Monday, February 22, 2010

On Being "Socially Infertile"

As it's ICLW again (see my sidebar) it seems an appropriate day to post this entry on being "socially infertile".

Isn't that just a charming, quaint way of describing the fact that I cannot get myself duffed without intervention. I am not, in the strictest sense of the word, infertile, as I am capable of conceiving…provided we can find some of those pesky little swimmers, that is.

In my hometown, I am denied access to fertility treatments because I am not, in the strictest sense, infertile. I am “socially infertile” which is just another way of saying “a dirty lesbian who does not deserve to have children as they deserve a mother AND a father”. Oh and don’t try to conceive if you are a single lady either. That’s a big no-no as you are depriving your child of a male influence as clearly the only role model a child can ever have is it’s biological father (I think we can all thank the gods above that this is a load of hooey).

So according to them I am not infertile.


When we decide to have children, we face thousands and thousands of dollars of intervention (IVF) which is something it takes the hetero couples of the world only consider after thoroughly exhausting all other options.

When we decide to have children, we cannot just “get to it” and “hope it will happen”. Without intervention, all the sex in the world will not end with me being with child.

When we decide to have children, it means involving a third (and fourth and fifth and sixth etc) person in something that we wish could just be between the two of us.

When we decide to have children, it can mean months of heartbreak and the fear that if we run out of sperm before we conceive, our children will not be related.

When we decide to have children, it means going away, to another state, and submitting ourselves to be judged, to answer questions and go through counselling, have police checks and background checks, and discuss the most intimate areas of our lives with complete strangers.

Not to even mention the paralysing fear that goes along with being a deadbabymama attempting what can seem like the impossible...bringing home a real. live. baby.

But I still don’t feel as though I fit in with the “true” infertiles of the world (for whom I have great affection) because I am capable of getting myself duffed…and have done so on a few occasions (and a few times I've even brought them home alive).

So where does that leave me, and my current heartbreak over wanting another child and not knowing if it will ever happen?


  1. to my way of thinking it leaves you right where all infertiles find themselves. you want a child and cannot have one for basic biological reasons. your heartache and fears are no different than the rest of us. having to involve so many different people and tell what seems like the world things you would rather leave between you and your partner makes you no different. you are infertile just like us and do not let anyone tell you any differently.


  2. I agree with Jaymee. If you want a child and for whatever reason you cannot have one through the "traditional" methods, then you're with us. And we're happy to have of luck on your journey.


  3. This post makes me think of a number of things. . . I'm infertile but I was able to ovulate with the help of Metformin and this helped me get pregnant (though I later learned I got a double goody-bag of clotting disorder to fix once I GOT pregnant). Sometimes I feel like I am considered "not truly infertile" because I didn't have to go through the hell of IUI or IVF.

    I had NO idea that people were questioned about their sexual preferences or marital status when seeking fertility treatments? This is appalling!

    As for whether or not one is or is not infertile, to me infertility is about not being able to have children despite wanting it. I'm sorry if you have ever been made to feel like an outsider by anyone in our out of the IF community.

  4. I found I know where you are. Missing your posts...

  5. Namaste - I have been missing you too!

  6. So, I just have to say that you being considered Socially Infertile pisses me off to no end. That is all for now. PS, I love your very raw, truew feelings!

  7. I hate, hate, hate, the term "socially infertile". Always makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

    I know a lot of samesex couples are.... resentful that they can't conceive with their partner, via sex, but that just doesn't resonate with me. I guess, for me, it was always obvious that we'd need to get some sperm from someone, both of our genes being involved at the same time was just never ever an option so I guess it's not something that I miss.

    I am, however, mightily bitter that my body failed me repeatedly over the years and the old fashioned way (cup of fresh semen, syringe, back of the car) never worked and IVF was the only option left.

    Here the counselling session for using donor gametes is compulsary for anyone using them, but not police checks (yet?). We did have to both get a stat dec signed stating we were not criminals however, which I think is something offensive to any infertile.

    I'm not sure there's an easy answer to it all though, especially given the inconsistencies in the laws between the different states. I can't see us ever having the same kind of donor gamete "climate" that the US has though, but then we do get the Medicare rebates so I guess that's perhaps the price we pay. Or something.



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