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'How I Met Your Mother' Takes on Infertility

Recent dramas such as Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice have explored the world of infertility with characters taking fertility drugs, trying in vitro fertilization, selecting a sperm donor and finding a baby to adopt only to have her taken away.

It's unusual, however, for a sitcom to tackle such heavy subject matter.

But the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother has done just that. In the CBS comedy, Robin (Cobie Smulders) learned she was pregnant, but then found out that she was not pregnant and could not, in fact, have children. According to the show's producer, the storyline is part of a decision they made last summer to make Robin infertile and will be the start of exploring her character more deeply on the show.

How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom that has had critical success and has won several Emmy awards. The premise of the show is that it is the year 2030, and the main character, Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor) is recounting to his son and daughter the events that led to his meeting their mother. The sitcom follows Ted alongside his friends Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris who with his partner, David Burtka, have twins via surrogacy).

Last night's episode revealed that Barney would have been the father of Robin's baby if there had been one. The news that she was not pregnant came after Robin panicked at the thought of giving up her independence in exchange for becoming a mother. Then, of course, she finds out it is unlikely she will ever be able to have children at all, but does not reveal what she is going through to her friends.

It will be interesting to see where the story goes as this character deals with infertility. FertilityAuthority applauds How I Met Your Mother for taking on the subject matter and exploring it in a realistic way.


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