Infertility can have devastating physical, emotional and financial effects on people affected. It is a common problem, but can be hard to talk about, and hard to understand. In this concise book, Dr Kovacs, a reproductive gynaecologist who has spent the past 40 years working with patients facing fertility problems, focuses on and unpicks key misconceptions. In his clear explanations, he covers the basic physiology of conceiving, and describes the areas that have to be explored for those who have not yet been able to conceive. Specific chapters cover the three major problem areas: lack of releasing eggs, sperm problems, and abnormalities of the female passages. Treatment options are discussed for each of these areas, including technical details and a brief readable overview of their history. The many ways of parenting which are now available are also detailed. This is a recommended read for couples wanting to conceive, their friends and families, and anyone who wants to understand fertility.
1. How does conception occur and why have I not got pregnant?
2. Is the male partner fertile, and if not, can we improve his sperm? What other options are there?
3 Physiology of the menstrual cycle, and treatment for not ovulating
4. Are my uterus or my tubes stopping me getting pregnant?
5. Unexplained (idiopathic) infertility
6. What is IVF and what does it entail?
7. Fertility preservation and other reproductive options
8. Is it mind over matter?
Summary of common misunderstandings
Gab Kovacs is a reproductive gynaecologist with over 40 years of clinical experience, and a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He was a member of the Monash University IVF team that produced the world's 4th-13th IVF babies. He is an Honorary Life Member of the International Federation of Fertility Societies and The Fertility Society of Australia.
"Dealing with infertility can be stressful and time consuming, often compounded by a lack of understanding due to inadequate explanations. This book interprets all the medical and technical language; it explains the terminology, the problems and their treatments simply and understandably. Unusually, in discussing many specific points, it acknowledges that there is no clear answer, but describes the different views and provides a conclusion. There are no simplistic explanations – rather, this is a book for those who want to know all the details. It is well illustrated and provides a balanced perspective on contemporary approaches to the management of infertility."
– Ian Cooke, University of Sheffield, UK, and Chairman (1996-9) and later President (2001-4) of the British Fertility Society
"This is a much needed and long-awaited book which uncovers in a clear and comprehensive way the physiology and pathophysiology of human fertility. Written by one of the world's pioneers of reproductive medicine, the book can serve as an invaluable asset for any person facing fertility issues."
– Ariel Weissman, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Holon and Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
"Although written for patients, Understanding Fertility contains descriptions of issues associated with fertility that are basic and sophisticated. I personally acquired many new insights. Patients will find the concepts in this book easy to comprehend fully. The illustrations and graphics are beautifully executed. This is a must-read for anyone undergoing fertility treatment, but anyone interested in reproduction who read this book will find their time was well spent. The author is an iconic expert."
– Alan Decherney, M.D., Editor-In-Chief, Global Reproductive Health, the Journal of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS)