Monique Bydlowski

Children of Desire Publication date : May 2, 2008

Why do women often know, prior to any medical examinations, that they are pregnant? Where does this intuitive knowledge come from? And why do some women fail to conceive, for no apparent biological reason?

What role does the unconscious play in conceiving, as well as in not conceiving? How can temporary infertility be explained? Is it brought on by psychic barriers, which must be overcome before fertilisation can occur? Could the maintenance of these defence mechanisms explain cases of lasting sterility?

Monique Bydlowski argues that even in our overly medicalised technological age — of sonograms, constant monitoring, amniocentesis tests and medically assisted procreation — the mind still plays a major role in conception.

The outcome of the author's long experience, this book helps us understand the part played by the psyche in fertility and human procreation. The stories told here about couples who defied nature, logic or technology shows the extent to which the unconscious inhabits biology. It also illustrates the limits of biomedical creativity and of sophisticated, but often ineffectual, fertility treatments.

Monique Bydlowski, a physician, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, has worked for more than twenty years in issues regarding maternity and procreation.