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Enhancing Fertility Naturally: Holistic Therapies for a Successful Pregnancy Paperback – April 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
Wesson (Natural Mothering, 1997) uses anonymous personal narratives to illustrate alternative medical treatment for infertility. The narratives are striking, but the evidence supporting them is uneven at best. To her credit, Wesson admits this; discussing the adverse effects of biomedical treatment, she states: "The lack of research [in alternative treatment] means there may be drawbacks too." More troubling is Wesson's failure to support her tone of authority. Medical citations are scattered throughout the text, but numerous extremely strong statements (e.g., that there is a "higher incidence of spina bifida" in IVF babies) are left completely unreferenced, perhaps with good reason; the source for this particular quote turns out not to be a clinical study but a 1987 letter to the editor of Lancet! Readers are better served by Judith Steinberg Turiel's Beyond Second Opinions: Rethinking Questions About Fertility (LJ 6/15/98), which will assist them in navigating the medical literature for themselves. Not recommended.ACatherine Arnott Smith, Predoctoral Research Fellow, Ctr. for Biomedical Informatics, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Nicky Wesson is a member of the Association for the Improvement in Maternity Services, a National Childbirth Trust teacher, and the author of Natural Mothering. She lives in England.
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Top Customer Reviews
The "success" stories were more like horror stories and made me more nervous than hopeful.
I am going to stick with good diet & exercise, drinking lots of water, eliminating alcohol and caffeine, enjoying lots of sex, and maybe some acupuncture.
I would say that this book is not even worth buying it used for $1.
UPDATE: We were successful after taking bee products (propolis with royal jelly) and cell salts for one month. Worth a try!
First of all, I was expecting a book on actual Natural methods of enhancing fertility [kind of like "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" I suppose]. The first third of this book is about nothing but conventional medical treatment. That's kind of annoying, but my real problem is that I don't think its even covered well - for example, she's listing "pros and cons" of all these different medical treatments and leaving out pretty important things [like mood swings and depression being a side effect of Clomid - pretty well accepted I think].
I also had a real conflict with this book as a Catholic. [This may be irrelevant to many readers, but I'll include my concerns here anyway in case they are helpful to some]. She makes an erroneous and inflammatory comment about the Catholic Church in a section on "Emotional issues with Infertility" where she says that "some Churches are extremely hard on Infertile couples. But there has been a breakthrough with the Catholic Church in that they have recently accepted a proceedure to open blocked fallopian tubes.". [The Catholic Church is the only Church mentioned by name, definitely seeming to single it out]. The author comes accross as pretty negative towards the Catholic Church and insinuates that the Catholic church doesn't support infertility treatment. This is actually untrue - the Church is *extremely* supportive of treatment for infertility [including surgery to open tubes, certain drug therapys such as Clomid, etc]. What the Church absolutely DOES not support or condone is proceedures where embryos are created and then destroyed - for *Catholics* that is Murder and it is unconscionable. The Church also doesn't condon artificial insemination or cloning [which violate the God given nature of conception according to our religious beliefs]. She doesn't cover this at all and leaves the reader with the impression that the mean old Catholic Church just doesn't want poor infertile couples to get any help at all.
I had a real problem with the book morally - under her section on InVitro Fertilization she doesn't even mention the fact that routinely about 20 embryos are created and all but 2 or 3 are either destroyed or frozen. She doesn't mention this as a concern or an issue in her "pros and cons" section. I think that if she is truly writing an objective book trying to educate people she should at least be *honest* about the pros and cons - for many people, creating embryos you *know* you'll destroy IS a problem. She also doesn't mention the high incidence of "selective abortion" where a woman may be implanted with multiple embryos and three or more "take" - then the doctor is likely to recommend selectively aborting some of the babies. This is also fairly routine and is a moral problem for some people.
These issues are not a problem for many people, so this won't be relevant to them; but the moral issues are worth mentioning as fair warning to those with religious belief systems that don't support some of the things she's recommending. Regardless of one's beliefs, her failure to mention these things at all is NOT a balanced or honest presentation of the procedures she's purporting to describe objectively.
Aside from the moral issues, I just don't think this book is very good - its not that well written [she wanders around in paragraphs and switches topics mid-stream and the book isn't edited very well]. It also doesn't really hold true with the title - it isn't really about "Natural" Fertilty Enhancement, it is trying to be more of an "all encompasing" Infertility handbook as far as I can tell, including much info on popular medical treatments. In trying to cover *everything* she covers none of it well - including the sections on natural methods. I just don't find this book outstanding in any way unfortunately.