RUTH Davidson has spoken for the first time about her IVF treatment and approaching motherhood – describing the experience as “invasive, joyous, mortifying, fearful and hopeful”.

The Scottish Tory leader announced earlier this year that she was expecting a baby with partner Jen Wilson. If the baby is a girl, she will be called Fionnuala.

In extracts from her new book, Yes She Can, she revealed her rollercoaster of emotions and the challenge of keeping pace with hospital appointments and treatments while leading a party.

She said: “There is a special feeling of wanting the earth to swallow you whole when you are led in a hospital gown to the room where an internal examination is going to take place by a nurse who decides to strike up conversation with ‘I saw you on the telly last night, talking about the NHS’.

“There is also a particular challenge in trying discreetly to sort out the various appointments and treatments, while keeping up the pace of political leadership, so no one suspects that anything's going on.

“It leads to some interesting situations, such as having to stab yourself in the stomach with hormone injections in the oddest places – including the toilets at Geneva airport on the way to the World Economic Forum in Davos – or scheduling procedures determined by your body clock around immovable diary entries.

“I managed to persuade my embryologist that it would actually be less stressful to jump on a plane to Afghanistan a couple of hours after the implantation procedure than go back to the office, because I'd be sitting down, reading briefing notes and watching movies on the in-flight entertainment system.

“I did suggest to my partner, Jen, that if that cycle worked, we should nickname the bump ‘Baby Helmand’, but we settled on Fionnuala instead.”

Ms Davidson said she decided to undergo IVF treatment after realising in her late thirties that her family had a history of early-onset menopause. She always wanted to have children, but had previously put it off.

The 39-year-old has been tipped as a potential future prime minister amid rumours she is planning to leave Holyrood for Westminster.

She said she had “no idea how changing family responsibilities will affect the way I do my job”.

But she added: “What has been interesting, though, has been the reaction to the announcement. While plenty of male political leaders – including two serving British prime ministers – have had children and made choices about paternity leave, no female politician in the UK has ever started a family and taken maternity leave while leading a party.”