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Infertility Reality TV

a blog by Claire, November 16, 2012

Amongst circles of friends battling infertility, you hear it often: “There needs to be an infertility reality TV show!” The kind of show that highlights the truths about infertility and squashes the clichés. The kind that corrects misguided portrayals on the big screen and joins the ranks of the decently executed.

The Backup Plan IUIs were pretty accurate!

Disney Pixar’s UP had a tear jerking miscarriage scene and child-free living!

Baby Mama's surrogacy portrayal was hilarious!

It seems MTV has caught wind of this and has started casting for True Life: I’m Having Fertility Issues.

The casting call on MTV’s website reads:

“Have you always wanted to have a baby and are finding out that getting pregnant isn't as easy as it seems? Have you been trying for months -- or even years -- to get pregnant without success? Have you or your partner been diagnosed with a condition that makes it difficult to conceive naturally and plan to seek help from a fertility clinic? Are you so consumed with having a baby that you'll stop at nothing to have your own? If so, is your partner right there with you? Or is he or she reluctant to spend the money and energy it would take to conceive through high tech means? Are your fertility issues causing problems with your relationship? Has trying to have a baby left you emotionally, physically, and financially drained? Do you have a pre-existing health condition where being pregnant could be dangerous for you and your baby, but you're determined to beat the odds? If you appear to be the ages of 18-29 and you've been struggling with fertility issues, please email us...”

However, we have a few gripes.

  1. A single episode isn’t going to capture everything there is to know about intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor egg cycles, surrogacy, and adoption. It is definitely not enough time to represent the 7.3 million people diagnosed infertile across the United States. How can they accurately portray the statistic that 1 in 8 couples today are struggling with this disease?

  2. Although reproductive trends vary across the country, how many 18-year-olds are seriously doing IVF these days? Do they have infertility insurance coverage? Have they saved enough money to make a dent in the hefty costs of fertility treatment?

  3. We know MTV is catering to a specific age group, but 29-years-old is the cut off. Fertility begins to decline in our 20s, and more rapidly as we approach 35 and 40. Couldn’t they at least cap their casting age at 32?

It does say “If you appear between the ages of 18-29…”, so perhaps there is leeway with the age requirements if you look younger than you actually are. But don't seek out Botox injections just yet! They might not be safe if you are trying to conceive.

We’re skeptical, MTV, but applaud your efforts nonetheless. Infertility deserves its spot on the reality line-up and we'll take it anyway we can.

Tell us what you think about MTV’s True Life: I’m Having Fertility Issues, here.

You can also share your thoughts with us by visiting the Fertility Authority Facebook page and tagging MTV True Life in the post.


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