Conception - A Fertility Doctor’s Memoir will describe the history of IVF and the world it made from someone who has been practicing since its earliest days. It will describe how Dr. Merle Berger first got interested in becoming a doctor, then an obstetrician and gynecologist and finally a specialist in reproductive medicine and infertility as well as a fierce woman’s health care advocate. The book will give readers necessary perspective on where this medical technology came from and how quickly it has advanced, and it will lay out many of the ethical conundrums we will face in the coming decades. It will appeal to anyone who has considered IVF in the past 40 years, and those who wonder if they will ever need it in the future. It will also likely appeal to those who have reservations about assisted reproduction and how it has so dramatically moved a fundamental human act out of the bedroom and into the lab, even as it has stoked our fears about designer babies. Conception will help people to understand the headlines we read every day about egg-freezing technology and the way in which celebrities over 45 get pregnant. (Hint: they use donor eggs.) It will make readers fluent in the technologies that will shape reproduction in the coming decades. It will more fully trace the way in which sex was decoupled from reproduction in the 20th century, and it will outline how reproduction might be separated from eggs and sperm in the near future.
What lies ahead is thrilling to contemplate and even a little bit frightening. But when we have context for these discussions, readers will be able to make the choices that are best for them.