The Taboo of Infertility

1 June 2018

This post was written last year for the Olive Fox online magazine when Luke and I were going through fertility treatment, the Olive Fox has unfortunately closed down but I wanted this post out there still so, here it is. 

Why is infertility such an awkward thing to talk about? Even though I discuss it regularly on my blog, there are numerous occasions in public when the admission just won’t come out of my mouth. Recently I was looked up and down by an older woman and presented with the statement of “you’re probably too young to have any” rather than replying with “actually I’m going through the first stages of fertility treatment because the last two years of trying have amounted to nothing but disappointment and my ovaries might not work, Hun”, I simply nodded and shied away behind my screen in shame.

The whole situation is a shame, it’s a shame for any person to have to sit in a waiting room bursting with expectant mothers when that is literally all they want, it’s a shame that any man has to rush a sperm sample through a hospital car park at 8am on a cold winters morning whilst trying to keep it at the correct temperature and it’s a shame that so many people make fly away comments such as the one above and, “are you two going to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet soon”.

Some days I reek of shame, shame and desperation. I’ve been ashamed to admit to my boss that the reason why I’m shattered is because I spent all night reading pregnancy forums because I felt what could have been implantation pain. I’ve been ashamed to tell Luke exactly how much money I’ve spent on early detection pregnancy tests two days before my period because living in hope got too painful.

On the days when I’m not a hormonal wreck and won’t have an emotional breakdown when discussing it, I don’t want to for fear of putting other people in awkward situations. No body knows what to say or how to react when they’re told someone can’t get pregnant, there’s only so many times you can bear hearing someone say “I’m sure it’ll happen” before you snap and there’s only so many times you can sit through another story about someone’s Auntie’s second cousin who had IVF. The most awkward moment is when a friend who knows tells me she’s expecting, there’s a bitter sweet moment where just for second we both know how riddled with jealousy I am just before I gush with congratulations and we leave the baby-less elephant in the room.

The truth is that Infertility is awkward, it’s one big heavy awkward burden and I don’t want to carry it on my own. I don’t want to be reading pregnancy forums in the dark at 2am and too ashamed to tell anyone, I don’t want to have to pretend that I’m too young for kids and I don’t want to have to hide my dirty little secret because we all find it uncomfortable. I don’t know what the right thing to say is, I doubt there will ever be a right thing to say but please don’t put me in a situation where I can’t say anything, it’s lonely out here and I sometimes I need to take the weight off my shoulders for a while.


  1. So very true my lovely, imagine having done the whole IVF thing twice and then get whacked with a hysterectomy just to top it off.....people can be so insensitive, I've just learnt to tell them exactly how rude and presumptuous they are! Hugs to you and Freddie of course xxx

  2. I have no idea how hard it must be, but reading this makes me want to cry, in both your feelings then, and knowing now what you have. Infertility is SUCH a hard subject. something I think we all fear, and a lot of us will struggle with. Beautiful post lovely

    Erin || MakeErinOver


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