Frustration at soap's portrayal of ivf

I was really impressed with a popular soap's portrayal of a miscarriage before 24 weeks. It was incredibly touching and hard hitting. The full range of emotions were presented without judgement. However, in the same show, I've been so disappointed with the way they have portrayed an ivf story. There has been minimal coverage showing the emotional anguish, no acknowledgement of the 2ww crazies, nothing associated with the difficulty of being around pregnant women or babies particularly those close to the character and then this week, they showed them taking their hpt on the otd in the afternoon rather than the morning. This character has supposedly been through this process 5 times so would know you test the first urine of the day. I feel they had such an opportunity to show infertility for the awfully painful process it is and in fact they have just glossed over it. Anyone else feel my frustration? x

36 Replies

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  • Which show is it?

    I've said this before but the awareness of IVF is so poor. I saw this site in America last night: funnygirlsoffertility.com

    I want a tshirt!

    Going through egg donation IVF has frustrated me more. I'm not ashamed to admit that before I heard the words 'egg donor' I didn't even know that was an option. But it makes me mad. Hundreds of women every day experience news like that and feel shame and worry, just like ivf without a donor, and there is so little discussion about it. :( xx

  • Coronation Street. I totally agree and I think if shows like this showed what it is like, non-infertile couples would have a much better awareness. Thanks for the link. I read a couple of the posts. x

  • That's a shame. I thought it might be because they did do the miscarriage story so well! I always think soaps have a social responsibility for awareness but they still don't always tackle everything right. x

  • I have literally got no idea which show you are on about but I am angry! 😡

  • couldn't agree more. I nearly posted about this myself when the storyline first started. I just feel like they've brushed over the whole thing and made light of the process when it was a golden opportunity to raise awareness. Soaps do really good storylines generally on important topics but definitely not this one. It makes me sad 😞

  • That's exactly my view. I think it's compounded with how well they did the Michelle storyline too. That was so good. Toyah's character deserved the same care and focus.

  • Hi. I suppose it's all down to who they contact for information. Over the past 2 years I was asked to advise BBC Holby City and BBC Doctors on IVF and donor insemination, and without sounding big headed, I spent lots of time looking over the scripts, which was fascinating, until we got it right, so as to include all the emotional turmoil you ladies suffer along the way, so all in all I think it went very well. I saw the Coronation Street episodes covering a 5th round of IVF and was disappointed too. They obviously didn't do their homework properly! Doing a storyline for a Scottish soap now too! I suppose at the end of the day they are just "soaps" so try not to weave too much into them! Diane

  • That's amazing that you've supported these stories! Clearly the BBC have better quality checking than ITV! You must never have any time for anything! Busy you! x

  • Yes mrsc I am with you 100% on this I was looking forward to seeing how they we're going protray the ivf journey and I must say so far I've been disappointed with the coverage she seems to have just breezed through it with no emotional strain what so ever. It broke my heart watching Michelle go through her miss carriage I thought they handled that story line very well xx

  • I don't watch this soap, but the concept is very annoying. I guess education is the key, but I really wish that the world in general would stop clumping IVF in the same category as going to the dentist.

    There is a complete lack of understanding and misconceptions abound. Can't have a baby? Have IVF!! (As if it was as easy as popping to a DIY store on a Saturday morning for a can of paint!) We all know it is not the solve-all, convenient, result-assured process that many perceive it to be. I so wish that this subject was less taboo and treated with a bit more honesty and compassion. The ladies who go through this are true Heroes in a world sadly devoid of them xxx

  • Hi. In hindsite, I think it has been bad storyline timing. The major story has been the grooming of "oops, forgotten her name"! That seems to have scalatee, and think our poor IVF lady faded into the background somewhat. I don't know what you all think, but sometimes too many storylines at the same time causes confusion, and I think sometimes they wind some of them up without too much thought. It's a shame, because here was a chance to show others what IVF etc is really like! Diane

  • Yeah I felt annoyed at Corrie this week. It's like Toya got to test date and she stares at the box when 95% of us ladies on here have already peed on about 10 sticks by that day.

    Not to mention the non existent drugs or 2ww etc.

    I was excited to see the big soap tackle IVF but have to say it's been poor.

    Xx

  • Emmerdale is the first soap apart from that to really tackle infertility. It started well but then it jumped from finding out adam had 0 sperm to attending an adoption open day and this was after the break up of the 2 characters for about a week! ! Not exactly realistic xx

  • Thanks ladies. It's good to know I'm not alone in thinking this. Diane I think it's great that you are asked for advice. Hopefully there will be more of that. I agree that the grooming story has probably overshadowed it. It is just a shame they haven't maximised this opportunity. I am so frustrated I might email itv to share my feedback. The only way they'll learn is if people who know about it will tell them. 😤

  • You should. Ivf is portrayed so poorly xx

  • Maybe we ALL need to email itv to make them realise and learn from their mistake! x

  • I completely agree the way they have covered it was rubbish. I too nearly mentioned it myself on here at the beginning of the story line. Very dissapointing xx

  • I was thinking exactly the same!! Couldn't believe my eyes when I watched the episodes, and it really fuelled the misconceptions around me. Such a shame. I've realised that lots of people take their opinions from media, even the ones who would have an opportunity to ask me, but such is life. Let's hope another mainstream channel/programme takes notice and makes it better xoxo

  • I saw this and had the same thoughts, disappointing as I was quite exciting when I saw it was about ivf x

  • Yes.. With you on that... When she was injecting at start of story I thought great.. Looks OK... Then all gone downhill.. Even had ET without his knowledge and 2ww seems like 2mins..shame hey xx

  • Ditto what everyone has said. I could have written this post. I was watching with my partner and said, " everyone knows you do HPT with first morning urine" also the partner being late to provide his sample to fertilise eggs. Come on we all know what a military exercise that is. Plus they got to treatment stage very quickly regardless it being private treatment. Shame on coronation street especially after the miscarriage story which broke my heart.

  • I completely agree- the storyline has been appalling- no waiting to see a consultant, had a few injections and that was it!!!!! Very unrealistic 😥 so pleased that others have noticed too- I was so surprised when there was nothing on social media about how untrue the whole storyline has been! X

  • I'm glad I don't watch it anymore! It sounds like very little or no research was done 😕 X

  • I thought exactly the same, her story also seems very secondary to all the other storylines going on so on top of them making it look like it was really easy to within days of 1st appointment,suddenly have some healthy embryos put back and take a test within a few days of that, because the story was so small compared to everything else going on, it kind of diminished the significance of dealing with infertility which I find offensive!!

    If u do decide to write in 2 itv I would attach all these responses from all us women actually dealing with the reality!! Like u said Michelle & steves story was so sensitively told and then they've really let go of the ball with this one! What a let down!!

    @DianeArnold- very impressed u have helped with advice on tv shows, that's great xxx

  • That's a really good idea! Thanks! x

  • Hi all. I'm going to raise all your comments with our press officer and see what she has to say, and will report back. Diane

  • Thank you Diane! That would be wonderful! x

  • I was hoping to see something I could relate to also but after watching a couple of episodes I decided it was nothing like the truth and didn't watch any more. Failed!! Emmerdale have a similar storyline but again it just doesn't seem to be very realistic. I'm sure there are millions of women out there writing to the producers of both shows...! Xx

  • Sorry, I wrote my post before reading everyone else's so can see Emmerdale was already mentioned. It seems both shows have annoyed us all!! Xx

  • I've written and sent my email Ladies. Thanks for giving me the confidence to do so! 😘 x

  • Hi MrsC and other ladies. I have spoken to our "Media Relations Officer this morning about the Coronation Street story line and she has replied as follows..."I’ve found the thread and will contact ITV and complain about the unrealistic portrayal of fertility treatment and how it has upset and angered people in our community". Obviously, I will let you all know what the outcome is. Diane

  • Thank you DianeArnold xx

  • I haven't actually seen any of this coverage but it is very frustrating and upsetting when there's already enough misconceptions & lack of awareness of what we go through, even with those closest to us 😕 Thanks MrsC for raising this and to Diane for taking it further xx

  • Hi, if you want to speak with ITV about this, the number to call is 0161-952-0643. Fertility Network UK is complaining as a charity, but this is the line for individuals who are affected.

  • Thanks everyone! I had a response from ITV today. It is as follows:

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding Coronation Street.

    I can fully appreciate your concerns over the medical accuracy and I will of course forward these on to our Researcher and I apologise for any anxiety we may have caused you with our story about Toyah trying to conceive via IVF. We of course take our responsibility to our audience seriously and we are naturally aware of the potential emotional effect of Toyah trying to conceive could have on our viewers especially those directly affected. With this in mind, we worked closely with specialists from Manchester Fertility and additionally Care Fertility, London Women's Clinic so our story is not so far outside the realms of realism as to make it unbelievable but not so factually laden that we stray into the preserve of Drama Documentary. Naturally we ensure that this does not detract from the seriousness or the emotional effect of the subject matter and we do of course understand the impact this condition has on those going through this treatment, as well as their partners, and we always strive to deal with stories of this nature with sensitivity and compassion. We of course have taken your comments on board and I have made sure they have reached both our Producer and Series Editor. If you would like to take this matter further you can contact our regulator, Ofcom at Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA. Once again thank you for your e-mail and I do hope that Coronation Street continues to engage you with its drama for many more years.

    Yours with Best Wishes, David Nugent, Coronation Street.

  • I thought exactly the same. It was ridiculous. She had egg collection and sat there with a hot water bottle for all but 5 mins before she was off to the pub to confront someone...I couldn't bloody walk for days and felt awful from the anesthetic on its own! Aside from that, no mention of drug side effects or "waiting for the call" to see how many had fertilised....that's before you start on the emotional stuff. Absolutely pathetic attempt corrie!

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