womans hour

BBC Woman's Hour: IVF and the Two Week Wait

I was honoured to appear on BBC Woman’s Hour this morning to discuss IVF and the Two Week Wait with with Prof Geeta Nargund and Izzy Judd - and to then continue the discussion with (the legendary!) Jane Garvey in a bonus segment for the Woman's Hour podcast.

It was brilliant to share our insight into the deep anxiety of the 2ww from the patient perspective, which I hope will help listeners to better understand what a friend or loved one having IVF may be going through - and more generally to contribute to more open and honest public conversations about infertility.

Bonus segment

I also really enjoyed being able to discuss some of the wider issues around infertility beyond simply the 2ww in the additional segment we recorded, addressing some of the more difficult questions:

  • IVF success rates - how it's not a magic cure

  • why 'don't give up' can be a pernicious comment - as though stopping treatment makes you a quitter

  • how the language of infertility unintentionally attributes blame

  • how much of a woman's reproductive anatomy is named after men

  • how the toxic nature of infertility infects every part of your life

  • the physical, financial and emotional impact of infertility

  • why 'just adopt' isn't helpful

  • a shout out to my beloved husband who is my rock, my best friend, and my all-time favourite human

  • the importance of support from the AMAZING community of women on social media and online forums (that's YOU GUYS!)

Jane also read out some incredibly moving emails from listeners sharing their stories - they are so heartbreaking and so eloquent, and stories that deserve to be heard.


How to listen to the show

You can listen to the podcast below, or download via the Woman’s Hour website (click on the ‘download’ button for the full version incl. bonus podcast segment - available for 30 days only), Apple Podcasts (Ep 10th Dec 2018, IVF Waiting), Acast, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts from.

The main segment is at the start of the show (13 mins), and the extra bonus segment begins @ 44:40 (10 mins):


Highlight Clip

Don't have time to listen to the full episode?

Here's a 3 min snippet from the broadcast

And a short clip from the bonus segment:


Getting ‘dildocam’ into the official Radio 4 lexicon

I’d asked the show producer whether I could say the word ‘dildocam’ live on Radio 4 (because what would a discussion about IVF be without it), and jokingly tweeted about this.

I did not expect Jane Garvey to reply on Twitter to say that it was indeed acceptable vocabulary to use on air. Good to know. 

For the avoidance of any doubt, the official BBC Radio 4 account then chipped in with official confirmation of its acceptability. 

After which occasional Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett (who has written about her own experience of IVF in the Sunday Times) added that she was delighted to have this word available for future scripting.

Glad to have enshrined ‘dildocam’ in official Woman’s Hour vocabulary.

My work here is done!