The “Jason Bourne of fertility” (The New York Times Book Review) presents a personal and deeply informative account of one woman’s journey through the global fertility industry.
On paper, conception may seem like a simple biological process, yet this is often hardly the case. While many would like to have children, the road toward conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy can be unexpectedly rocky and winding.
Lawyer Elizabeth Katkin never imagined her quest for children would ultimately involve seven miscarriages, eight fresh IVF cycles, two frozen IVF attempts, five natural pregnancies, four IVF pregnancies, ten doctors, six countries, two potential surrogates, nine years, and roughly $200,000. Despite her three Ivy League degrees and wealth of resources, Katkin found she was woefully undereducated when it came to understanding and confronting her own difficulties having children. After being told by four doctors she should give up, but without an explanation as to what exactly was going wrong with her body, Katkin decided to look for answers herself. The global investigation that followed revealed that approaches to the fertility process taken in many foreign countries are vastly different than those in the US and UK.
In Conceivability, Elizabeth Katkin, now a mother of two, exposes eye-opening information about the medical, financial, legal, scientific, emotional, and ethical issues at stake. “A well-researched, informative, and positive account of a very long journey to motherhood” (Kirkus Reviews), Conceivability sheds light on the often murky and baffling world of conception science. Her book is an invaluable and inspiring text that will be a boon to others navigating the deep and “choppy waters” of fertility treatment (Publishers Weekly), and her chronicle of one of the most difficult, painful, rewarding, and loving journeys a woman can take is as informative as it is poignant.
Lawyer and debut author Katkin shares her trying experiences with fertility treatment in this in-depth memoir of her obstacle-ridden journey to motherhood. "Driven to share" the information she collected, Katkin takes readers on a relentless, 10-year quest to conceive two children; in the process, she spends $200,000, weathers seven miscarriages, and visits six countries and numerous physicians. Katkin interweaves research with her personal struggles; while her writing is replete with technical terms ("most IVF protocols rely on an injection of HCG 36 hours prior to egg collection"), she personalizes her research with anecdotes, such as the birthday she spent flying to Moscow for timely egg retrieval. Katkin perceptively explores the emotional pain of miscarriage and shares her feelings about adoption (which she and her husband considered) and surrogacy (their eventual choice.) Her story reveals the importance of becoming a savvy, educated consumer, questioning fertility protocols, and investigating different options. She also examines the ethical questions surrounding egg and sperm donation, and helps readers unpack confusing and sometimes conflicting laws. Katkin's lawyerly thoroughness has resulted in an invaluable and inspiring text that will be a boon to others navigating the deep and "choppy waters" of fertility treatment.