The trials and tribulations of going through IVF

Three couples open up about their fertility problems as they each undergo a round of IVF treatment in this powerful and often moving documentary.

For all our advances in medical science, the number of people suffering from fertility issues remains stubbornly high with one in seven couples in the UK – 3.5million people – experiencing difficulty starting a family.

Of those, a third have what is known as unexplained fertility, when both partners are apparently fertile, and yet together cannot conceive a child.

Making Babies is a new documentary to be screened during Fertility Week 2019.

Falkirk couple Sarah and Craig have been trying to conceive for four years after the honeymoon baby they longed for never came.

Their treatment is at Ninewells hospital in Dundee, one of four NHS assisted conception centres in Scotland. There, fertility nurse Sarah Beveridge, has the job of managing couples’ expectations.

She said: ‘I would love to be able to have a crystal ball and say to them, “this time next year you’ll be holding that baby in your arms”. But we just don’t know. At every stage in the process it is just a “wait and see”.”

Gemma and Ryan, of Glasgow, are still only in their 20s but have been trying, and failing, to conceive for five years. They’re nervous as they embark on their first cycle of IVF.

Gemma said: ‘All sorts of things go through your head. Are we just not meant to have a baby? Are we not compatible? Is something just not right? It is hard because you’ve got nothing concrete to go on. Everything seems to be fine so why can this not happen?’

Ayrshire couple Nikki and Bob, undergoing treatment at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, have been through the highs and lows of IVF. Their second cycle resulted in the birth of their daughter Daisy in 2016, but they’ve had a failed attempt to give her a sibling and are about to start their fourth cycle of IVF.

Like the other two couples, there’s mental trauma to deal with alongside the physical symptoms associated with taking fertility medication. And with only a 30 per cent chance of treatment being successful, staying positive can often be a challenge.

Making Babies is made by BBC Scotland Multiplatform Productions, being shown on Tuesday, 29 October, on BBC Scotland from 10-11pm.