IVF: An Emotional Companion
By Brigid Moss
Published by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0007414331, ISBN-13: 978-0007414338
An illuminating insight into the experiences of those who have used IVF, Brigid Moss' 'IVF: An emotional companion' is both informative and easy-to-read. A combination of case studies, personal reflections and expert opinions from clinicians, academics, alternative therapists and counsellors support the issues discussed. Because of its accessible format, the book would be of interest to those considering IVF or indeed those further along in their treatment.
Moss says she hopes the book will show that for 'every desperate moment, and heart-breaking test result, or difficult decision you face, someone has probably been there before. And she's here - happy to - share her story'.
This refers to the 22 women who openly and candidly discuss their own experiences of fertility treatment in the book. They offer a first-hand look at the impact of fertility problems on their lives and relationships. Significantly, each story explores a different fertility issue and how it was negotiated.
These complex decisions are related to a number of wide-ranging issues, including the costs of IVF; access to publicly-funded NHS treatment; dealing with both the emotional and physical aspects of treatment; what happens when it doesn't work; and how to then move on to a different future, with or without a child.
As one might expect, the case studies are somewhat emotive. But they portray real experiences, and so provide a small snapshot into some of the common problems associated with fertility treatment. They are combined with consideration of the issues from academic perspectives, as well as useful, insightful advice from clinicians and therapists, which add context. Their discussions are enhanced by brief overviews and suggestions of available sources of help, support and information.
At the end of each chapter within the book, itself split into three major sections ('Why I had IVF', 'Making the right choices' and 'Surviving IVF'), the author poses a series of questions to the woman whose experience had been shared. These effectively form a summary of the chapter's content and discussion, with each woman giving additional insights, suggestions and advice that they think would be useful to someone in a similar position.
The downside to this book is that it is only an emotional guide for the duration of one's treatment.
But it does offer its readers an opportunity to draw strength from the knowledge they are not alone in their journey. As Moss herself notes, the book was written to 'get you through any hard times, help you to know what to expect, and where to get the advice and support you need too'.
And for this reason, I would recommend the book, as it is certainly an appropriate 'emotional companion' to any woman facing fertility difficulties.