8 episodes

Dozens of women seeking to become mothers came to a fertility clinic at Yale. A (five-part) narrative series about the shocking events that unfolded there. From Serial Productions and The New York Times.

The Retrievals Serial

    • True Crime
    • 4.8 • 479 Ratings

Dozens of women seeking to become mothers came to a fertility clinic at Yale. A (five-part) narrative series about the shocking events that unfolded there. From Serial Productions and The New York Times.

    Episode 1: The Patients

    Episode 1: The Patients

    Patients at a fertility clinic experience excruciating, unexpected pain. For months the reason for that pain remains hidden. Then they get a letter from the clinic.

    • 56 min
    Episode 2: The Nurse

    Episode 2: The Nurse

    The patients know what happened to them. Now they learn who did it. The story of the nurse whose own pain was also unseen.

    • 33 min
    Episode 3: The Sentence

    Episode 3: The Sentence

    At the nurse’s sentencing hearing, the patients learn a shocking detail that forces them to confront the limits of their compassion.

    • 46 min
    Episode 4: The Clinic

    Episode 4: The Clinic

    What we know about what happened at the clinic.

    • 38 min
    Episode 5: The Outcomes

    Episode 5: The Outcomes

    In fertility treatment, a successful outcome is defined as a healthy baby. In this story, the outcomes are complicated for everyone involved.

    • 53 min


    The patients in this story came to the Yale Fertility Center to pursue pregnancy. They began their I.V.F. cycles full of expectation and hope. Then a surgical procedure called egg retrieval caused them excruciating pain.

    Some of the patients screamed out in the procedure room. Others called the clinic from home to report pain in the hours that followed. But most of the staff members who fielded the patients’ reports did not know the real reason for the pain, which was that a nurse at the clinic was stealing fentanyl, and replacing it with saline.

    From Serial Productions and The New York Times, The Retrievals is a five-part narrative series reported by Susan Burton, a veteran staff member at “This American Life” and author of the memoir “Empty.”

    Susan details the events that unfolded at the clinic, and examines how the patients’ distinct identities informed the way they made sense of what happened to them in the procedure room. The nurse, too, has her own story, about her own pain, that she tells to the court. And then there is the story of how this all could have happened at the Yale clinic in the first place.

    Throughout, Burton explores the stories we tell about women’s pain. How do we tolerate, interpret and account for it? What happens when pain is minimized or dismissed?

    Episode 1 of The Retrievals arrives Thursday, June 29th.

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
479 Ratings

479 Ratings

ACT Hawk ,


This is a must listen as it intersects where the US is now with reproductive freedom. The women in this story were just seen as vessels despite going through the trauma of IVF. Outstanding journalism

Ohmygodacceptmyname ,


Not a subject I thought would appeal to me but i was addicted, in no small part by my outrage at the whole situation. I’m very glad this has been exposed and come to light

criminal kngaroo ,

Another disappointment

Such an interesting story which absolutely needed to be told. However here is told in such a disappointing way, again leading absolutely nowhere. Americans do need to get a grip on themselves and stop thinking they are the centre of the world.

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