From Publishers Weekly
Frustrated by wildly differing explanations for his wife's four lost pregnancies, award-winning science writer Cohen (Shots in the Dark: The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine
) set out to understand miscarriage, a subject fraught with misunderstanding, controversy and emotional pain. Writing in an impressively sensitive and balanced tone, Cohen describes the dynamics of human female egg production, the signs of an impaired fetus, the impact of odd numbers of chromosomes, the relevance of a woman's age and the efficacy of a range of medical interventions designed to help women carry a baby to term. Integrated into this highly readable narrative are the moving stories of numerous couples whose hopes for a child have been repeatedly thwarted by miscarriage. Cohen also gets candid scientific opinions from leading researchers in the field and provides intelligently skeptical and illuminating guidance on some of the more controversial treatments, from lymphocyte immune therapy to the use of progesterone to treat luteal phase deficiency. Looking back, he draws cautionary lessons from the popular miscarriage treatment of the 1950s, diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen now known to cause cancer in female offspring. This enlightening and comprehensive study is a must read for any woman battling the emotional roller coaster of miscarriage and for all those interested in an underexplored area of pregnancy and women's health.
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After Cohen and his wife suffered multiple miscarriages, he decided to research miscarriage, a topic about which little is commonly known. He found that the medical community offers surprisingly scanty information about what causes what is also called spontaneous abortion. He spoke with more than 100 women, interviewed dozens of medical and scientific experts, and pored over pages of data. What he learned, as presented in this sensitively written, reader-friendly book, is both frustrating and encouraging. Despite hundreds of so-called miracle treatments and tricks, for which hopeful couples pay dearly, experts confess that no one can say with any certainty what causes and, more important, what might prevent most miscarriages. Hence, Cohen cautions against accepting the unsubstantiated claims of well-meaning practitioners. On the other hand, statistics show, he says, that the odds of a woman who has suffered several miscarriages carrying a fetus to term inexplicably increase with each miscarriage. A valuable resource. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved