OVERCOMING CHILDLESSNESS: Its Causes and What to Do about Them by

OVERCOMING CHILDLESSNESS: Its Causes and What to Do about Them

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We were able to read only the British edition of this well-intended import; it is to be hoped that the American edition will incorporate some revisions taking into account the glaring discrepancies between the medical systems of the two countries. For example, diagnosis, in Philipp's account, involves beautifully coordinated teamwork among as many as fourteen people--G.P., infertility clinic personnel, and a battery of specialists--whose total fees would be prohibitive for even fairly well-off American couples. The medical advice itself is sensible and systematic. The explanation of the negative-feedback hormonal cycle is not as detailed as that in Our Bodies, Ourselves, but of course a great deal more ground is covered on the question of infertility. Philipp discusses the problem of determining whether and when ovulation occurs, techniques for appraising the patency of the Fallopian tubes, and important chemical variations in the cervical mucus. On the more poorly understood male side, he considers the few factors (scrotal temperature, frequency of ejaculation) known to affect sperm count. There are accounts of simple procedures which may aid conception (technique and timing of intercourse) as well as more drastic intervention by surgery or hormonal therapy. When all is said and done, a significant number of the involuntarily childless will remain so, but Philipp is encouraging about future breakthroughs, particularly in male infertility. Efficiently and sympathetically written; a useful elementary introduction to the subject.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1975
Publisher: Taplinger