Book Reviews

Book Reviews

The Thin Pink Line: Regulating Reproduction

“Women’s health has been regulated and politicized for much longer than we like to admit. When we look back through our own history, the truth is both alarming and eye opening. The use of women’s health and reproduction as a political tool has simplified the issue down to abortion access and care. And despite the importance of this topic, and the relevance to modern life, the history of women’s care is so much more than one single political issue. Many of us don’t know the roots of racism and misogyny in medicine and reproductive care. Many of us don’t want to acknowledge the past. As a fertility physician, I see first-hand how the history of women’s health plays a role in our everyday life. This is because reproduction is not talked about. From menstrual cycles, to infertility and miscarriage. The culture of silence and ignorance, which was a part of society long before women started leading conversations, is so ingrained in human behavior that an active movement is needed to discuss the past and change the future. As technology advances faster than research, we must understand the ethical principles that guide us as a field. Honestly, there are parts of this book that are hard for me to read as a gynecologist. Things I know are true, and things I know that I wish were in the past, but sadly are not completely. I have seen women die from lack of medical care, I have taken care of patients who have been victims of female genital mutilation, I have seen the discrimination and hate laid at the feet of a trans person, I’ve watched how we treat our incarcerated, and I’ve had patients sterilized by the government who had no idea the procedure was done. I am a woman who believes in education and empowerment. But this is not just our history, it is also our present. Dr. Curchoe Burton, a reproductive physiologist and senior clinical embryologist, has watched the first stages of life unfold in a dish in the lab. She has seen the ethical debate that exists in the reproductive world when it comes to research, legality of embryos, personhood, and the advancement of technology. If you ever sit in a lab and watch the first cells of human life divide, then you know – there is art in this science. But the responsibility to protect this beauty becomes your burden. We must not let ignorance be the guiding light regulating female reproduction by politicians and those with other motives. In The Thin Pink Line, Dr. Curchoe Burton has given life to something more – a telling of the past, present, and future with precision and an absolute attention to detail, as I know reflects her role overseeing life in the embryology lab. The reproductive world is undergoing an evolution. There is high interest from tech companies and money being funneled into an industry of patient care. The largest network of fertility clinics in the US is led not by physicians, scientists, or embryologists, but by businessmen, and the people who are behind the industry advancing the science in our own IVF labs are all coming from outside medicine. At face value, advancement is always good. More money will be put into development and acquisition and new technology. But respecting research and upholding ethical principles is essential for our own society’s growth. In order to do this, we must collectively understand the history of how we came to be as a field, the origins of women’s health, and how reproduction has been, and continues to be, regulated.”
Dr. Natalie M. Crawford, MD, MSCR, FACOG

A thought provoking read on a broad range of topics related to women’s health told through the lens of patient advocacy and social justice. The Thin Pink Line is fascinating and covers a wide range of controversial topics.”
Eve C. Feinberg, MD., Associate Professor Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, REI Fellowship Program Director, Past-President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

“The history of women’s care is so much more than one single political issue. Many of us don’t know the roots of racism and misogyny in medicine and reproductive care. Many of us don’t want to acknowledge the past. In The Thin Pink Line, Dr. Curchoe Burton has given life to something more – a telling of the past, present, and future with precision and an absolute attention to detail.”
Dr. Natalie M. Crawford, MD. Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and Director of Patient Experience and Education and Co-Founder of Fora Fertility, Host and Creator of “As A Woman” podcast

“Dr. Carol Lynn (Curchoe) Burton’s The Thin Pink Line: Regulating Reproduction is a brave and honest look at where we have been, so we can figure out where we want to go. You will be thinking about these topics long after you have finished the last page.”
Allison K. Rodgers, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical Contributor for Beat Infertility Podcast, Women’s Health Advocate

The Ovarian Reserve: Current Trends and Applications

An excellent book on ovarian reserve, concisely written, well referenced, with balanced views and containing many practical tips. It is a must read for clinicians practising reproductive medicine.”
Professor Tin Chiu Li, PhD
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine
Director of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

“The concept of ovarian reserve is central to reproductive medicine and management of infertility. This concise yet comprehensive monograph offers the reader an up to date and readable summary of our knowledge of ovarian reserve and its measurement in 2021. As couples increasingly defer their decisions to start a family, assessment of ovarian reserve has become a mainstay of clinicians ability to advise on topics such as oocyte or embryo freezing, when to try for pregnancy naturally and when to discontinue IVF treatment. Modern approaches using serum AMH and ultrasound assessment of AFC require detailed clinical knowledge to facilitate accurate interpretation of test results, making the contents of this book invaluable to both primary care physicians and those specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology and reproductive medicine. In addition, the more specialised content focussing on clinical implications of diminished ovarian reserve will be of use to those involved in management of early onset of menopause in addition to reproductive medicine specialists. It is also pleasing to see clear advice on what tests not to use. Having read this monograph, the reader will be confident to approach these common and often mismanaged clinical conundrums.”
William Ledger
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
University of New South Wales, Sydney

From Pap Smear to HPV Vaccine: The Cervical Cancer Prevention Industry

“Dr. Sin Hang Lee, former associate professor at Yale University and ex-resident at Cornell University’s Cornell Medical Center, is one of the most excellent virologists in the contemporary global medical community. I recommend his book, titled “From Pap Smear to HPV Vaccine — the Cervical Cancer Prevention Industry,” wholeheartedly. This book should be studied by all university medical professors and students across the world as a sort of the most authoritative “Bible” in the HPV vaccine-associated adverse reaction field because its author, backed by his deep knowledge of molecular biology and vital functions of codons and consequences of its translation and transcription, elucidates reasons and causes of ultra-wide-anging types of adverse reactions that also show up at recipients of HPV vaccines…READ MORE…”
Dr. Harumi Kuno-Sakai
M.D. Former Pediatrics Professor at Tokai University’s School of Medicine

The Psychological Context of Labour Pain

“Two Czech psychologists joined their forces to create an international team and their joint effort resulted in a publication small in size (94 numbered pages), yet offering a unique content. On the book’s back cover, Professor Giustino Varrassi mentions (inter alia) two significant aspects of the book. One is the scientific approach and the other is the constant reference to the exceptionally human side of the topic. The reader must agree. It is not just about pain, however intimate the experience of pain may, undoubtedly, be; the book focuses on pain connected with the delivery of new life, i.e. pain related to birth (as the book’s title suggests).

The structure of the work is well selected and helps to improve clarity and understandability. The preface already contains a brief summary of everything the reader may expect to find in the book. The reader may then choose specific chapters based on their personal or immediate interest. Each chapter is introduced by an abstract, which again helps the readers to find their way through the text. In several chapters, the female authors (yes, all team members are women) cover the social and cultural context of perception of labour pain, and continue with the psychological aspects of labour pain and related coping strategies and fear connected with these aspects and with childbirth in general. A separate chapter is devoted to cesarean delivery on maternal request. Certain parts of the book tend to be more general, providing an opportunity to think in a wider context. This is the case of e.g. pain components. Briefly, yet clearly, the emotional, behavioral and cognitive components are covered, including possible tools and methods of their recording and measurement. Pain has always been a complex phenomenon that is determined by our experience, expectations and personal and social environment.

The authors present the conclusions of a number of international studies on the differences in experiencing pain, comparing cultural and ethnic differences, as well as education, age, expectations, etc., of women in labour. All the empirical research which is based on very specific data shows something of fundamental importance: rather than suppressing pain connected with new life, or down playing pain as something uncomfortable, unwanted, yet unfortunately inevitable, we need to allocate certain purpose or meaning to the experience of pain and the related manifestations and cognitive processes (ideas, fantasies, etc.). A meaning that is part of human life helps to endure pain or discomfort and prevents the experience of suffering. As a man who does not undergo the test of labour pain, I can afford a rather detached, philosophical view and a wish that the arrival of a human being to this world be connected with pain that is meaningful and intertwined with hope and dignity.

The publication in question is successful both for its content and for being published in English which makes it widely available. I recommend this publication for reading and further reflection to professionals of various specializations and to all those who do not consider childbirth and everything related to childbirth a mere routine medical procedure.” – Prof. Ph Dr. Jiří Šípek, CSc., Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

“A slim book on the psychological context of labour pain (The Psychological Context of Labour Pain), edited by Jaroslava Raudenská and Alena Javůrková, and published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. in New York in 2016, is a concise, yet information-rich overview of significant topics covering both science and medical practice or clinical psychology practice in the given area.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from pain prophylaxis to a deeply human, spiritual experience of childbirth; from self-help options to exclusively expert medical interventions; from a single expert to a multidisciplinary team; from the mother and child to the family context or wider social context; from anxiety and fear, psychologically conditioned, to the phenomenon of pure physiological pain and methods of coping with such pain.

A separate chapter is devoted to cesarean delivery (sectio caesarea): the related statistical data, the circumstances of personal or professional choice of cesarean delivery and the broader philosophical context and human and professionalaspects of the surgery.

The book attempts to open the imaginary door to interdisciplinary collaboration. Although a multidisciplinary approach in obstetrics as proved efficient, it is still not widely used. Thus, the book may benefitall those involved in antenatal preparation, childbirth and postnatal care. The book contains useful information for physicians (especially gynaecologists, neonatologists, anaesthesiologists and psychiatrists), physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, nurses and social workers and may also bring inspiration to students of the above branches.

The editors are well aware that the size of each chapter did not allow for an exhaustive scientific paper on such key phenomena of human life as birth and pain; nevertheless (or, perhaps, therefore) the book may be used as a “springboard” for further study of the topics (the book itself providing an extensive list of sources) and as a practical guide to integration of various disciplines for the benefit of life. Life from its very beginning, life in its deepest human nature – through mother and child and their co-experience.” – Pavel Humpolíček, Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Brno Masaryk University, Czech Republic

For more information about this book, please click here.

Essureal Journey: Concepts, Concerns and Considerations for Hysteroscopic Sterilization

“When the Essure permanent birth control system hit the market in 2002, the medical community viewed it as an innovation in permanent female sterilization. Because of its first-in-class design, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified it as a high-risk device. This protects the manufacturer from liability. Now, more than a decade after its release, thousands of women who suffered adverse events after implantation demand a ban on the device and the ability to sue for damages.” READ MORE…Michelle Y. Llamas, senior content writer at Drugwatch

For more information about this book, please click here.