Last week I was at the pool with a friend and our children. She was getting towels when another mother asked me, “I hope you don’t mind, but were you on Clomid?”
I know what Clomid is, but I was taken aback that she mentioned it at the public baby pool. “I’m sorry?” I asked, wondering what I missed while I was slathering the sunscreen. She gestured to the children. “Just wondering if you had fertility treatments. My sister…” and launched into her trouble conceiving, and Clomid, and the expense of in vitro. Honestly, I stopped listening immediately after it sunk in that a total stranger had just asked me about a prescription drug that I may or may not have taken.
It’s irrelevant that I (fortunately) had no trouble conceiving my only child, but I wondered nonetheless: when did it become acceptable to ask people about their fertility? Who said it was socially acceptable to elbow in on what is, at its basic level, someone else’s sex life, and ask probing questions about what was potentially a delicate and painful experience?
To me, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had treatments or not. Your children are your children, and how they came to be is your business. Call me crazy, but I think fertility is a personal thing. I don’t get a lot of, “Gosh, you look frazzled. Are you taking Paxil?” while sitting poolside. And really, what’s the difference?
How do you feel about discussing fertility? Is it a taboo topic or a free-for-all?