Book Book

Male Infertility: A Guide for the Clinician

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1310
  1. Alan Trounson, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology/paediatrics
  1. Monash University, Clayton, Australia

    Anne M Jequier Blackwell Science, £79.50, pp 384, ISBN 0 632 0512 9

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    As a result of the rapid development of in vitro fertilisation for treating both male and female infertility, male infertility has become just as important for a consultant gynaecologist assessing an infertile couple as it has for a specialist andrologist. Consequently, the detailed and intricate tests that consultant andrologists developed to identify the cause of male infertility and proposed treatments have drifted into the clinical realm of consultant gynaecologists who need to assess couples rather than simply infertile women.

    Since in vitro fertilisation is now the primary treatment for many cases of male and female infertility—whether or not a cause is identified—gynaecologists specialising in clinical infertility need a basic accessible text on the anatomical, physiological, genetic, infectious, and diagnostic aspects of andrology. Anne Jequier has provided it.

    The book lacks specific detail in some areas of endocrinology, genetics, and in vitro fertilisation, but perhaps its main deficiency is the lack of direction in specifying the hierarchy of tests necessary to identify the best treatment for resolving a couple's problems. There is little information about the comparative values of the many tests available and their relative merit and use for primary treatments such as in vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    The book also gives scant information on the genetic mutations that cause, or are correlated with, male infertility. Testing for genetic mutations is likely to become widespread in the near future, and more consideration needs to be given to the relation between actual and potential causes of infertility in children born after assisted conception.

    Nevertheless, this book covers the subject in a logical and comprehensive way, and it will be highly regarded by clinicians and students seeking guidance on the basic aspects of andrology. Other books may provide more detail of the endocrinology of the testes-pituitary-hypothalamic axis, the molecular genetics of sperm production, and the methodologies of in vitro fertilisation, but Jequier's book will be a welcome addition for the rapidly growing number of gynaecologists advising and treating infertile couples.

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