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A Child Against All Odds: Human Reproduction in the 21st Century
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1.

Whatever It Takes [electronic resource]: A Child Against All Odds

Denise, 43, is a midwife who has delivered hundreds of babies for other people but is unable to have a child of her own. She and her husband are putting their trust in an embryo-screening test that could help her avoid another miscarriage. This episode follows them through the treatment - and the critical decision they are suddenly faced with. Yasmina and Aldwin have been receiving IVF treatment for six years. They are so keen to start a family that they are prepared to take medication that is unproven. The couple add to their existing £40,000 IVF bill and take a gamble on the new treatment. An emotional roller coaster ensues.
Online
2006
2.

Choosing Children [electronic resource]: Selection - a Child Against All Odds

This first episode explores genetic selection, IVF medicine's most advanced technology. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, lets scientists read the genetic makeup of a tiny embryo, allowing people to choose if it should be given a chance at life. PGD is a contentious technology heavily regulated in the UK; it is sometimes accused of creating "designer babies" and, in the case of sex selection, is likely to be the focus of legislation to ban it. The technology was invented by Professor Robert Winston, and, in this program, he meets people using it in ways he never intended.
Online
2006
3.

Ice Babies [electronic resource]

Freezing embryos gives people a chance to have children even though they may be faced with a catastrophic illness. This episode introduces Hilary Spanswick, who is in fear for her life because of breast cancer, which signals the end of her hopes of motherhood. There's one option: freezing embryos. It's a risk, as the fertility drugs could encourage her cancer. If it works, it will be her only chance of having a baby. Frozen embryos, however, can lead to problems. Natallie Evans, for example, froze six embryos with her partner, but when they split up, he demanded that the embryos be destroyed. Professor Robert Winston meets Natallie to explore the question of who should own the ice babies.
Online
2006
4.

Make Me a Dad [electronic resource]

Some of the most exciting treatments that IVF medicine has developed are designed to help the one in ten British men who suffer fertility problems. This episode introduces an advanced form of IVF called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which might allow fertility specialists to create a baby using sluggish sperm that wouldn't stand a chance during natural conception, or even in conventional IVF. Cystic fibrosis, the most common genetic illness in the U.K., eliminates sperm from ejaculate. However, thanks to an incredible operation called surgical sperm removal, it's now possible to take sperm from the testes. It's a painful and invasive operation, but it in some cases it may be the only hope of producing a genetic child.
Online
2006
5.

Cheating Time [electronic resource]

The age and quality of a woman's eggs plays the most important role in determining her chances of having a baby. This episode features 41-year-old Suzanne, a happily married woman desperate to start a family. She is pinning her hopes on an IVF technique called assisted hatching, which she hopes will help her aging eggs give her the baby she longs for. The program also asks how old is too old to become a mother. Professor Robert Winston travels to Romania for an extraordinary encounter with the world's oldest mother, 68-year-old Adriana Illiescu, and her two-year-old child.
Online
2006
6.

The Gift of Life [electronic resource]

In this episode, Bonny, who has been infertile for 17 years, pins her hopes for a baby on a pioneering treatment: the transplantation of someone else's working ovary into her own body. The donor can only be her identical twin, Crystal. If the operation is successful, it will pose a difficult question: will any resulting children be Bonny's, or Crystal's? Until 2005, eggs or sperm could be donated anonymously, so donor-conceived children could never trace their biological parents. Professor Robert Winston asks a man born from donated sperm how it feels to know that he will never find his father, and the encounter leads to a moving revelation about Winston's own childhood.
Online
2006