Infertility is something no woman expects to face. We grow up feeling that pregnancy is some almost unstoppable force that we have to constantly fight off. We are smothered with lectures about birth control and safe sex. We may have a few friends who face unwanted pregnancies. The general feeling we grow up having, as girls who eventually become women, is that pregnancy wants your body and is after you and you must resist it—until you’re ready to have kids. So when that day comes—that day when you’re ready to have kids—you think, “This should be easy. Okay pregnancy—I’m ready! I’m taking out my IUD. I’m not taking my pill anymore. We’ve burned all the condoms. I’m ready for you.”
Pregnancy, when you want it, should be the reward for all the years you spent successfully warding it off—you think. So when it doesn’t come, and you find that you’re infertile, it can shake you to your core. It’s even possible that your mother struggled with infertility, but didn’t tell you that, for many reasons, like, it’s painful for her to talk about and, she didn’t want you thinking, when you were young, that you could go without birth control, because you probably had fertility issues, too. There are chances to warn young girls about infertility and talk about it, but nobody does. Because it really isn’t an issue anyone is worried about…until they are. Then it can be emotionally painfully and mentally hell.
I haven’t attempted to get pregnant, and I don’t plan on having kids, however, for a young woman, I’ve had a surprising number of friends who have dealt with fertility issues, and are even going through IVF treatments right now. There’s a common theme when I talk to them all: they have thoughts they feel guilty about. If you relate to this, know that these thoughts about infertility are perfectly normal.
Why’d I use birth control all those years?
This is such an understandable thought. Think of all those years of remembering to take your pill. Of panicking when you forgot to pack it on a trip, and having to make four phone calls to have your prescription transferred to some obscure pharmacy at your destination. Of taking the morning after pill. Perhaps more than once. What was it all for?!