Reproductive Science Is An Incredible Thing, But It Hasn't Been Able To Beat Biology: The Why Wait Agenda Meets Jessica Hepburn
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Becoming a parent is first and foremost a decision to make. A choice. But what happens when our mind and our heart long for a baby, and our body simply does not cooperate? When it comes to fertility, wanting is not enough – choosing is not enough: only 85% of couples will conceive naturally within a year of regular unprotected sex. No less than 25 million citizens are affected by infertility just in the European Union.
This episode's guest is Jessica Hepburn, the author of the memoir "The Pursuit of Motherhood" and of “21 Miles: swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood”. Her books focuses on the need to talk openly about the stigma of infertility and unsuccessful IVF, that Hepburn experienced firsthand going through multiple rounds of in vitro fertilisation, suffering miscarriages and even an ectopic pregnancy.
There was no happy ending for her: that's why her voice is different, maybe less sugar-coated than your typical fertility ambassador, but honest. Jessica Hepburn has come to represent the people who have not and will not be able to conceive, even with all the medical aid currently available. And she's living proof that infertility can be overcome not just in the obvious way – by having a baby – but also by finding other ways to fill that void.
Hepburn is now a fertility activist and ambassador: she has been a trustee of the charity Fertility Network UK; a patient adviser to the HFEA, the UK’s independent regulator of fertility treatment; and a member of the Fertility Education Initiative. In this episode of the podcast she discusses with Eleonora Voltolina, founder of The Why Wait Agenda, the huge effect of infertility on relationships, the difficulties of sex after a round of failed fertility treatment, the secrecy and shame that still surrounds infertility, and the need to raise awareness about this topic.