- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
Are Infertile People Annoying?
Are Infertile People "Annoying"? Before you react in anger to that statement, please read on.
Infertility is a subject I spend a considerable amount of time researching and writing about for the internet - because it is an issue that affects me personally. A while back, I looked at the search traffic to my one of my articles about raising infertility awareness and discovered some surprising results. Several Google users had apparently come to my page by searching the internet for the phrase "infertile women annoy me".
"Really?" I thought, with quite a bit of confusion. My page was largely about the many annoyances people dealing with fertility problems face in their daily lives - certainly not about finding people with this disease annoying! I couldn't even figure out at first how or why people with fertility problems could be considered annoying.
Then I thought about how often discussions and news articles about the disease, in non-"infertile-safe" spaces, devolved into ugly, critical remarks being made about those affect and their struggles. (Just look at the comments posted to Melanie Notkin's recent Huffington Post article, "The Truth About Childless Women". In another wonderful Huffington Post piece, "What Are You, Barren?", I was actually called "morally reprehensible" in the comments for wanting to try to have a biological child instead of "just adopting".)
So maybe there really is more resentment and misunderstanding about this condition out there than I realized...
Therefore, I decided to open up the topic for debate, here on THIS page. Are infertile people annoying, with our efforts to conceive and to raise awareness about their disease? Or is it in fact today's society and fertile people at fault: people who don't understand the struggles of those struggling to conceive?
I spent time researching some of the common arguments and objections raised - and also the problems infertile people perceive that they face daily.
Quick Opinion: Are Infertile People Annoying? - Later on you'll have the chance to sound off in detail after reading the arguments, pro and con.
Are infertile people annoying?
Infertiles Are Annoying!
What are the common points raised? I'll try to list them here.
Reasons Why Infertile People Are Annoying
What's Wrong with Infertile Women and Men? Let's Look at the Arguments
What follows is a list of common reasons given as to why infertile people are annoying. Do you agree or disagree with these statements? (Please note: I am not saying I agree with these statements or disagree with them! But that they are arguments I have all heard made before.)
"Infertile people are selfish and self-absorbed with their obsession over having their own children. It seems like their entire lives revolve around the fact that they can't have children. They should just get over it and move on! There are plenty of other things they can do with their lives besides mope over being childless."
"Infertile people are obsessed with making me feel guilty about enjoying my own children, family holidays and celebrations. They don't want to attend my childrens' parties or other events. They act like attending a baby shower or celebrating Mother's Day is the worst thing in the world. They never respond when I post baby photos or first-day-of-school pictures on Facebook. I always feel like I can't talk about my own children around someone who is infertile, even if I feel badly for their situation and try to be sensitive about it."
"Infertile people want health insurance to pay for their fertility treatments. They should suck it up and pay for it themselves if they want a kid that badly. Why should it be covered by health insurance - which means in effect I'm supposed to pay to help them maybe have a child?"
"Infertile people should just adopt. There are plenty of kids out there that need a home already and the world is overpopulated. All that money they spend on infertility treatment should go towards adopting and supporting needy children in our world already."
"Infertility is often the fault of a person's actions anyway - promiscuity, having abortions, or being otherwise abusive toward their bodies. I don't have any sympathy for them because they've brought this condition upon themselves."
"If a person is infertile, it's probably because God knows he or she wouldn't be a good parent in the first place. Children are a blessing from God, and he's not going to give them to people who don't deserve children."
"Infertile people are lucky and ought to realize it! They don't have to deal with saving for college funds, finding baby sitters, spending their weekends schlepping kids around to different activities...they can just relax and enjoy life without all the responsibility of raising kids!"
"Fertility treatments such as IVF are wrong and an act against nature and God's plan. Only God should have the power to create life. And what about all of those embryos that are created in laboratories and never given a chance at life?"
The Human Overpopulation Crisis - How Overpopulation is Affecting the World
Examining the overpopulation crisis - an argument often raised as to why infertile people are annoying, and should adopt if they truly wish to parent a child, not go to lengthy extents to have their own children. Do you agree or disagree?
Do you believe we are suffering from an overpopulation crisis? - Yes, no, or unsure?
Is overpopulation a real issue we are facing today? What do you think?
Infertiles Aren't Annoying
Making the case in support of those struggling with this condition.
RESOLVE's Message About Infertility - Bringing Hope, Support and Awareness
RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, has prepared the following video to explain why awareness is important and how this disease impacts millions of lives. Do you agree with their message?
The Fertile World is Annoying and Insensitive - Not the Infertiles
Reasons Why Infertile People Aren't Annoying
Once again, what follows is a list of common reasons given as to why infertile people aren't annoying. Do you agree or disagree with these statements?
"Being infertile has nothing to do with one's inherent fitness for being a parent or not. Just look at all of the cases of child abuse and neglect in the news, every day. Plenty of people who aren't cut out to be parents have kids anyway. So how can you say those abusers are more deserving of a child and better equipped to be one than an infertile man or woman desperate for a child to love?"
"There are plenty of causes of infertility that have nothing to do with personal or lifestyle choices. There can be genetic causes of infertility, as well as those caused by other diseases, like cancer. Men and women who have lived perfectly "clean", "healthy" and "moral" lives can be affected by infertility just like anyone else."
"Adoption IS great - but it's not the answer for every infertile couple out there. Many infertile couples do decide to adopt in order to build their families. But there can absolutely be reasons why it's not for everyone, and not every couple may be eligible for adoption based on their ages, financial status, and otherwise. The wait list for domestic adoption can be very long and overseas adoption can be iffy and extremely expensive - just like going through fertility treatments."
"Fertile people often ARE ignorant of how hurtful their casual words and actions can be to someone struggling with infertility. When you are able to have a child without months or years of planning, treatments, heartbreak and financial burdens, you just don't understand what kind of pain an infertile person goes through - and how little offhand remarks or situations can feel like a knife in the gut."
"Pregnancy and childbirth is a natural part of being a woman and something many women feel a strong desire to experience - and extreme depression if they can't. Of course there are women who never want to have children or just accept it without too much heartbreak if they can't have one. But for many it feels like an important thing to be able to experience in life."
"Health insurance covers many conditions brought on by personal choices and actions, like diseases related to smoking, obesity, and alcoholism. Why not cover infertility, when it generally is NOT caused by a person's choices in her life?"
"Overpopulation is a straw-man argument and my dream of having just ONE child isn't going to destroy the world. "My body, my choice." Women have fought long and hard for the right to control their reproductive rights and access to birth control and abortion. Having access to fertility treatments should be no different and we should let every woman decide if she wants to have children - and how many of them."
"The annoying thing is Infertility - NOT infertile people."
YOUR TURN! Vote on Whether Infertile People Are Annoying - Join the Debate: Are Infertiles Annoying, or Not?
You've read the arguments on both sides. Now, tell me what you think - are infertile people selfish and annoying, or is it the fertile folks who need to get a clue and learn about the real issues of infertility? Anyone can leave a comment here, anonymously or signed-in.
Are Infertile People Annoying?
My Last Words on Being An Annoying Infertile
Maybe Being Annoying Isn't a Bad Thing, After All...
In discussing this debate with a friend, she brought up an excellent point on the subject of being "annoying" about infertility. Being annoying isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when you're trying to get people to stop and re-think their actions and judgments toward others. Part of being an activist is being annoying: getting in people's faces; making them think about uncomfortable topics; saying things that are unpopular or that others might not want to hear.I get that some of my friends are sick of hearing me talk about infertility and infertility awareness. They might roll their eyes at me the next time I rant about something I heard on Facebook and wish I could just "let go" of the subject. But I can't. It's important to me to bust myths about infertility and get the discussion out in the open. To help people dealing with infertility realize that they don't have to live in shame and remain silent about their disease. I am surely an annoyance many times over at this point for asking for a little understanding on the subject and not feeling comfortable talking to people who refuse to acknowledge infertility as a serious issue.So maybe I should embrace the idea of infertile people being annoying, after all. Because politeness and silence will not bring about change the way that action and vocal discussions can.
My Other Articles on Infertility and Awareness
Infertility and the Holidays: A Survival Guide
When you're dealing with infertility, every day can present challenges to your mental health and well-being. Even so, the holiday season can be especially di...
Raising Infertility Awareness and Coping with Fertility Struggles
Fertility is a fact of life most people take for granted. Most assume that if you want to get pregnant and have children, it will be easy once you find the r...
National Infertility Awareness Week
National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is a campaign sponsored by RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association. The goal of this annual event is to brin...
Remembering Childless Women on Mother's Day
For many women struggling with infertility, or those who are childless by circumstance and not by choice, Mother's Day can be one of the hardest days of the ...
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Other Voices on "Annoying Infertiles" and Topics Discussed Here
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- Building a Family: Is Going Into Debt for In Vitro or Adoption Worth It? | Carrie Smith
In the end, it's a personal decision to take on debt to create the family you desire. Beyond the emotional aspects, there are quite a few financial decisions that need to be thought about and carefully planned out....
- Childfreedom: IVF: Getting into the God Business
A childfree voice objecting to IVF treatment.
- I Borrowed Money From My Parents To Pay For My IVF
A wife and mother tells Mommyish why she and her husband borrowed money from their parents to fund IVF.
- 'I wish IVF had never been invented' Samantha Brick says it's given her nothing but heartache... | M
If IVF didn’t exist, I believe we would have, eventually, got on with our lives. Instead, we submitted ourselves to the rollercoaster of fertility treatment.
© 2011 Nicole Pellegrini