This is an excellent book with a captive readership: the one percent of infertile couples who must resort to high technology to conceive children. Zouves, a medical director of a large San Francisco fertility practice, writes convincingly and with great feeling about seemingly impossible cases. The patients are as diverse as the procedures: lesbian and straight couples, older and younger couples, several of them adoptive parents seeking more children via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) with or without surrogacy and donor eggs. Zouves is himself the father of two children, one autistic; he displays real empathy for his patients, dealing as they do with a medical condition that alters every aspect of family life. Not only the infertile but their families and friends can benefit from this book; buy multiple copies. Highly recommended.--Catherine Arnott Smith, Ctr. for Biomedical Informatics, Univ. of Pittsburgh Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
This testament to the pain of infertility and the promise of reproductive technology relentlessly accentuates the positive even as it describes the utter desperation of couples who are willing to do whatever it takes to have a child. It's not that Zouves, who is medical director at the San Francisco�based Pacific Fertility Centerone of the few in the country to offer its clients a money-back guaranteeis blind to what his patients are going through. On the contrary, he does an excellent job of recounting the physical, emotional, and financial toll that infertility treatment can take on his patients and their families. It's just that in a book that considers every possible obstacle to having a babyadvanced age, endometriosis, fibroids, cancer, vasectomy, low sperm count and/or motility, immune system problems, to name just a fewnearly every couple depicted here emerges from the infertility ordeal with at least one healthy newborn. To be sure, most of them had to go pretty far afield; many underwent multiple cycles of in vitro fertilization, others had to rely on sperm or egg donors. Some even resorted to surrogates. The details of their treatment are described unflinchingly: hundreds of hormone shots, multiple miscarriages, the heartbreak of being "a little bit pregnant!" after embryos are implanted, only to have the "pregnancy" vanish, and the irony of "selective reduction," i.e., aborting one or more fetuses when fertility treatments work too well. For those grappling with infertility, Zouves's work, which makes the intricacies of biology understandable to the lay reader, offers a useful primer on cutting-edge science. And while it holds out much-needed hopeto those who yearn for children, the book would have been more valuable had it reflected the reality that miracles do not happen every day.