Reasons Why There is a Stigma About Infertility and Miscarriage

Infertility and miscarriage are both very common. So why does bringing up these subjects often cause discomfort for both parties? The people dealing with these issues are sometimes ashamed, frustrated or angry. People who have not dealt with infertility or miscarriage most often times just don’t know what to say. There’s also a lot of misinformation out there that also contributes to silence and shame.

The misinformation exists on both sides, too – those suffering silently and those who may hear our stories.

Some (untrue) myths that lead to both silence and lack of support include:

  • Infertility and miscarriage are the fault of the woman. Something she is doing is causing these problems.

  • Infertility is only a problem for “career” women who wait “too long” to have children.

  • Infertility is a woman’s problem.

  • Fertility is only a problem for heterosexual couples.

  • Birth control causes infertility and miscarriage.

  • Fertile people are more lovable. Infertile people are worth less.

  • Miscarriage is a punishment from God.

  • Infertility is a punishment from God.

  • A man who can’t impregnate his wife is weak and less masculine.

  • A woman who can’t get pregnant or hold onto a pregnancy is less feminine.

  • Infertility is caused by not knowing how to have sex.

  • Grief over an early miscarriage is not normal. You should “just get over it.”

  • Infertility is a “lifestyle” problem – not a disease.

  • No one wants to hear your infertility or miscarriage story.

Truths about infertility and miscarriage that everyone should know:

  • Infertility and pregnancy loss are medical issues. Not character faults.

  • Infertility and miscarriage make you no less human, no less woman, and no less man.

  • Many good and compassionate people are uncomfortable with tough topics like infertility and miscarriage and while they want to be supportive, they just don’t know what to say.

  • There seems to be an unwritten rule that you can’t tell people you’re pregnant until at least the second semester. But tell people if you want and be excited! If you do lose the pregnancy, at least you won’t be mourning the loss alone.

Sharing your personal story will help everyone suffering from infertility or miscarriage. Telling our stories is our most powerful weapon we have against the shame and stigma of infertility and miscarriage.

Read the full article at 7 Reasons We Don't Talk About Infertility and Miscarriage

Michael Hickey