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Book review
Sexual and Reproductive Health at a Glance
  1. Shamela de Silva
  1. Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine and HIV, West Middlesex Hospital, London, UK;

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Catriona Melville. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1-118-46072-6. Price: £24.99. Pages: 128 (paperback)

This book, written by a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) consultant, has a broad remit. It is designed to be an integrated text encompassing key information on contraception, sexual health and reproductive health required for the specialty. It references guidelines from UK faculties and sexual health associations. It serves a specialist SRH agenda but would also be suitable for other healthcare workers and students who are not directly involved with SRH, but who will encounter such issues in their own clinical work. A supporting website is advertised but was unavailable at the time of review.

The author has specifically presented information on individual conditions, but also clinical presentations to facilitate application to medical practice. The text is concise and clear, and enriched with useful tables and diagrams. This makes the book easy and engaging to read and, because the information is presented in colour-coded tables with associated pictures, it is likely to be an efficient revision text. It can meaningfully be read in short sections, making it useful for a busy clinician.

The content is split into four parts. Part 1 lays out the general principles of SRH, in the context of practice in the UK. Part 2 contains chapters on different contraceptive methods followed by a chapter on specific conditions that may affect contraceptive choice. Part 3 then reviews major sexually transmitted infections by type (e.g. Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea, etc.). The chapter on herpes simplex virus is particularly good, as this can be a clinically confusing condition, and the guidance that the author provides is clear and specific. This is followed by a short and interesting summary of rarer causes of genital ulceration. Skin conditions are also summarised in a few pages, as are blood-borne viruses. The final part covers reproductive health aspects such as abortion, common gynaecological problems and the menopause.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and feel it is a useful text for both SRH and other healthcare professionals.