Baby-Making: What the New Reproductive Treatments Mean for Families and Society

ISBN : 9780199597314

Bart C. J. M. Fauser; Paul Devroey
304 Pages
135 x 218 mm
Pub date
Oct 2011
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In the developing world, the choices available to couples for fertility treatments in the 21st century are wider than ever before. This is a time when most types of infertility can be treated by modern 'test-tube' methods, yet reproduction itself has become inextricably bound with social and political trends - declining birth rates, delayed first pregnancy, childbirth beyond the age of 40, the state funding of infertility treatment - fertility treatment is a hot topic, high on the agenda of politicians in their efforts to reverse declining national fertility rates. The range of new technologies is expansive, from embryo selection by genetic analysis to egg donation in the over-forties and cryopreservation. Today, the 'assistance' of conception with treatments such as IVF reflects a life-choice whose context is immediately social, cultural, personal, and political. Arguing that these new technologies allow the 'design' of babies in a way which is far beyond the spontaneity of nature, Bart Fauser and Paul Devroey describe the new treatments, consider what they can do, and look at how far they have come in shaping our everyday lives. Considering the wider implications of fertility treatment, they also look at the issues it raises, and evaluate how far treatments can, and should, go.


1. How can we design babies?
2. Why would anyone want to design a baby?
3. The infertility epidemic
4. IVF treatments for infertility
5. Egg, sperm and embryo donation
6. Fertility treatments in fertile patients
7. Who should pay? Fertility as a lifestyle choice, infertility as a social problem

About the author: 

Professor Bart Fauser is Chair of the Departments of Reproduction and Gynecology, Obstretrics, Neonatology, and PsychoNeuroImmunology at the University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands. As a reprodutive endocrinologist, he is the author of around 350 chapters of textbooks and scientific papers. From 2000 to 2006 he was Editor-in-Chief of the world's leading Obstetrics and Gynaecological journal (published by OUP), Human Reproduction Update.; Professor Paul Devroey is Clinical Director of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at the Dutch-speaking Free University of Brussels. He is the author of three books and almost 400 scientific papers. He is an associate editor of several medical journals and from 2005 to 2007 was Chairman of ESHRE (the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). It was Devroey's group in Brussels which pioneered the first male infertility treatment of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), now the world's most widely used IVF technique.

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