When Heather Woock was in her late 20s, she started researching her family history. As part of the project she spit into a tube and sent it to Ancestry, a consumer DNA testing service. Then in 2017, she started getting messages about the results from people who said they could be half-siblings.

"I immediately called my mom and said, 'Mom, is it possible that I have random siblings out there somewhere?'" Woock says. She remembers her mom responded, "No, why? That's ridiculous."

All IN: The First Season of “Sick”

Jan 6, 2020

The first season of the podcast “Sick,” produced by Side Effects Public Media at WFYI, dives into the story of a fertility doctor in Indiana who spent years deceiving his patients, recently discovered due to the growing popularity of mail-in DNA tests.

"Sick," a new podcast from Side Effects, is examining an Indianapolis fertility doctor who made headlines -- for all the wrong reasons.

In an eight-part serial, reporters Lauren Bavis and Jake Harper explore the fertility industry and one doctor's abuse of power — as well as the mothers, fathers and children living with the consequences of his actions.

Check Out The 'Sick' Podcast Trailer

Oct 4, 2019

Sick, a new podcast From Side Effects, examines what goes wrong in the places meant to keep us healthy.

In season one, that place is an Indianapolis fertility clinic. Reporters Lauren Bavis and Jake Harper explore the complications of the fertility industry and one doctor's abuse of power — as well as the mothers, fathers and children living with the consequences of his actions.

Women Find A Fertility Test Isn't As Reliable As They'd Like

Oct 5, 2015

Women concerned about their fertility can use a test to help decide whether they should freeze their eggs now or whether they still have time to have a baby.

When a woman has endometriosis, lesions are often found on the surface of the female reproductive organs.

Endometriosis affects one in ten American women, often causing debilitating pain that keeps them from work or school, yet little is known about the disease. Endometriosis is a condition in which pieces of tissue similar to the lining of the uterus--the endometrium--grow outside of the womb. When a woman menstruates, endometriosis tissue sheds as well, but without having a way out of the body, it forms scar tissue, cysts and adhesions in the abdomen.  A recent article in The Guardian argues that despite its prevalence, research for endometriosis is drastically underfunded: 

Before a couple commit time, money and emotion to the process of in vitro fertilization, they want to know one thing: What are our chances of having a baby?

Success rates vary dramatically by age. In 2013, for example, 40 percent of IVF cycles performed in women who were under the age of 35 resulted in live births, compared with 4.5 percent for women older than 42.

Melissa and her husband started trying to have a baby right after they got married. But nothing was happening. So they went to a fertility clinic and tried round after round of everything the doctors had to offer. Nothing worked.

"They basically told me, 'You know, you have no chance of getting pregnant,' " says Melissa, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her privacy.

But Melissa, 30, who lives in Ontario, Canada, didn't give up. She switched clinics and kept trying. She got pregnant once, but that ended in a miscarriage.

In what's being hailed as a huge step in fertility and reproduction science, doctors in Sweden say a woman has given birth to a baby boy less than two years after she received a uterus transplant. The new mother, 36, had been born without a uterus, so another woman, 61, donated her womb several years after she had gone through menopause.

Egg-freezing. Come on, single ladies; you know you want to. In fact, you wish you had already, like, 10 years ago. Admit it.