As a result of a ruptured appendix, I am infertile. The appendicitis was followed by gangrene and peritonitis, which permanently blocked my fallopian tubes and left me having to do IVF for a chance to have my own child.
I have never felt shame about my situation but I have felt isolation and grief, both of which would be very much more bear-able if people were prepared to talk openly about in-vitro fertilisation — to dispel the taboo that still surrounds it.
IVF in its various forms is incredibly common these days. More than 2.5 million babies born in the past seven years began their life in a Petri dish. For various reasons, some known, some unknown, overall birth rates in the West are falling rapidly and infertility is rising: pretty soon as many as one in every ten children born in this country will owe its life to fertility treatment.