Wednesday, January 18, 2006


One of the most frustrating problems in reproductive medicine today is the patient who has suffered recurrent pregnancy loss. These patients are often emotionally distraught, and at their wit's end. They get multiple opinions from different doctors, and cannot make sense of what is true or false. The reason for this is because we just do not have the answers to their questions - which means we often don't have effective solutions to their problem. Most doctors don't like admitting to the patient that "we don't know", which is why patients are often subjected to multiple tests; and treated with a bewildering cocktail of "treatment measures" - most of which often do more harm than
good ! These are often "heartsink" patients, because they are so frustrated and confused.
For these patients, I have found that the best treatment is - Information Therapy ! I advise them to read the book, Coming to Term. This is one of the wisest books I have ever read. It is written by a skilled author, who is not only a scientist, but who has also experienced the trauma of multiple miscarriages firsthand.
In fact, getting patients to read books written by other patients is excellent medicine. Not only do they realise they are not alone; they can also derive strength and courage from another fellow-patient's experiences.
I feel doctors ( and medical students) should read these books too ! These books help to humanise medicine, as they give a personal face to illness and suffering.

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