those who are pursuing NFP for religious reasons. However, this book is not "just" for Catholics, and is a wonderful resource for any couple looking for natural, ecologically-friendly birth regulation.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This information-packed book is a must for couples who wish to understand the gift of their fertility. It gives the reader an excellent understanding of Natural Family Planning. This is not the "rhythm method", but a method based on observation of one's own pattern of fertility. As a woman, I particularly was pleased to develop an awareness of my body's natural cycles. This method is exceptionally useful for women, like me, who have irregular menstrual cycles. The authors cite moral, religious, health and environmental reasons to support the use of Natural Family Planning. They also provide ample information demonstrating why the sympto-thermal method of NFP gives a woman all the tools she needs to determine her fertile time, whether she is seeking pregnancy or to avoid a pregnancy. The effectiveness of this method approaches or exceeds that of the Pill, without the health risks for the woman or baby. I highly recommend this book!
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By James Francis on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
My wife and I decided to use NFP, in accordance with Catholic teaching. We purchased this book, as well as Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

While we agree with the church's moral teaching, we felt that this book went far beyond Catholic theology. It forces its moral judgements upon its readers on topics such as ecological breastfeeding and working mothers, espouses the virtues of buying a king-sized bed for your whole family to roll around in (what???), and makes its own assumptions regarding the "serious reasons" under which NFP is permissible.

I agree with the other reader who commented that the tone of the book is "smug," as in its vague message to newlyweds about the couple that conceived on their honeymoon, never to conceive again. This story was meant to scare people away from using NFP during the early part of a marriage. This book is chock full of similar first-hand accounts that come off as hearsay, because they are not substantiated by any names, facts, or places.

The book comes of as a sales pitch, and not a very good one at that. The fact of the matter is that the abstainence periods are difficult and can be lengthy. The book dismisses any true frustration or difficulty one may have during those periods, instead talking about "courtship" and "honeymoon" phases. I'm sorry, but not to give serious, realistic attention to these periods, and instead make it sound like fun offered no comfort.

Furthermore, the writing style is unscientific in that it uses terms such as "maritial relations" instead of "coitus" or "intercourse."

The book is difficult to use when looking for answers to specific questions.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, while written from a secular perspective, is easier to read, less judgemental in tone, and more straightforward.

There is definitely a market for a better NFP book written from a Catholic perspective.
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