FYI, My Fertility Is None Of Your Business

FYI, My Fertility Is None Of Your Business

June 29, 2010


Good Question, hot topic

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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?

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  • Mrlew1
    June 30, 2010

  • It is ABSOLUTELY off-limits! I don’t ask pointed questions about you health, please don’t ask me about mine. Or about my choices. I KNOW that having children later in life increases risks.

    I think this – and the previous rant about child safety – highlights a tendency for people to impose their beliefs/choices on others and not be able to appreciate that different people handle situations differently. I worry that people think I don’t care because I don’t ask personal questions. Luckily my close friends know that I’m very interesting in their lives/choices/beliefs, but won’t ask about them unless prompted.

    Ahem. I didn’t mean to go on like that, but this post hit the nail on the head for me! Thanks for reminding me I’m not the only one who values privacy.

  • KHF
    July 9, 2010

  • I absolutely agree this is totally off-limits! And not just things so blatantly obvious as asking about fertility treatments. I think it is very wrong when people constantly ask if or when you are going to have children. That can be a very painful question if you are desperately wanting that very thing, but have been unsuccessful. Just b/c some people can get pregnant right away does not mean everyone has that.

  • Mary Margaret
    July 19, 2010

  • I have seen this happen many times, from the minute you get married asking when you’re going to have them, to the minute you have one asking when you’re planning your next. And HOW they are conceived?? I can’t believe it’s become okay to ask that! Love the line about Paxil–so true.