Fear for what? A discussion on fear of infertility
In a recent poll on my personal social media account, I asked women if they had ever experienced a fear of infertility without having any reason to. The response the poll received was absolutely shocking! Around 80% of the women who saw the poll responded to it. Of those 160 women; 155 responded YES, and 5 NO.
The reason I posted the poll in the first place was because I had experienced this fear myself. It started in high school, and because of it I had actually convinced myself I didn’t want to bear my own children. Over the years I opened up to friends and asked if they had the same fears and lots of them would say yes! I was drawn back to this topic out of random thought, and it inspired me to post the poll about irrational fear of infertility. With such a dramatic response affirming what I had felt most of my adolescence and adulthood, it seemed to me this topic needed more attention. The feeling of having such a fear of something that is supposed to be a special part of life is quite terrible! It would keep me up at night, and often.
My question has been, WHY? Why are so many of us feeling this way? Is this a work of the enemy in our generation? Is social media bringing more awareness to less-common issues? Are we nervous about the ill effects that have come out about birth control? Each of these is plausible. Let’s examine them.
Fear as a work of the enemy
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
Satan only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Steal our happiness? Sure. Kill our hopes and dreams? Absolutely. Destroy our confidence? 100%. Fear is not of God. God instead delivers us from our fears! If we are experiencing an irrational fear, it is likely a work of the enemy in our lives to kill, steal, or destroy something valuable. That something valuable, is YOU!
But why would the enemy want us to be afraid? What a better tool to use to control us than fear. We know this in so many ways that we experience here on earth. Dictatorships, enslavement, bullying, manipulation, etc. As imperfect beings, we are extremely prone to listening to our fears. It takes a lot of practice to give those fears to God and let them be. It takes real faith to believe that God is bigger than it all. But that is what is so GOOD about the good news!
All this is not to say that I did it perfectly myself. Like I mentioned before, I struggled for years with this fear. It honestly wasn't until I became pregnant the first time that I stopped worrying about it. The truth is that I could have saved so much unnecessary energy spent on this though if I had just given it to God.
Going forward, beware of these irrational fears and rebuke them in the name of Jesus. If you are saved, you have that power!
Social media transparency
This generation is one that knows so much about each other’s lives because of our new ability to share with such a wide platform. We have the power to share to thousands at the press of a button! Because of this, we often see and hear about things we wouldn’t have 50 years ago. Partially because we have the ability, but also because sharing our hardships is becoming more acceptable in society. People are getting tired of only hearing the success stories so more and more we are seeing people who are willing to be transparent about the hardest parts of life. For women, one of those topics is a journey with infertility. With this know-all platform that we have with social media and the internet (which are wonderful tools regardless), we are processing a lot of hard information on our own and behind a screen. Then, picking up our lives as usual with no thought about the probable need to talk the subject over with someone we trust. Someone who could reassure us by saying, “that probably won’t happen to you!”
New information is coming out all the time
A chill 9 out of 10 women have taken birth control in some form at one point or another in their lifetime. The crazy part about this is that the science of it all is still evolving, and we are still hearing about new ill effects all the time. There are articles popping up about birth control constantly. For some women, it has truly caused them a struggle with infertility! The truth is, we don’t know how deep it goes. The research is still being done. In fact, most of the women who responded to the poll I posted discussed with me that birth control was indeed part of their fear of infertility. Several of these women gave me permission to anonymously share their stories with you.
Here is what they said:
“I feel as though every woman has a fear of the unknown, especially when it comes to their fertility. But looking back, when I was younger, it just seemed like everyone got pregnant so easily. Now, seeing so many stories out there about infertility and personally knowing women who’ve struggled with it, I fear it could happen to me too.”
“Despite birthing two healthy babies, I live in constant fear of secondary infertility. I’ve always dreamed of having four children and at times I have found myself hesitant to try for another in fear of the shame I may feel if my body couldn’t do what it was made to do.”
“I’ve been on birth control since 8th grade and am now a senior, but plan on staying on it in college. just have heard about people struggling after going off the pill.”
“I think the hardest thing is that in America and the entire world there is such a stigma around having kids. I truly love kids don’t get me wrong, but the world can often make it feel forced. Being someone who is completely fine in my fertility I should feel ok but sometimes it brings up scares. Just a what if I can’t provide children, will I not be able to live “the American dream.” What if I meet my spouse and they want kids, and I can’t provide. What if I have some pregnancy struggle that I don’t know about until I am pregnant. Just so many what ifs and honestly the fear of failure if I’m not able to provide children to this earth. That I will be disappointing others by not producing. I think it’s such an important topic and we need to lessen the pressure of it all I guess.”
“I was taking birth control. Started in high school because of intense symptoms and never even thought to look to a more natural way to manage them nor was it suggested. I stopped within the last year to see if I could manage my period symptoms other ways. I would say it’s the main reason I have a voice in the back of my head that worries about infertility. It seems so common with women around our age in ways that it never used to be. I’m not sure if this is because women are finally more comfortable talking about it or because it’s genuinely a rising issue with women today.”
I just want to say thank you to all of the ladies who were so willing to talk to me about something so deep and personal. To those of you reading this, I am so glad you are here! If you have ever felt a fear of infertility, its so important that you know you are not alone. These sorts of things are not supposed to be kept to ourselves. Talk to a trusted friend, a family member, or feel free to reach out to me on instagram. Feeling bold? Comment on this post and share!
Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back for more posts periodically!