I am writing this from the tranquility of the Scottish Highlands after a crazy, busy week.

On Monday evening, I was on BBC’s Panorama programme: Inside Britain’s Fertility Business which then, inevitably, resulted in lots of other things. Radio, newspapers, and more TV. If you haven’t read it yet, do have a look at my Guardian Opinion piece on the whole shebang.

The Panorama programme explored the proliferation of fertility treatment ‘add-ons’ which are being given (for a fee) to patients trying to conceive. A study by Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine into 27 treatments has found that 26 have no good scientific proof of success. I won’t elaborate here because you can watch the programme and read my article if you’re interested in the detail.

What I will say though is that this is a complex issue. Some people – including doctors and patients – really think these ‘add-ons’ work. Some people really think they don’t. Some people think the Panorama programme was one-sided. Some people think it’s investigative journalism at its best.

I think – and I hope whenever I speak and write this comes across– that I don’t know the answer. But I do know that the world needs to get better for people facing fertility issues and therefore it’s vital that this and so many other conversations are had.

So to end this crazy, busy week I’ve come to the Scottish Highlands for my own add-on – a weekend of swimming in lochs and sea! And I know many people will think: swimming in Scotland in December, are you mad? Well, maybe, but this is an add-on that works for me.


Me about to swim…