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Desperate for a baby

Sophie Sulehria and Jonny Baker
Sophie Sulehria / BBC

Sophie and Jonny have struggled to conceive a baby naturally - despite spending tens of thousands of pounds on IVF treatment.

It’s been tough for them, tough for their family and tough for their friends.

Read their story

Woman looks to Facebook group for sperm donor
Sophie wants to avoid NHS waiting lists, so turned to Facebook in her bid to have a second child.
Mice with pups

James Gallagher

Health and science correspondent, BBC News

Scientists break the rules of reproduction, so what does it mean for the future of sex?

Read more

Fertility and the Environment

Jheni Osman asks what environmental factors may be affecting human and animal fertility.
Sperm counts amongst men in the West have dropped by over 50% in less than 40 years. Today 1 in 6 couples has trouble conceiving but some animal species are also facing difficulty breeding. Science Journalist and IVF patient Jheni Osman asks what the latest thinking is on factors in the environment affecting our fertility. 

Forty years on from the birth of the first 'test-tube baby', Louise Brown, IVF has advanced further with many new tests and treatments available. But the success highlights the continuing struggle for many potential parents and the complexity of the issue. Jheni speaks to some of the leading lights in fertility about factors that have been considered and discussed in the past and why a new direction is being taken by some. 

Meanwhile in the animal world, fish, birds and other creatures are being affected by pollution from humans. Jheni hears what research has found in different species and asks what can be done.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock