Fertility Network UK
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The media......friend or foe?!

Since embarking on my IVF journey I have been really interested to read articles in the media on the topic. To begin with, I was so disheartened, all the articles seemed to have little relevance for me as they were all trying to portray IVF as being treatment generally chosen by 'career women' in their 40's who had 'left it too late'. I am not one of these women, I was only 28 when I lost the ability to conceive and whilst I am a working woman, I definitely never wanted to put my career first, I have always first and foremost wanted to be a mummy. I am not at all judgemental and I have total respect and understanding for the women in this category, I am absolutely sure they all have their individual reasons for trying to have a baby in their 40's and I believe they should be allowed to pursue this, but I felt sad that nowhere in the media was it talking about people like me, young women, who simply cannot conceive naturally and need IVF treatment to have a biological family. I also hate the fact that the few women from the US, India etc who have 4,5,6 embryos implanted are portrayed as the norm, and the media suggest all of us have endless embryos implanted, we IVF girls know this is simply not the case! In recent weeks I have felt that the media has started to explore other areas of infertility, I saw an article this morning about a young women who is battling for funding due to the fact her partner has a 20 yr old son she has never met! As angry as I was to read this, I think it's wonderful that at last the media are recognising there are many reasons why IVF is needed. I think Susan at INUK is doing a fab job of pushing these issues into the spotlight, I just hope that the press will start to provide more balanced information about IVF, like we all know, this could happen to any couple, not just rich 'older' women.

1 Reply

I agree with you, the media can be so powerful in getting the message across, but I find it so sad that the majority of the time they want to sensationalise everything. We had donor treatment overseas in my early 30's and the whole labelling of "fertility tourists" who just pop into the clinic to have about 6 embryos transferred while having a wild holiday in Spain used to drive me nuts!

We've done quite a lot of media work through I N UK to try and get the more realistic side of things across, but I do feel at times that it is a real uphill struggle, and some particular newspapers just seem to have no interest in publishing anything that isn't over hyped and going to inflame a large number of people. A few of the papers do seem to be more sensitive to the cause than others (surprisingly I think the Sun generally does good articles) and I just hope that with public encouragement and with pressure from people like Susan, that more and more will start to push the message that it's not all about the more extreme cases, and to realise that they will do more good to the majority of infertility sufferers if they stop being so sensationalist. But sadly I guess that doesn't give them the headlines they want... :-(



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