Books About Understanding Infertility Treatment Options
Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility edited by Sue A. Johnston – This book is a collection of essays written by former infertility patients who met at an in-person support group. Each of the 12 women resolved their infertility in a different way: IVF, IVF with multiples, egg donation, adoption, surrogacy, and living child-free. There is something true about humans being geared towards stories because I found this book to be a compelling read pulling me to continue on to the next essay. I think the book benefitted from each woman being 10+ years away from resolution. Highly recommended.
What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant: The Complete Guide to All the Technologies for Couples Facing Fertility Problems by Dr. Daniel Potter and Jennifer Hanin – There are so many “infertility for beginners” books out there, but my job is to help you wade through and spend your money wisely. This book is one of the best. It is written by a reproductive endocrinologist (infertility doctor) and a former infertility patient, and that combination of experiences really shines in this book. The information is clear, and the tone upbeat and not patronizing. (I don’t know about you, but the last thing I need is someone talking down to me.) The book was published mid-2005, but I the information is still current.
Experiences of Donor Conception: Parents, Offspring, and Donors Through the Years by Caroline Lorbach – This book was published in 2003 so is a little dated but it does cover relevant issues to consider before using donor egg or sperm.
Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation by Ellen Glazer and Evelina Sterling – Good introduction to the topic and a great place to start if you are thinking about using donor eggs. I really liked the fact that this book did not treat donor eggs as just the next step on the infertility treadmill. I interviewed Dr. Glazer for the Creating a Family radio show.
Laughing IS Conceivable by Lori Shandle-Fox – This book is billed as “One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility.” Written by a former stand-up comic while she was undergoing IUI and IVF treatments, the author tries to use humor to provide support to those who are dealing with infertility. A quick read.
Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options by Melissa Ford – Great read. Very informative information from someone who has been there. Ford shares her hard-earned knowledge and insights, helping couples struggling with infertility understand the lingo, learn the details doctors tend to leave out, and keep their emotional sanity despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Navigating the Land of If gives the nitty-gritty on injections, rejections, biting your tongue during happy parent-to-be conversations, and trying not to cry over baby shower invitations. With chapters that include how-to’s for same-sex couples, and present adoption or remaining child-free as plausible alternatives, Ford tells you exactly what you need to know, from one infertile to another.
Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples by Susan Radulovacki – Six million U.S. couples are currently struggling with infertility. Living in a culture that celebrates effortless success only makes that burden harder to bear. Why is everyone else able to conceive? What does it mean to be singled-out for suffering? And, where is God in all this? Many people never find the answers, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Author Susan Radulovacki guides couples through ten scripture-based messages of insight and hope. Topics include feeling desperate, facing defeat, asking why, finding peace, and much more. In addition, ten couples share detailed accounts of their challenging–and ultimately successful–infertility journeys. Each of their stories demonstrates God’s desire to transform the experience from a heartbreaking quest into life-changing good how to make love news. If you are searching for comfort and hope in the midst of infertility, read Pregnant with Hope.
How to Make Love to a Plastic Cup by Greg Wolfe – First and foremost, this is a very good book about the biology and medicine of infertility. Anyone, male or female, could learn a thing or two, but this book is specifically written by a guy for guys from a guy’s perspective. Although Wolfe has male infertility and does a great job of explaining the physical and emotional aspects of male factor, the book is for any man who is part of an infertile couple, regardless of the cause. I interviewed Greg on the Creating a Family show.
Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Fertility Doctors, An Oscar, An Atomic Bomb, A Romantic Night, and One Woman’s Quest to Become a Mother by Peggy Orenstein – Ms. Orenstein knows how to write and she tells with wit and passion her 6+ year journey with infertility that ultimately ended successfully with the birth of her daughter when Orenstein was almost 42. This memoir is funny, sad, frustrating, and most of all, honest. I suspect many of you will see yourself and feel less alone. It’s a great read. I interviewed Peggy on the Creating a Family show, so check out that interview as well.
Tiny Toes by Kelly Damron – Kelly writes honestly about her journey through infertility, prematurity and depression. This trip almost cost her her marriage and one of her daughters, but ultimately it is a book about triumph. She survives and so does her marriage and daughter. This survival is a testament to hard work, counseling, and modern medicine (antidepressants and the NICU in equal measure). This is a cautionary tale to those who think twins are the preferred outcome of Assisted Reproductive Technology. I interviewed Kelly for the Creating a Family show on how to reduce the risk of multiples.
Embryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-first Century by Beth Kohl – This is a well written memoir of the author’s journey through IVF. She experienced her share of the ups and downs and heartache and uncertainty before becoming the parent of three daughters through IVF. She tells about it all in this well written and thoughtful book.
Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women, and the World by Liza Mundy – This book is not for you if you simply want to have a baby and think as little as possible about the ethical issues you might encounter along the way. But if you have room to ponder exactly what this brave new world might bring, then this is a great introduction to the issues. Mundy covers it all from advanced maternal age; to donor egg, sperm, or both; to surrogacy; to the preference for twins; and everything else you can think to ponder on.
Hopeful Heat Peaceful Mind: Managing Infertility by Carol F. Jones – This is a wonderfully hopeful and helpful book about surviving infertility. The author, Carol Jones has been our guest on the Creating a Family show, and is a therapist specializing in infertility. I particularly like the breath of this book which helps you cope with the impact of infertility on your relationships, your sex life, your friends, and your family.
On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility by Helen Adreinne – This compassionate book was written by an infertility therapist and hypnotherapist with over 30 years’ experience helping infertility patients. She believes it is not only possible to survive infertility with your sanity intact, but also to grow through the experience. Her wisdom and experience shines through. This one’s a keeper. Helen was a guest on the Creating a Family show
Image credit: Moyan Brenn