Channel Seven viewers have expressed anger and disappointment over a panel discussion on Weekend Sunrise that compared IVF to ‘gambling addiction’.

‘Thousands’ of would-be parents struggling with fertility issues were left hurt and insulted by statements made during the show, including the suggestion that people wanting a family ‘need to start younger’.

The panel discussion was led by Weekend Sunrise hosts Basil Zempilas and Monique Wright and also featured journalist Melissa Hoyer and newsreader Ron Wilson, shares Daily Mail.

Touching on an article in The Daily Telegraph about a couple that had been unsuccessful in their attempt to have a child after 12 rounds of fertility treatment, Basil introduced the discussion with a warning about ‘women getting hooked on IVF in the same way gamblers get addicted to the pokies’.

Melissa kicked off the debate, claiming that if couples were unsuccessful after multiple rounds of IVF then perhaps it’s ‘not meant to be’.

Basil then asked: ‘Do you think there should be a try limit? Nine times, 10 times, something like that?’

Later, Ron said: ‘Everything I read about IVF, the main inhibitors are age and stress and both of those are things you can deal with.

‘Obviously there are medical conditions, but if you’re going to have a family, you really need to get started younger and get the stress out of your life.’

After the discussion was shared to Sunrise’s Facebook account, several viewers criticised how the sensitive issue was handled.

‘Sunrise owes every man and woman suffering from infertility an apology,’ one social media user wrote. ‘The level of compassion is zero.’

Another commented: ‘IVF is hardly an addiction and Sunrise should be ashamed for presenting it as such!’

SA Fertility also shared their concerns, “We think you got this one wrong Sunrise. Call us when you’d like science and fact, rather than opinion and misinformation. We’d be happy for one of our Fertility Specialists to discuss what infertility and IVF really means and dispel some of these myths.”

Sunrise has since issued an apology

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  • Thats a very ill informed comment to compare it to gambling addiction.
    As far as getting started when you are younger……well thats all very easy to say but at the same time if you are not emotionally or financially ready to have a baby then you 100% shouldnt.


  • Personally I don’t understand why you would take the words of a television host even serious.


  • Terrible thing to say and absolutely unfounded. Spoken by someone who could have children no doubt.


  • Mis-informed or not-informed TV hosts commenting on things they know nothing about. They are entitled to their opinions, but with no knowledge of the subject, their commentary is absolutely offensive. Turn off, I say!


  • What a ridiculous statement. People can do it as many times as they want as long as they have the money to do so.


  • Very insensitive indeed. I had my daughter through IVF and I would do it again. Even if it meant feeling drained mentally and spending money that other people put in their first home.
    Gambling? :-(


  • How disgusting! Yes, to someone who has a perfect family that all came so easily to them, IVF may seem like a huge waste of money. But I know that I would’ve done everything I could to be able to have my two kids (even though I didn’t have any fertility issues), even if it took me 100 goes and cost every dollar I have. Gamblers are a drain on society. Let’s not compare the two. If parents have the money to get IVF treatments it isn’t for others to judge.


  • SA fertility responded beautifully. If we want to gamble, I’d be happy to bet that every single one of those couples going back over and over would be happy to trade everything they have to have it work the first time and just have their family.

    Oh yeah. And lets all just get rid of stress in our lives. Easy.


  • What gets me is the amount of people that this “story” would have gone past before getting on air and not one single person picked up on how awful the content was? Unfortunately there’s no cure for stupid.


  • Clearly ignorant people making comments on a very sensitive topic they know nothing about. They have no idea of the hard and disappointing process..


  • Thoughtless and perhaps they should only have experts discuss such sensative topics as IVF.


  • This is a very complex issue, and they didn’t deal with it well.


  • This is probably an unfair comparison.


  • I have a cousin who went through 20 plus rounds of IVF, she now has a gorgeous baby boy. She was very upset by this item


  • It is an inflammatory comment and they probably should have approached it with more sensitivity but I can see how people can become obsessed with starting a family if they are having difficulties. Perhaps they should have addressed the strain that IVF can have on people’s mental health.


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