After his wife lost four pregnancies, Jon Cohen set out to gather the most comprehensive and accurate information on miscarriage – a topic shrouded in myth, hype, and uncertainty. The result of his mission is a uniquely revealing and inspirational book for every woman who has lost at least one pregnancy – and for her partner, family, and close friends.
Approaching the topic from a reporter's perspective, Cohen takes us on a surprising journey into the laboratories and clinics of researchers at the front, weaving together their cutting-edge findings with intimate portraits of a dozen families who have had difficulty bringing a baby to term. Couples who seek medical help for miscarriage often encounter conflicting information about the causes of pregnancy loss and ways to prevent it. Cohen's investigation synthesizes the latest scientific findings and unearths some surprising facts. We learn, for example, that nearly seven out of ten women who have had three or more miscarriages can still carry a child to term without medical intervention. Cohen also scrutinizes the full array of treatments, showing readers how to distinguish promising new options from the useless or even dangerous ones.
Coming to Term is the first book to turn a journalistic spotlight on a subject that has remained largely in the shadows. With an unrelenting eye and the compassion that comes from personal experience, Jon Cohen offers a message that is both enlightening and surprisingly hopeful.
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Sandra Ann Carson M.D. is a doctor of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
From Publishers Weekly:
Completed Residency At: Michael Reese Hosp Med Ctr, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Northwestern Mem Hosp, Obstetrics And Gynecology. at Chicago, Il.
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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