There was a time when talk of trying to conceive a baby was not appropriate cocktail chatter. Today, with the explosion of high-tech fertility, baby-making has joined the ranks of raunchy sex talk and impotence at the dinner table. And now the subject has its own magazine, appropriately titled Conceive.

The publication was launched a year ago, and is still thriving--which, according to the note from the publisher, is a good thing--considering that 60 percent of magazines fail within their first year. The reason for the success thus far is not only that it's an important topic. More and more women are having children later in life, and therefore need the assistance of new fertility technologies. But Conceive is actually a good magazine. The photography is professional, the layouts and art are clear and concise, and while the writing isn't poetic, the articles are timely and well-reported. The strongest visual selling point of the magazine is the cover shot of a mouthwateringly adorable baby.

In this season's front-of-the-book section, I learn that too much soy can decrease your fertility, frozen embryos are less likely to result in preemies, there is a special DNA fingerprint that slows ovarian aging, there is a new safety test that prevents scientists from mixing the wrong sperm and egg during an IVF cycle, and, yes, porn helps conception by increasing sperm count. (Yikes!)

The feature well has a story about how pets can aid in conception by relieving stress, and a fascinating piece about the potential reproductive technologies that will be available in the future. This includes somatic nuclear cell transfer, in which a scientist removes the nucleus from a woman's body cell and implants it into a younger egg so that conceiving a biological child becomes more possible for an older woman. There may even be a future in which it is possible to make babies without sperm. Wonder what that will do to online dating? Overall, Conceive is a hopeful and informative read for couples and women who are trying to do just that--at any stage of life.

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