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July 26, 1985

Psychology and Gynaecological Problems

Author Affiliations

St Paul Ramsey Medical Center University of Minnesota St Paul


edited by Annabel Broome and Louise Wallace, 300 pp, $33, paper $13.95, London, Tavistock Publications Ltd; New York, Methuen Inc, 1984.

JAMA. 1985;254(4):552-553. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360040108044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Because of its association with reproduction and sexuality, an aura of religious mysticism has always surrounded the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, making it a favorite subject of psychologists when discussing behavioral medicine. This book is another effort to emphasize the link between gynecological disease and the psychology of women.

Superstitions and fears of disturbing a pregnant uterus, of performing vaginal examinations on a virginal patient, or of exploring the mysteries of sexual dysfunction have interfered with basic research in this particular specialty until the past decade or two. Many common gynecologic disorders previously labeled as psychogenic in origin are now being explained on a somatic basis.

The weakness of this book lies in the fact that the authors seem to ignore many of the new technologies developed in the past decade. Important and relevant subjects omitted in this text include in vitro fertilization, embryo transplants, surrogate motherhood, hyperprolactinemia, the