Thursday, April 30, 2009

IVF Book Review : "The Complete Guide to IVF"

Just a little over a week ago, the packages started arriving. Exciting!! I spent a few days digging around on, trying to find the "best" IVF books out there.

My IVF book criteria:
- They needed to be somewhat recently published (this was really hard to find actually!)
- Go into at least a bit of detail on specifics surrounding what an IVF cycle is like
- I was also looking for at least one of them to include a story (or stories) about people who underwent IVF - preferably a first-hand account.

I ended up purchasing three books, one of which I've already finished and reviewed below. Stay tuned for more... this next book I just started is proving to be the best yet!!

The Complete Guide to IVF:
An Inside View of Fertility Clinics and Treatment

Straight from the book description: The most recent studies show that 40,000 cycles of IVF are carried out in the UK each year - and approximately a million are carried out worldwide. It is estimated that at least 200,000 IVF babies are born annually - and this figure is constantly rising. With assisted conception increasing year on year, 'The Complete Guide to IVF' offers an invaluable and insightful approach to the process. Packed with first-hand accounts of patients who have been through it, and Kate Brian's own experience of IVF, this book will de-mystify the treatment and give a 'behind-the-scenes' account of what really happens. Addressing the entire experience, right from the initial clinic visit through to the assisted conception cycle, 'The Complete Guide to IVF' provides an accessible, down-to-earth and reassuring account of using IVF to conceive.

Published year: 2009

My rating: (3 out of 5)

Who would benefit from this book? Anyone who is in the very beginning stages of understanding what IVF is all about and wants an easy-to-read overview; this could include not only patients, but also friends or relatives alike.

What I liked about this book: I purchased this book for two main reasons - it was one of the most recently published books on IVF that I could find AND because it seemed to contain (based on the description) the first-person perspective that I was looking for. Did it fulfill those wishes? Yes, it certainly did. It was an easy read that touched briefly on many main areas of IVF, starting with the beginning stages of suppression and egg stimulation, going all the way through retrieval and transfer and what to expect along the way. Throughout the book, in each section, the author would include comments or experiences she had with that particular topic, as well as include a very brief quote from another infertility patient, which was a nice touch. It also had a chapter dedicated to male infertility, covering not only causes but also how to emotionally deal with infertility and be a support system for a partner.

What I didn't like: While I am glad I bought it, I don't know that I'll use it as a reference tool all that much. I think the problem was that it was so surface level it didn't leave me with many thoughts of, right - what an interesting point, or wow - I didn't know that! Sure there was stuff that I didn't know, simply because I'm in the very beginning stages of really trying to learn the ins and outs of IVF, but I wish it would have had a bit more to it.

That being said, it does make for a very good "first" read. I'm glad I did end up reading it first, because otherwise, I'm afraid I may have felt like it wasn't telling me anything new.

Another potential downfall, though completely no fault of the author or this book, if you're from the U.S. you should know that this was written by someone who underwent and interviewed residents of the UK for this book. Why do I mention it? Well some of the info might not be quite as catered to what U.S. clinics are like; however, I didn't get the feeling that there wouldn't be too many differences, so it still seemed very applicable.

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stacey April 30, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

I hope you also like the A.R.T. of Making Babies. That's the only one of the 3 I read, and I found it really helpful. I knew most of it actually, but it was nice to have as a resource.

Cathy April 30, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

Yes! That's the one I'm reading as we speak and it is AWESOME!! I'm only half way through and I'm learning soooo much! Glad to hear you found it helpful as well. :-)

Cindy Dy May 31, 2016 at 10:26 PM  

Your blog is fabulous.

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