BBC Starting Life
The BBC Science Department is currently making a major six part documentary series about assisted reproduction for BBC 1. It will be transmitted in late 2006.
The series will be presented by Professor Robert Winston, who has a long track record of making science accessible to a wide audience. The aim of the series is to give the audience an understanding of the science underpinning assisted reproduction, as well as an insight into what it is like to go through fertility treatment.
We are looking to find people who would be willing to share their stories with us. This is clearly a sensitive area and our team has a long track record of making programmes about such subjects that are respectful and informative. We would hope to establish a relationship with you that will last over a long period, throughout your treatment process. We know that for much of this time you may be under considerable stress and we would not want to add to this. To help, a small team of two people would be with you throughout the production process and do all the filming themselves. This means that you would always be filmed by people who have taken the time to get to know you and with whom you have a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us by phone or email. Unfortunately we are unable to offer any financial contribution to your treatment.
0208 752 7825
Justine - London
Good luck to all those going through IVF or ICSI. I got pregnant on my first ICSI attempt (male infertility) and am now 16 weeks pregnant. It takes 4 years to get NHS help where I live (Lewisham)and then only one cycle so we paid £2,000 to the NHS to treat us. The government saying its free is a joke. The HFEA regulations are mostly a pain in the neck too and just slow the whole process down - I hope someone abolishes them or reduces their powers.
kal west midlands
We have just been told that we have to spend £2500 on ivf, as we have been trying for two years for our second child, thsi website has really helped because im still in shock that we had no trouble conceiving ur first child, it makes me feel sad that these doctors have the power they have, of course at a cost, I live in hope and will save up and have ivf if ned be to give my child a sibling.
I had been trying for a baby for 2 years before my GP would even look at me. I then had a lap and dye about 2 years later. After other tests, and they discovered that not only did I have PCOS but i had no Right tube or ovary. I was absoultly devasted but still decided to go ahead and try the metformin. After taking this for a year I still did not ovulate and I tell you it was a year from hell. All i ever wanted was a family and now my dream has been taken away from me through no fault of my own. I feel that people like us should have at least one free treatment as I will never be able to afford one on my own and people out there who think that we should pay for obvisouly have children and will never feel how we do. I have given up trying for a while as it has been so hart wrenching and felt that maybe a break would do me good. But it doesn't stop me thinking about it and wanting a baby any less if any thing i want it more, just the heartache is to much to bare sometimes
Antoinette - Midlands
We have our first meeting re IVF next week which is exciting. Howver my husband is not as enthuasiastic as me. If we are lucky enough to become pregnant with IVF. He is scared the chaos a child may bring to our lifestyle and home. I know he would be a perfect dad but he doesn't have faith in his own ability. Anyone elses husband like this?
Jenni from Switzerland
Iam going thrugh IVF at this moment, we are lucky due to all treatment is paid by health insurance except CHF 5,000.00 we have to pay.
If this time is fell we keep trying as much as we can. We do work for something and the best investment in our life will be our baby.
it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking to read about people going through so much hell. I don't know how you do it but I am impressed by your courage and resilience. I had tubal surgery in 2003 and last year I had a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy within a few months of each other, which have left me devastated and lonely. My parents are dead, my mother-in-law lives in Ireland, and my siblings (who are in France) are unsympathetic. My husband has been wonderful all this time, so thank God I have him! We are about to start a costly IVF cycle next month, and we are already very stressed. I was wondering if anyone could suggest ways of coping, local support groups in Plymouth or in the area, etc...
I am very grateful for any help!!
Hi everyone hope you are all hanging in there,i am going to start my 1st attempt of icsi in about 5 weeks and are starting to get very scared but excited at the same time all i can do is hope and pray that it works.i really dont know how i,ll cope if it doesnt. my heart goes out to all of you trying for a baby and hoe you all get a chance at making your dreams come true.
been with my partner 8 years i have children but he cant low sperm count, i am 39 and have been told that because i have children and because of my age we cant have nhs funding i think it is wrong that because i already have children, that my partner who is wonderful with my children cant have one of his own, ivf should be free for any taxpayer regardless of were you live or if you have children already.the age limit should be 40 aslong as your fit and healty it shouldnt be an issue
Beverley from Suffolk
My hubby and I have been trying for 4 years now and just got to the stage where IVF was the way to go. It seems that if we'd have tried a little earlier age 39, and there was no 18 months waiting list, IVF on the NHS would have been free. What a blow.
Accepting that we have to now save very hard. We got our 1st consultation out the way and all the blood tests required. Only to find that my FSH is too high. It seems that a lot of the IVF clinics with good reputations and high percentage conception don't consider your age - yippee! but will not accept you for IVF if your FSH level is above 10 and at the very most 12.
So all I can say to anyone griping about having to pay. It's hard, but consider the fact that you are being given the choice to have a child with your nearest and dearest whether payment is an option or not.
It seems donor eggs are the next option, with a 2 year waiting list. I now only have menapause to worry about, lets just hope my body can hang on until then.
Still trying to stay positive. It's yet another chance isn't it!
i think ivf needs to be free to thoese who need it and who want a baby
lizzy - glasgow
One question - should the tax payers be paying for those with lung cancer brought on by cigeratte smoking.
It is a woman's right to have a baby and I guarantee that the NHS is spending much less on IVF than they are on self inflicted illnesses such as cancer from smoking or liver disease from drinking.
I am NOT saying that these patients should not receive help from the NHS but I am saying that funding should be available for IVF.
The postcode lottery is unfair - I am lucky that glasgow provide funding for 2 attempts - and unfortunately miscarried on my last attempt (which I paid for!!)
I remember seeing Professor/Lord Winston on TV - a reproductive medicine specialist. He believes that all woman should receive funding for 3 attempts of IVF as this is the average number of attempts that women need to conceive.
I totally disagree with Alice. Why should my tax money pay for people who smoked all their lives to inflict cancer on themselves to be treated?! I didn't ask to be infertile, I didn't do anything wrong, like so many others I am paying out of my own pocket for ANYTHING which might help. You show an utter lack of understanding and comprehension of the devastation infertility has on your own sanity AND your relationship. My husband suffers every month when I get my period too.
You do not sympathise - you are obviously not infertile yourself or not desperate to conceive or you would have some compassion.
I have to say I think any one of the infertile women on this board deserves children more than you do.
Sarah SE England
To Alice from London
I don't want your sympathy, all I want is the chance to be a parent. I too am a tax payer and so should be entitled to help from the NHS. Being unable to have a child leaves an emotional scar and can cause many mental problems. I assume you cannot be so heartless as to think that someone suffering mentally should not receive help. Your comments have rendered me almost speachless.My need to have a child is not some selfish whim, there is a hole inside me that aches and that is destroying me. This pain is as real and devistating to me and my husband as any injury or disability. I am paying for complementary medicine, reflexology and homeopathy and would willingly give everything I own to have a child but to say that I am not entitled to help from the NHS when I work hard and pay my taxes shows very little true sympathy or understanding. I hope that one day you may be able to understand how much your comments hurt others.
To all those out there who are suffering and struggling with infertility remember you are not alone. My heart goes out to all of you, and I hope that one day we can all find the happiness we deserve. God bless.
Wendi, following your message I can so relate to what are saying. My husband is 32 and I am 28, we have been together 11 years and I will never be able to have a child by my husband, the pain is dreadful. The man I love feels a failure and I feel torn with love him and that I want a child so desperatly. We are going for a second opinion, but even that is a worry, do we go for it and risk being disappointed again or live our lives wondering what might have been. To make matters worse all I ever wanted was to be a mum, and people always say your turn next, or why don't you have children you would make a great mum! OUCH OUCH OUCH
To people who do not think IVF / ICSI should be free I say, grow up and think, think that your dream could never be obtainable no matter how good a person you are, how hard you work, how hard you pray, BUT NEVER, it does not make for a happy half hour. We do not want to be rock stars, actors and actresses or walk on the moon, we wish to be parents - Feel the pain and be ashamed of yourself you narrow minded fools. As humans we can bring so much love to the world yet we often take the easy option of bringing pain, use your hearts and brains to think before you put money before life!
Ovo from Nigeria
Children are gifts from God. Whether conceived naturally or through IVF/ICSI. Every penny you spend trying to receive that gift is definitely worth it.Do not give up. God will put a smile on your face.
thank you nicky, and tina from devon i was told by my doctor that in april 2005 that 1 ivf treatment is goin to be free thought u would like to know that but good luck to everyone its hard my blessings go out to u guys xxxx
after 7 years of trying & a mis-carriage, i am just in the middle of my third cycle of ivf. our first attempt resulted in a confirmed pregnacy - what joy! however i mis-carried for the second time in my 12th week. i had two frozen embryo's which didn't successfully thaw out, so went on my second cycle - this resulted in just 1 egg which didn't fertilize. my third cycle resulted in 4 embryos. we can only have one egg replacement due to my bicornorate uterus, so here I am taking bursellerin injections in preparation for another transfer - as long as the embryos thaw out successfully that is! I have lived through the rollacoaster of hope & disappointment for over 7 years, and at times i have felt very depressed. however i always seem to bounce back with a glimmer of hope. I am very fortunate living in manchester as we get three cycles of ivf free on the nhs. i doubt whether we could have afforded the 3,500 pounds per go - on top of the disappointment of having unexplained infertility - its another bombshell to have to pay for something that some women take for granted who conceive naturally for free. i was originally from the midlands and i know that i would not have got three goes down there. i am glad that when i met my husband who is from manchester that we chose to live here. i think ivf is well worth the money if you have it! i will pay for ivf next time if this cycle fails, but the fear of bringing a baby into the world thousands of pounds in debt scares me. there are so many issues, i pay tax like everyone else so anyone moaning against it being used for ivf is mad - don't take it so personally - we all have to pay it. if you knew the suffering and pain of not being able to conceive a child you'd want to try anything. i am looking into having reflexology as my next step. which is why i ended up on this website - I was in tears reading all the above comments. come on lets keep hopeful and ignore those idiots moaning about where their income tax gets spent, they'll get treatment if they need it for whatever reason. alls fair in the long run. good luck to everyone whichever route you choose.
I just wanted you all to know. I am giving you my best wishes. I hope your wishes will come true sometime soon.Best of luck to all you guys.And if you dont understand be nice about it not rude. I am still to young to have children myself. But I do know is it hard to deal with it. Doctor and my mother both told me I may ever have children. But me and my soon to be husband not going to give up and stop trying when we get marryed.So dont give up stay in there.
Mrs Moo, Wales.
I think its so unfair that some people receive IVF on the NHS and some don't. Infertility is an illness and not something you choose, IVF should be available for all couples if they need it.
My dh and I are soon to be referred and luckily we think we will get NHS treatment, eventually. Hope everyone on here gets some results soon!
Mrs Moo xxx
Maybe try looking up free diagrams online and trying reflexology on yourself such as targeting the pituitary gland, fallopian tubes, ovaries,uterus, genitals,if you do not have any medical history that could be a contraindication. Some has said that it worked for them and it is being researched by the medical community. It is worth the try and even though you can contract a reflexologist to do it for you (that would be great) but you can try on yourself for free. Try doing some research on it. www.reflexology-research.com/books.htm.
sally from lancashire
it has helped reading the comments and realising that women all over the country are feeling the same way as me. Im 33 and my husband is 35. His previous marriage failed and he has two children from that. He had a vasectomy 5 years ago and last year we had it reversed. It didnt work. All my friends my age who are pregnant or have todlers have stopped calling me - my best friend (who lives in Milton Keynes and i havn't heard from over 12 months) just sent me a christmas card with her new son's name on it! I cried for days and am still thinking about it. Our doctor is not helpful - he keeps refering us to the private hospital where we had the reversal and each appointment costs us £100 a time. We are currently looking at IVF. Ive looked into adoption but questions keep comming into my mind like - what if the child looks for its birth mother - how will that make me feel after my husband and i have raised it or what if its a different race / religion-will my family and friends be supportive? But the question i most ask is what will it be like when i get old if i have no children, what will i feel like when (if) i get to that age? Will i be bitter and resentful? will i be alone? I wish i had a crystal ball. I spent many years in my teens and 20's doing the right thing and not having a baby outside of marriage, looking for the right man who i could grow old with - now i was eventually lucky enough to find him i feel like im being punished and cant help wishing sometimes that i'd had a baby with someone i didnt really care that much about and that sounds awful. Does anyone else out there have these thoughts?
my husband and i have had two failed attempts at icsi and are hoping to try again in the future but for now the money is the issue. i've been looking into reflexology and aromatherapy as a way to help but i'm not sure about it. does anybody know anything about it ? good luck to all in getting their dreams
the first ivf treatment in plyouth is not free as i am just about to start my first ivf treatment..if only it was..
no one has answered my question yet as to the first ivf nhs treatment is free in plymouth can u let me know thank you
Recently, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, and also thyroid disease. I have been told that I cannot have fertility treatment until my overactive thyroid is under control because it is too risky. I do not know how long it will be before I completetly stop ovulating. When I read some of the comments about how IVF should not be funded by the NHS and that infertility was not an illness, I would love for someone to explain exactly how they would describe my condition and also the painful circumstances that many of the people on this page find themselves in. I think some people need to think before they speak, because they obviously have no idea how cruel and truly uninformed their comments are.
i was told that in april one ivf treatment is available free one cycle does anyone know if this is true thank you and good luck to everyone
SARAH FROM KENT
This is in reference to Alice's earlier comments. I have been suffering with infertility for 6 years and i find your remarks offensive and hurtful. I have read that women who have long term infertility can have the same levels of depression as someone with cancer which should indicate to you the mental torture we women (and men) go through. My whole life has been taken over with this and everything revolves around it. Your relationship can have immense pressure put on it from the mechanical that is required , the disappointment every month is sometimes so overwhelming everyday things like work ,socializing etc become unbearable as getting out of bed is a struggle let alone anything else. Whatever i write to try and explain to you how it feels you will never know how consuming and destructive infertility can be. Only others in our situation can truly understand the turmoil not only the couple but the whole family go through.They have to tread on egg shells when someone declares they are pregnant, both my mum and mum in law are desperate for us to have a family as they long for grandchildren and cannot bear to see us going through this pain anymore. And as far as paying for our own treatment that is easy for a woman to say who doesnt have problems conceiving but i can tell you that procreation is not a luxury but an instinct that runs deeper than you seem to realize and if you havent got the money to pay for fertility treatment the added stress can be too much to bear.
kate west mids
me and my husband are tax payers as well just like thousands of infertile couples, so why shouldnt we get ivf on the nhs we contribute to the government just like yourself.It wasnt our choice to be infertile and if we had the choice to be able to conceive naturally i assure you we would.If you were infertile and were told there was no nhs funding available for such treatments like some infertile couples get declined on the nhs and you just couldnt afford to pay £3500 per cycle i think your views on it would some what change.The nhs is sometimes couples only hope of ever making their dream a reality of becoming parents.
I just want to say, of course I sympathise with all you want-to be mothers, but why should the NHS pay for IVF treatment? People all around the country are paying for expensive treatment, that they do not want themselves. It is my view that IVF should only be placed under private treatment.
The same goes with sex change treatments. I have absolutely nothing against this, but why should tax-payers be paying for your sex change?
I do not mean to be at all offensive here, I would just like some feedback on this, as I'm doing research on the different sides of this issue for a paper, but can't seem to see past the issues I have just raised.
kate west mids
i think its terrible how long you have to wait for ivf with icsi on the nhs.ive been trying for a baby for 4 years now an to be told we have finally found out the problem but you now have a long wait ahead of you for the only thing that will give you at a chance of making my dream come true upsets me just thinking about it.it really would be a dream come true to concieve a child.at the moment i amlooking into how much it would cost to go private does anyone have any info or first hand knowledge of how much it costs per cycle ?
Mama Tishe-to-be, Lagos, Nigeria.
Life really really sucks and i have some big questions for God the day i meet him but i suspect the answers are going to be less complex than i,m expecting. With two sucessful ICSI treatments that have resulted in miscarriages, i'm just never going to understand why though i'm a christain.
dm - london
i think it is really harsh to say that there are 'stupid' operations given on the nhs. surely everyone is entitled to the healthcare they need? at the same time i think it is the biggest injustice in the whole world that loving couples cannot conceive - it doesn't make any sense at all to me. there is little comfort that anyone can give. my understanding is that all infertile couples can now receive one cycle of IVF on the nhs providing they are approved for treatment by their consultant?
rekka milton keynes
been trying 4 nearly 4 yrs.had some treatment in south africa. hoping to get started with ivf here .tired of being let down each month. very sad and tired at moment as all my best friends are pregnant. have to keep spirits up and keep trying so long.good luck to everyone else tring out there.
After 3 year of trying for children I had tests and at the age of 21 was diagnosed with blocked tubes. I'm now nearly 27 and still no children been on the NHS waiting list for 2 1/2 years now and don't see anything coming up in the near future. All of you will understand the angst I am going through and just wondered how you all coped whilst waiting. We can't afford to pay for it privately even though we both work full time and feel i have no one to turn to for help. Parents, siblings, friends etc don't understand how myself & my husband feel. Anyone know of any advice or shoulders to cry on who we can contact?? Good Luck everyone.
sarah from kent
We have been trying for a baby for six years and have undergone two lots of ivf, the first failed and i had hyperstimulation on top of everything else and the second attempt had to be abandoned near egg collection due to again having too many eggs ( hyperstimulation on the way again) This was four months ago and ive been put off of having ivf again due to the unbelievable stress, its been a very dark time for me i wonder if i am going to keep my head above water sometimes, each day is such a struggle. BUT ! I am determind to get through this and have decided to go down the alternative route and am having reflexology and i joined foresight and have had mineral analysis on my hair as has my husband and we are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals and have been sent supplements to take. I am feeling a lot better and like i am finally in control of my body again which feels good. The funny thing is is that there is nothing wrong with either of us which is difficult at times to understand but thats why i feel the alternative approach could work as i have been so negative over the past few years and i think this has been a factor in us not conceiving, i mean look at how many couples adopt or give up trying and then fall. I will keep you updated and good luck to everyone whose trying and remember you are not alone!
Helen - london
7 treatments now drugs have stopped working. i have spent 10,000 plus 3 x free goes for drugs on nhs - run out of money and free help feel that my time has run out and no one to help now.Feel very sad
Is there anybody prepared to express a view for a national Sunday broadsheet newspaper on the issue of social freezing - egg freezing for non medical reasons to promote fertility at a later stage in life?
I ask as I am researching an article for this week and would welcome two opinions in an open debate, that fall either side of the fence on whether they would or would not have their eggs frozen for "social" reasons and why.
If you were willing to participate, please indicate how I can contact you.
Kevin - host: We have Malcom's contact details if anyone wants to get in touch.
i've had 2 lots ivf both on nhs. 2nd was successful but i miscarried. my treatment was with Guys hosptial-london-fab people. i consider having another go and have looked around at prices. Guys definitly the best, something about the high volume of ivf drugs they 'buy' and being able to pass on the discount. my t'ment is approx £3000, + that is with using max amt of follicle stimulant...however still alot of money. good luck to all.
Angela, it is good to hear the postives I have waited seven uears and my partner needs icsi and I have had tubal surgery etc etc and TODAY my treatment dates were confirmed. I cried as I am sure you and your husband did when you got your results. Little steps and this takes me one step closeer. Good luck to you and your daughters hope your partner is ready for all that girl power!
I have been trying to conceive for seven years, my partner and I have been together ten years and we have a very happy marriage ideal to bring a child into. I always wanted children, I have no family of my own and although my in-laws are great over the last seven years their family has grown and grown and everyone looks at you sympathetically and says you next time which wears very thin. I have just been accepted as a donar and I am going to doante and receive IVF I received confirmation today of my dates. If I can stop another couple from the pain of childness' while conceiving and realising my dream of becomming a mother I will be a very happy woman. One thing the last seven years has taught me is to never give up, to keep fighting. I have had three operations and lots of dissapointments in fact 84 months of not this month but I will not give up. As for the NHS one trial will not be enough it should be three! you should fund on the NHS for the treatments why else do we pay tax - and much of it! Educate your Dr's on the sensitivity of this issue and do not make people feel as if there begging for money! My GP could not get funding despite sterling efforts and had to go to the board for an operation to improve my health problems caused by a botched appendectomy which has caused my fertility problems in the first instance
The 6 weeks of going through IVF treatment and before I received the results were probably the hardest of my life - but I was very lucky, I caught first time and I am now at 10 weeks - all is going well. My GP paid for my drugs which saved me £1500, but it still cost £5000. Was it worth it - definately. Should the NHS pay? YES!!!
craig donna leics
we are on the final leg of ivf.
donna has 15 eggs produced, and they are to be removed 11th aug.
im keeping every possible limb crossed. it is definetly worth the money, even to get this far.
Feeling really nervous, been through icsi treatment with partner, due to get results tomorrow, longest two weeks of my life, hope it's all worth it!
i had icsi and am now 21 weeks pregnant with twin girls dont give up
We had ivf last june, it worked but then we miscarried. Hoping to try again july with west midlands fertility clinic in aldridge west mids it cost us about 2400 last time with them, and they are really nice people.Good luck to all of you trying.
the reason we cant get help from nhs in w.mids is ,my partner had vascectomy 20yrs ago although reason was for wife as she was told was dangerous to fall pregnant again and equally dangerous to have operation for sterilisation so my partner not knowing the marraige would break down had to see her dr who advised him to have vascectomy , now i'm 38ys which is also over age in w.mids nhs i contacted p.a.l.s who advised me of this ,&amp;amp; as i said b4 there seems to be a vast differece in prices .who makes up the rules and charges in different parts of country i'm going private through nhs hosptal i look forward to any ones reply .
i dont think its worth the money but worth the baby if it happens but as i said b4 what about all the stupid operations they do on the nhs IT IS NOT FAIR IVF SHOULD BE FREE. you should not have to pay for a life.....
i think the money could be better spent on baby however if its somthing you really want you go in debt or borrow like i am .i have read all the replys i have been advised the treatmeat is going to cost £7000.0 for 1 treatment so which area of country is £1000.0 as there is a vast difference i,m now at the stage of nasel spays 2000.0 so far
i had ivf 2 years ago and paid £1800 me and my husband are on wftax and have to pay for it and i have not been able to save the money, i want to do it again but cannot afford it, they give some stupid operations on the nhs, but i think ivf is a mental and health worry so it should be given on the nhs i am so gutted.
I think all fisrt time fertility treatment should be available on the NHS. I am going to go infertile when I change sex and it will cost me over £2000 to save my eggs. How am I supposed to afford that? I can get my sex change treatment on the NHS so why not my fertility treatment too? It stinks.
Liz is lucky. At least there is a chance she will have a baby that will be her husbands.
I found out a couple of months ago that I will never have a child by my husband. We have even had a 2nd opinion and have been told there is no hope. Can you imagine what that feels like? Never having a child by the man you love. We have only been married a short time.
I wish Liz luck, I hope she thinks positively that at least she has a chance. Others don't.
give it one last chance for me.I Know it will work. There is a lot of baggage that comes with adoption, believe me I know about it. I dont want anyone hurting the way I was when my daughter found out she was adopted she absolutly hated me
i am also wanting a baby,i had been waiting to meet that special person to have a baby with,when i met paul i was very happy &amp;amp;amp; thought it would not last as he had had a versectomy so i thought we would just become friends not partners,now nearly 7yrs on his 2 grown up daughters bothe have a child. So now i am a step-nan to a 4yr g/son &amp;amp;amp; 9mth g/daughter. i was finding it so difficult to watch shows where mothers don't want there babies and i had not even had child.So i asked our dr about a reversel &amp;amp;amp; was adviswed as over 19yrs ago would be less than 5% chance so advised icsi as friend at work succeded thought we would try .then we found out we would be paying over £7000.00 for one try as desperate as we are we asked if it was funded at all ,as everyone would be aware if they have had same experience as us the govermeny nhs etc .will not fund any one who already has children as my partners children are 20yr&amp;amp;amp; 25yr we feel that its unfair as i have never been married or taken opportunity to just get pregnant ,now im nearly 39yr and they advise to try before 40yrs as as it dramaticly lowers your fertility &amp;amp;amp; ability to get pregnant so we are going for it although we feel that the money would be better spent on baby than for the baby ,it is very upsetting &amp;amp;amp; frustrating so i total sympathy for any one going down this route ,its easy to say why dont you adopt or foster or go on internet which in some cases is ileagal however we will be going into debt for something that many people can natually can do &amp;amp;amp; who say wasnt planed i didnt want etc we can just have to put our faith in mother nature if it is tobe or not we can only hope .....
is ivf worth the money