Emma Barnett says ‘IVF is like banging your head against a brick wall’

Radio Four’s Women’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett has likened doing IVF to banging your head against a brick wall, and to be honest she isn’t far from the reality of it

I can certainly remember several times in the five cycles we did that I could have found a wall to bang my head against, so we can see where Emma is coming from.

The 37-year-old was talking with Kate Thornton on her popular White Wine Question Time podcast about the difference between having fertility treatment without children and then experiencing it now with a four-year-old son.

She said she had an embryo transplanted just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but it did not work, and it came as a huge shock to her.

She said: “The shock of that hit me in the face because for the first time in my life, to do with my health certainly, I was confident.

“I was falsely confident, it turned out, and the contrast of expectation and reality just was so overwhelming.”

She talked about the many interviews she had done with women who’d had multiple IVF cycles and how she never thought she’d be one of them.

She said: “I have become fascinated by when people do things again, and again, and again to try to have a different outcome.

“With this process, you can’t get a bit pregnant. You can’t have part of what you’ve gone in for. It’s ‘either or’, so I think that’s very sobering and quite dispiriting, to say the least, as you go back in each time.”

She said she felt extremely lucky to have a child already and explained that it was different doing IVF when you have a child.

She said: “I’m very mindful of those people who don/t have a child at all who were doing this. It’s just horrific, I’ll never forget that. But it’s different, again, doing it with a child.”

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Are you experiencing secondary infertility? Have you started IVF treatment? We’d love to hear your story, email mystory@ivfbabble.com.

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