Sometimes when a woman discovers she’s infertile, she wasn’t even trying to have children—or even certain she ever wanted to have children, as it’s common for this information to come up during totally routine exams. There are, of course, other women who unfortunately discover fertility issues after years of trying to conceive with their partner. Receiving this information, whether you want children or not, is complicated and painful in different ways. In a way, learning you can’t have children is a loss. You didn’t lose a child, but you lost possibilities—you lost an option that, until then, you always thought would at least be on the table. Nobody likes to have their options taken away before they even had a chance to think about them. Here are the mental stages of realizing you’re infertile.