One of the unexpected benefits of IVF is that it has focused attention on the general problem of human infertility. Until recently, infertile couples were likely to have considered themselves as inadequate and as failures. Many will have been stigmatised by parents, relatives, friends and much of society, and as a result, made to feel guilty, when in fact they were blameless. Robert Winston, a distinguished gynaecologist at the Hammersmith Hospital in London in a splendid, reassuring book called Infertility; a sympathetic approach, has documented the feelings of those who find they are infertile. They range from disbelief, anger and frustration to depression, grief and bereavement. Edwards and Steptoe in their book A Matter of Life continually point to their great desire to do something to alleviate the feelings of helplessness experienced by the infertile. Infertility is indeed a distressing condition and an illness that needs to be treated.
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