|| In the developed world, the fertility treatments available to couples in the 21st century are wider than ever before. Most types of infertility can be addressed by modern 'test-tube' methods, yet reproduction itself has become inextricably bound with social and political trends, such as declining birth rates, delayed first pregnancy, childbirth beyond the age of 40, and the state funding of infertility treatment. It is a topic high, high on the agenda of politicians in their efforts to reverse declining national fertility rates, and of intensive interest to more and more couples. Assisted reproduction increasingly reflects a lifestyle-choice that is immediately social, cultural, personal, and political. Doctors and professors of reproductive medicine, the authors relay their knowledge of this field's many advances since the first live in-vitro fertilization birth in 1978. They give an account of the options available to couples today, including IVF, sperm injection techniques, egg donation, fertility preservation, single embryo transfer, reproductive surgery, as well as how they work and how they are used. These new technologies can allow many couples who would otherwise have been forced by genetic or physiological factors to remain childless to have a healthy baby, the best way, the authors argue, in which we should understand 'designer babies'. But as assisted reproduction becomes more common, they also point out the wider implications for families and society as a whole. The authors review the technology, ethical dilemmas, and statistical results of many current practices, providing data from around the world. Looking to the future, they address controversial topics including cloning, pregnancy in older women, and posthumous reproduction. With sympathy for patients who undergo fertility treatment, the authors discuss techniques and outcomes in detail. The book's information on the availability of IVF relates to Europe, and the prices for procedures are given in Euros.