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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.

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?

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.

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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.

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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
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Remembering Childless Women on Mother's Day
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Did you have any other comments you'd like to leave at this point? Feel free to do so before you go. And thanks for visiting!Please note comments are reviewed before being posted. Any vulgarity and obvious trolling will not be posted.

Other Voices on "Annoying Infertiles" and Topics Discussed Here

© 2011 Nicole Pellegrini

Share Any Last Thoughts on Here - Get In The Last Word In the "Annoying" Debate

AbigaleStorm on August 15, 2013:

I work with couples with fertility problems and I have never found any of them to be annoying. Now I know, having fertility issues and and being infertile isn't the same thing, but some of the couples I work with don't know yet, if they are indeed infertile. Desperately wanting a child of your own and not being able to is surely devastating for many couples and they need our understanding.

anonymous on March 02, 2013:

I can't have children due to having cancer treatment as a teen - I am not depressed and have no intension of in your words "take some counseling or therapy session along with his fertility cure programs" haha that is funny.Now I must say that it was very difficult at first but I have lived through worse, Now knowing that I will never have a biological child I plan to spend my time treating myself to the things parents can't afford, lol.I have made the decision not to adopt as I want to live my life for me not for a child...............5 star holidays designer shoes bags and crayon free walls here I come.It is not for any of us to judge anyone who can't have a child it is a very painful thing to know that you are the full stop there will be nothing after you and that you end your family tree.A bit of compassion would go a long way - we are not annoying - we are just people who have a loot to deal with, and a non infertile person can never ever understand it.To the infertile people on here - You will find a way to be happy again and remember that we never face anything that we can't handle xxx

AlphaChic on January 31, 2013:

I thnk most people don't know how devastating infertility can be. Thanks for your lens and all the good work you do.

heath3rdawn on January 06, 2013:

BTW- Thank you for raising awareness on ignorance.

anonymous on November 06, 2012:

@sybil watson: Sybil, with all due respect, most people who suggest adoption as an alternative are only trying to help. In no way does adoption substitute for pregnancy, childbirth, and raising one's own child - but no one is suggesting those things to be insensitive, let alone ignorant or annoying. It is a natural response to a very sensitive subject, although it may seem like a "quick" solution to a much more complex issue.I would find it insensitive if someone was indifferent to another who was infertile. Another thing to think about - if anyone is going to be overly sensitive about comments on their infertility, maybe they should keep that bit of information to themselves. I know that may be a diificult thing to do, but when you put your business out, you open yourself up for interpretation and discussion.

EMangl on September 11, 2012:

@sybil watson: exactly!

theallin1writer on August 31, 2012:

Interesting lens, thank you for sharing.

sybil watson on August 12, 2012:

People who have not been through the pain of infertility have no right to judge those who have. Telling someone who is infertile that they can always adopt or that maybe they weren't meant to have children is insensitive, ignorant and annoying! You've done a fantastic job of addressing this very important subject.

sybil watson on August 12, 2012:

People who have not been through the pain of infertility have no right to judge those who have. Telling someone who is infertile that they can always adopt or that maybe they weren't meant to have children is insensitive, ignorant and annoying! You've done a fantastic job of addressing this very important subject.

TamarWrites on August 10, 2012:

Amazing lens! I can relate to it on so many levels.

John Tannahill from Somewhere in England on July 29, 2012:

I suspect the word "annoying" is being used (in many cases) as an understated expression of prejudice and intolerance. It may seem like acceptable behaviour to say you're annoyed by certain people when really it's a euphemism for something more serious. If it's a simple case of being annoyed, get over it. But is it more than that? I get annoyed when I'm stuck in a traffic jam next to an empty bus lane. That's being annoyed.

anonymous on June 21, 2012:

Yes many are annoying as everyone has obstacles and problems in life and every single conversation they seem to bring this up. Please, never, EVER discuss your "cervical mucus" with anyone but your doctor. Good luck with your infertility but please suffer it in relative silence as most people do with their private medical conditions because your friends, co-workers and relatives do not want to hear about every time you speak to them.

SteveKaye on June 20, 2012:

The choice of having children is a deeply personal matter that is no one else's business. I'm amazed that anyone would dump disrespect on people who are childless.

anonymous on May 17, 2012:

@shellys-space: Cosmic Mom... Of course you can talk about it now without breaking down... your a mom.. how about the many invisible ones who for many reasons could not adopt? we are no ones forever family despite 8 years of trying and not getting an approved homestudy because of personal religious prejudice of the equally imperfect and i might add wonderfully fertile case worker. Life goes on a lot easier for those with kids by adoption or childbirth.

anonymous on May 16, 2012:

To those who wrote all those brainless things about how infertile people are annoying you may wish to consider these points: 1. My husband and I are childless because my husband is infertile. 2. We suspect his infertility it is due to labor he did (forced to do) from ages 13-18 yrs. (Yes, this happens)3. We have given most of our lives investing in other people's kids. People, I might add who are sometimes bad parents.4.I do not whine about infertility. I go to baby showers, take meals to new moms, and celebrate their pregnancies.5. Those same moms generally do not offer help when I am in a difficult place and do not come to celebrations when I succeed in other arenas where I am involved (This is my point of contention, not the infertility).7. Annoying has nothing to do with infertile or fertile it has to do with individual humans, of which category I would place all the whiners who do not take the time or energy to understand situations.6. Just sayin'

KimGiancaterino on May 03, 2012:

Hopefully those who are annoyed at infertile people will take advantage of the resources you've provided here (and perhaps gain some compassion in the process).

anonymous on December 07, 2011:

I'm glad you posted the "10 things not to say" link. I checked it to make sure I wouldn't say any of those things! I'm good! Whew! I'm sure I'll come up with something insensitive and dumb anyway *fake smile*. I say the wrong thing a lot, but I AM good at acknowledging someone's feelings rather than assuming them! I'm glad you posted the "overpopulation myth" information too. I'm trained in demography so I didn't look to see all that it said, but since it basically implied that it's more complicated than "there are too many people" I figure it's cool lol. The world has been estimated to be able to provide for 16 billion people, and we're not even at half of that yet. Unequal distribution of resources is the problem. If you have a fertile land area that can feed a lot of people, but a warlord or governor who hoards the crop, you'll have starving people. If you live in an area that can't grow food or is hit by serious natural disasters often, then you'll have trouble. That's not judging people who live in those situations. I'm trying to be factual! Anyway, it's not fair to say "there are too many people anyway." It's so dismissive of someone's feelings! And THAT burns me up!I agree with a lot of people about judging someone else's decision. I do it just like many other people, judge someone else's decision, and if it's appropriate or someone asks me what I think, I'll tell them. BUT I wouldn't go so far as to legislate behavior by voting or supporting a lobby against fertility treatments or something. And about adoption, that process is scary and mysterious to me. I know very little about it, but I know enough that it's expensive, long, drawn-out, often disappointing, and could very easily end up in someone missing out on their chance to raise a child at a good time anyway, if there ever is a good time!

Shelly Sellers from Midwest U.S.A. on December 02, 2011:

Great topic and debate. I do know barren woman (I am one) can be a bit annoying and the poor husbands have their own issues to deal with, everyone survives :) I can talk about it now without breaking down and life did go on...we are a "Forever Family" with adoption.

anonymous on October 24, 2011:

Interesting read. I have never thought of infertile people as being annoying. I think that any person can be annoying if they are totally invested/obsessed with a topic, but that could be any person, not just infertile people!

Buddy55 on October 02, 2011:

What's tiresome is being subjected to the endless self-pity and barrages of 'rules', as in "DO NOT ever ask a person if they have kids!" A: I never DID ask you and, B: Have a clue about how demanding that sounds.

LissaKlar LM on August 14, 2011:

Nice, hot, steamy debate. Really made me mad at people. Why would fertile people think they have the right to questions someone else's life choice. sheeeesh!!!

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on July 31, 2011:

I like your point about being annoying is often necessary to create change. I believe things are better now than they were 20 years ago when I was a member of Resolve. At that time insurance did not pay for fertility work at all, period. I think now it does, although there is a limit on it. So it is better than it was, but not as good as it could be. Adoption is a separate issue from infertility, and a lot of people do not get that.

Wendy Leanne from Texas on July 29, 2011:

This is simply the best Monkey Brain lens I've ever read. I read those 2 article links you share at the beginning and the comments are appalling. *~blessed~*

sisbrown34 lm on July 23, 2011:

I enjoyed your lens, found it on squidu and was curious about the heading. I never thought I was annoying but i probably was. I was a very depressed person and very unhappy around new mothers especially pregnant ones. so yes I think us infertile people can be annoying but not in a bad way. It took 7 yrs for me to have a child by iui. nows hes 11 and I couldn't imagine having another one! LOL

miaponzo on July 23, 2011:

Interesting debate! Thanks for bringing up the subject of infertility.

resabi on July 21, 2011:

I think it's possible to carry any overwhelming interest to the point where it annoys someone who doesn't care about the topic. In most cases, the annoyance caused has relatively little to do with the subject and a lot to do with the level of interest of the listener.

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