Monday, 7 November 2011

Addison has four eggs... they're called follicles, dummie!

Call yourself a fertility doctor.

If you watch Private Practice, you'll know what I'm talking about.

I've suspected for a while that the creator of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and the now-cancelled Off the Map might have some fertility issues. Or someone in her team must, right? Or at the very least they are trying to raise awareness of the commonness of infertility. Lets examine the evidence:

  • Grey's Anatomy: Meredith has an early miscarriage from an accidental conception, then trouble conceiving again. She and Derek go through fertility treatments, which they have to give up because of side effects. Now trying to get their adopted baby back through the courts after having her taken away.
  • Private Practice: Addison, who first made moves to have a baby with donated sperm about six years ago only to be told she 'didn't have any eggs', is doing IVF. OK, actually she was told she had high FSH, but the show repeated used the line 'I don't have any eggs.'  It's a fairly well told storyline, except for the ridiculous weeping on day one of stimms.
  • Off the Map: Spanish Lady Doctor (I can't remember her name, give me a break, it's cancelled) had endometriosis, and openly declared that she couldn't have children.  
So, unless they received some audience research that infertile women in particular watch these programs and they're playing to their audience, I would suspect there is something else going on.

I'm not finding the Private Practice storyline too irritating- except when the doctor said she had four eggs while looking at an ultrasound of her ovary- I did actually shout 'it's called a follicle!' Overall though I feel  it's being done quite respectfully and without that tone of 'aren't infertile women hysterical and hilarious when they're doing treatments' that you get in some dramas.


Mrs. R said...

totally agree about private practice! i've been really appreciating the IVF story line. I'm disapointed that a lot of the story line is very stereotypical, like her hormonal craziness from the IVF drugs. Also, none of my meds required butt injections except for the HCG trigger. And, one more complaint I have is that she woke up feeling no pain or discomfort from her egg retrieval. But at least IF is getting some airtime!

knitting vixen said...

I don't watch any of these programmes, but it is refreshing to hear of some story lines that do not involve people who fall pregnant by mistake, or who fall pregnant very easily.

I watched a dire dire film a couple of months ago, it was called The Switch. Jennifer Aniston (in her 40s) decided her body clock was ticking and use donor sperm. She has an insemination party during which she slips off the bathroom to inseminate herself (I hope I am never invited to such a party). Before she manages to do so, her drunk male BFF knocks over the donor sperm and replaces it with his own. She falls pregnant with said sperm with hilarious consequences. Pretty appalling I am sure you will agree, but the thing that bothered me the most is that she fell pregnant straight away, despite her age.

Lora said...

I agree about Private Practice! The egg thing bothered me too but oh well! Love those shows (and I wish Off the Map would have stayed around).

Kat said...

@Mrs R - I never even thought of that, though I did find the 'still having sex while stimming' a little weird, surely her ovaries were painful?

@Lora - I wish Off the Map hadn't been cancelled as well. It was cheesy, but fun.

@KV - I've seen a trailer for that Aniston movie, which looks terrible. But the general rule on TV is that fertility treatments work first time, remember. That's why people believe the success rates are higher than they really are.