Are You Really “Infertile”?

14 Mar
Nurse Linda

Nurse Linda’s Thoughts on Being Infertile

That seems like a silly question, right? I mean why would you even be reading this if you weren’t? Well, the truth is that most of you are not “infertile”. Of course, let’s define “infertile”. By definition, “infertile” means not fertile or sterile. Most of the patients I see are not sterile, they just have what I refer to as lesser fertility. Exceptions to this, of course, are bilateral blocked tubes, complete annovulation (a woman who never ovulates) or when the male has no sperm (azoospermic) for example. Maybe you have PCOS, endometriosis target=”_blank”, immune issues, oligospermia (not so hot sperm) or just darn getting up there in age. These are most of the types of patients I see. None of these folks are sterile but they do have a decrease in fertility.

Now, I know what you are saying….it’s all semantics. Well, maybe it is but I also know how it feels to be labeled. I have known many, many “infertile” patients who somehow magically had a child before becoming “infertile” or after ART treatment (successful or not) managed to have a child without assistance. And I know that many of you know these folks or even are these folks. Heck, I’m one too! As a matter of fact, just simply getting older puts you into this group. You could have had all the fertility in the world when you were younger and by just simply growing older you become labeled “infertile”. No, lessened fertility is what it is.

So, what’s the big deal with being labeled “infertile”? Oh, I don’t know, only everything! It’s about how I feel being labeled “infertile” or an “infertility patient”. I just don’t like it. However, I respect the struggle we all undergo. I am a woman with 3 kids and on appearance it doesn’t seem like I’d be an “infertile” woman but I have struggled with fertility all my life and many of you have as well. And I will tell you this, having children doesn’t make the struggle disappear. Once you’ve had a taste of the fear of childlessness or fear of not growing the family you once dreamed of…well, it just doesn’t go away. To this day, I have such feelings of envy when I see a pregnant woman. Funny, not so much when I see a baby but rather a pregnant tummy still gets me. Why? Because I’m a woman who didn’t have control over that part of my life and I was always so afraid it wouldn’t happen. So yeah, we need to stop labeling ourselves as “infertile”. We are fertility challenged, I’ll give you that but let’s not be so quick to label – it makes things sound hopeless when that couldn’t be further from the truth. The one thing we all have – and never forget this – is hope.


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