When you find out you are infertile, you expect to feel sad, and you probably aren’t surprised when you also feel angry and betrayed. But one feeling you likely didn’t expect was embarrassment or shame.
My husband and I have not yet had to go through the infertility tests, treatments, etc., but we are almost to a year now of trying to conceive with no success. I’m watching many other younger and several older women getting pregnant within 4-6 months (or less) of trying. One even got pregnant while on birth control!
Is it normal to feel shame and embarrassment? A better word that describes how I feel is actually defective. I feel defective and less of a woman. So many people say it isn’t true or logical, but I can’t help it. I want to know if others struggle the same way.
Feeling Like an Evolutionary Reject
It is absolutely normal to feel defective. I would almost say it is universal, although there are probably a few people with high enough self esteem and abundant mental health that escape this feeling. One member of our online support group said she felt like a weaker person whose genes nature didn’t want to be passed down to future generations—kind of like an “evolutionary reject”.
People feel like their body has let them down, that they can’t do the one uniquely feminine thing–produce a baby. This can be translated in our emotions to feeling like a failure, and failing in something so fundamental can feel embarrassing or even shameful.
It’s a Disease, Darnit
It helps to wrap your head around the concept that infertility is a disease. You didn’t do anything to deserve this. It happened to you, and your job now is to deal with it the best that you can. Some days the best you can do is feel sorry for yourself, and that’s OK too. Tomorrow will be a new day, and you will deal better then.
Infertility is so darn unfair!!
Did infertility make you feel embarrassed or ashamed?Image credit: Santi