It’s not okay to talk about your friend’s fertility issues in public – Metro

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler/

Ive never been one to discuss the fact I may not be able to have children, simply because I dont know for sure.

Ive written about it once but only regarding the fact Ill be able to have three tries at pregnancy using IVF, courtesy of the NHS.

Basically, because of the faults of the NHS, I was given an emergency surgery to remove my large bowel after living with ulcerative colitis.

The colitis went unknown for so long despite frequent trips to the doctors and A&E admissions. I was given an unneeded surgery to remove my appendix first, in case I was suffering with appendicitis but it was later found that doctors had seen my bowel was distended much earlier on and that neither surgery may have been necessary at all.

Unfortunately, due to the amount of adhesion that has been caused because of the surgeries I have had, there will now be a very small chance that I can get pregnant naturally, and a high chance that IVF will be my only route.

However, IVF doesnt usually work on the first try and if it doesnt work on the two tries after that I will either have to splash out on one hell of an expensive try or leave any dreams of future motherhood behind me.

All of this Ive thought about deeply, to the point where I can think about my options matter-of-factly instead of getting upset about it. Ive had enough time to get emotional about it and, at the end of the day, I dont actually know whats going to happen in the future.

But just because Ive come to terms with it doesnt make it okay for other people to bring it up in conversation and especially not in front of people Im not familiar with.

Sadly this is a situation I became subject to a couple of weeks ago, when a friend decided to call my life a mess simply because Im not keen on the idea of marriage and because theres a chance I cant have children.

Im sure they didnt mean it coldly, they said it in a joking manner and perhaps it came out the wrong way as theyd had a little too much to drink.

But it was hurtful nonetheless.

The comment came when we were discussing both marriage and children. Ive never been keen on the idea of marriage, simply because I dont feel a piece of paper can determine how much you love one another.

I understand marriage is incredibly important for some couples but for me its not a deal breaker.

And of course, because of my situation, Im not sure whether children is an option or not yet.

As the conversation happened between my friend and I, I didnt think much of it at first but calling me a mess before explaining the reasons made me feel very uncomfortable.

I wanted to curl up in a ball and hide away. It was embarrassing, it was demoralising and it gave me that annoying lump in my throat from desperately trying not to get upset.

What made it worse was that my problems with fertility cant even be confirmed until Ive tried IVF but there they were being confirmed to someone I didnt know.

And, because I didnt feel comfortable going into great detail about my situation, they were left with false information about me and my fertility issues.

That night, all I could do was think about the words You might not have children.

Of course, its something Ive thought about time and time again but to hear it leave someone elses mouth was devastating. It made it seem more real, more heartbreaking.

Instead of thinking about my options with a clear mind as I had done beforehand, looking on the bright side that Im lucky to be able to have IVF, all I could do was focus on the negatives and the what ifs should IVF not work.

Which leads me to my point.Its not okay to talk about your friends fertility issues to anyone, whether its a mutual friend or a complete stranger. That information is not yours to share.

While you may not see it as a big deal, its an incredibly big deal to the person who dreams of one day being a parent. It can take someone from being totally okay about what may come later on in life to worrying about it profusely.

Not knowing whether you can have children is something that can completely change your life plan and your dreams of having a family.

Speaking about a friends infertility in public is wrong. By doing so, you are compromising your friendship by proving you cannot be trusted.

Opening up about infertility is an incredibly hard thing to do because it can leave you feeling as though youre less of a woman simply because you cant do what so many other women can.

It leaves you feeling upset and nervous to actually be honest with other people about whats happening with your body.

And so feeling its your duty to tell your friends business which has taken said friend a long time to open up about to someone you dont even know proves nothing but a lack of respect and will make the persons trust your ruining never want to open up to you again.

To be clear, being unable to, or being unable to naturally, have your own children does not make you a mess. Parenting a child, while an amazing thing, is not something that should determine what kind of person you are.

Having a child does not define you nor your success. It does not make you driven. It does not make you passionate and it sure as hell doesnt make you a decent person.

Thats all up to you. None of the above things equal a mess of a person. They equal a person whos smart, driven and most definitely not a mess at all. And none of the above things must involve children to be achieved.

Sure, many people strive for marriage and children as their final end-goal, but it doesnt make you any less of an amazing person if you never reach that.

Yes, there are options available but those options shouldnt be enforced by people who have no experience of what the other person is going through. And they definitely should not be suggested in public.

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A struggle to get pregnant is a private issue and you should feel honoured if a friend chooses to open up to you about it as it can make you feel a number of emotions that should never be experienced.

Please, dont ruin that persons trust by passing the information along, especially not to total strangers.

Its not your business to share, and the only thing its good for is pushing that friend who did nothing but trust you with personal information, away.

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It's not okay to talk about your friend's fertility issues in public - Metro

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