Comedian Diona Doherty opens up about her IVF journey

Irish comedian Diona Doherty has revealed what it has been like to have IVF with partner Sean Hegarty and be stepmother to three teenage children

The Derry Girls star told the Belfast Telegraph’s Sunday Life: “We had IVF to have Winter, and I would talk about that in my stand-up and her BBC dark comedy Sorta Stepmum.

“It’s about a step mum undergoing IVF and has that juxtaposed feeling of filling the mother role but still yearning to have her own children.

“That is drawn from my experience of years and years of being a step mum but not actually being able to have my own child. It took us six years to get Winter.

“I’m very open about that – I talk about it in my podcasts and I talk about it in my stand-up.”

After opening up about her and Sean’s ordeal, she had couples contacting her to tell her what they were going through.

She said: “Multiple times a week I am contacted by women and men who have been going through the same process.

“Their family members or friends don’t know about it, they’re embarrassed to talk about it and they’re clinging to anyone who’s had success in having a baby and is open to talking about it.

“I’m glad I talk about it comedically because I feel like we, as Irish people, work through our trauma and our hardships through laughter.

“I think mostly it’s with men because of this sort of toxic masculinity and this idea of bravado. Most men are really embarrassed when it’s male infertility. Most men are like, ‘No, my sperm is great. What are you talking about?’”

“They feel like less of a man and that is the world’s problem – that’s not a man’s issue.”

Diona has written a one-woman show called Sunny Side Up all about IVF that she hopes will be in theatres next year.



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