Infertility and Pregnancy Loss


Oh hey everybody. This week on Ask Cristen
I’m talking about pregnancy loss and infertility which are two things we don’t talk about
nearly enough. This week’s Ask Cristen questions actually
came in response to a video I made this time last year about how Mother’s Day can be
a difficult time for people who grew up say without a mom or in kind of a ‘Mommy Dearest’
situation or just with a generally difficult woman who is particularly manipulative even
on days that are supposedly all about her. For the record I’m not talking about my
own mom. Nance is a champ. [Bell chimes]. In those video comments I got a lot of requests
to talk about infertility, miscarriage and related issues because those can also make
Mother’s Day or Father’s Day a really tough time for people who are struggling to
become parents or to become parents to another child. Plain Jac asked, ‘Could you please
do a video on the stigma about infertility? I am going through the in vitro fertilization
process and find it hard to talk about it because I am so young no one believes I actually
have a problem.’ Catherine Barclay also asked, ‘Please do a video about not being
able to have kids! I don’t think I will be able to have children, not because of infertility
but because I have huge mental health problems.’ A lot of people probably don’t know that
10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Or that up to 25% of couples around the world
deal with infertility whether it’s difficulty conceiving their first or second child. These
issues can be really challenging and these issues are often privately dealt with because
again it’s something that isn’t polite to talk about. I can’t speak firsthand to
these issues so for that reason I wanted to share some of the letters that my Stuff Mom
Never Told You co-host Caroline and I received in response to an episode that we did on infertility
and miscarriage because in no way can statistics convey the psychological and emotional experience
of what this is like. Beth wrote, ‘To make a long story short my husband and I were diagnosed
with ‘unexplained infertility’ about 18 months into our deliberate efforts to get
pregnant. Thanks to the journey of infertiligy I believe I will be better off for the rest
of my life. As you said in your podcast infertility is often a diagnosis people take on in silence.
Since the birth of my son I have made a personal commitment to fearlessly talk about my experience.
My hope is that by doing this I can help one woman at least feel less alone.’ Karen wrote,
‘My daughter is infertile. It was discovered at the age of 16 when she hasn’t started mensruating
that she has no uterus due to a birth defect. Just wanted your listeners to know there are
other types of infertility out there. Let’s not forget those who have lost a uterus to
cancer or traumatic abdominal injury, or a tiny glitch in neural tube development before
their first breath.’ Becky wrote, ‘My husband and I have been going through infertility
for over a year and a half. Through that time I’ve felt very invisible a lot of times. Hearing
your podcast felt so refreshing. It even brought me to tears! This process has been so rough,
it felt so good to not be invisible.’ Jeremy wrote in sharing the experience of his son’s
death after a pre-term delivery. ‘Since our son’s loss we have continued to try without
success. Over the years we have endured numerous expensive, invasive, painful, and demoralizing
fertility treatments and my wife is forced to bear the brunt of it. You are both so right
about how infertility is often considered a woman’s issue when in reality infertility
can be caused by either partner and the psychological effects of infertility affect both men and
women. I have shed so many tears over our son’s loss and our inability to conceive that
it would be impossible to count the number of times I’ve cried. I have been very open
about our loss since it happened and the length of our struggle to conceive in an effort to
spread awareness, to start these conversations that need to happen.’ Liz wrote, ‘I’ve
been dealing with infertility for about 2 years now. It is sad that it is such a shameful
and taboo topic. I do not think it should be a disability because like you said that
should not define us. Here’s to the hope of changing the stigma and educating others.’
Finally, Emily wrote, ‘My husband is the reason we are infertile. His body does not
create sperm. We are Mormons and Christians, and going to church every Sunday with a congregation
of believers who focus constantly on building family has been an incredibly difficult adjustment.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both painful holidays.’ Now dear listeners if you’re
comfortable, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on these issues in the comments
below. Thanks to everybody who watched and commented on last week’s Ask Cristen video,
‘Are Gender Neutral bathrooms dangerous?’ Acquavallo commented, ‘I’m going to school
in France and all the bathrooms are gender neutral. I haven’t seen anything bad and
they’re full of hormonal young adults’. But no one is skipping class to go grope girls
in the gender neutral bathrooms.’ Nick S. commented, ‘As a trans person, I have rules:
Go to the bathroom before you leave the house. Know who has single person bathrooms. These
are the safest option. If you have to go and can’t leave, hold it. If I REALLY,’ all
caps, ‘have to go, I go home. I know too many people who have gotten bladder infections,
UTIs, even kidney infection because of this and it’s terrible, but never know if that
guy in the bathroom you’re about to go into is the type to try and bounce your head into
the sink.’ As always dear friends, ask me your questions so I can give you some answers.

100 Replies to “Infertility and Pregnancy Loss”

  1. I had infertility issues when trying to get pregnant with my second child. It was painful and frustrating. I cried every month when I got my period. I wish you all the best, I know how you feel, you're not alone.

  2. I'm so happy to see this video. I learned a few years ago that due to several stomach issues my body can barely support itself with nutrients, let alone a child. It's difficult to talk about this with others (even my best friend and my mother) because their automatic reaction is to come up with solutions. While I know that they are trying to help, sadly there are none. I never realized how much fertility was a part of my identity until that option was taken away. While I know that adoption is an option for the future, I believe that it is more important to find meaning in my own self before considering that. It actually hurts more when people say that "it could change some day" because this almost feels like a hindrance to the acceptance process.

  3. I just have Pecos but alot of Dr's tell me it will take longs of hormone therapy and medications if I ever plan to get pregnant. it's some times hard going into my job and hearing all the women constantly talk about how pregnancy is the best feeling and having children is a god sent so half of the time I can't even talk to my co workers because I can't relate if I even wanted to

  4. hay, I'm 32 and right wouldn't be a great time to pop on little Minnie mees. the doctors told me that likely I won't have kids. I have polycystic ovary disease. there are things that can be done. working, eating right and others. it does scare me though. I want to have kids. many of my friends have the same problem. thanks for making this video

  5. I was in the ER this weekend and noticed that they kept playing music at random times. My best friend, who works in another hospital, told me it was because a baby was born. I couldn't help but think it was tacky and pointless, but also insensitive to do. Like, there are probably many people in that hospital who had lost a child, or just had a stillbirth, or miscarriage, and hearing that lullaby play could really upset them.

    I feel like our society is obsessed with pregnancy and "mommyhood." To an obscene degree. It is both seen as the most normal thing in the world "Why don't you have kids?! When are you having kids?". I mean, when I went in to get an IUD, the doctor told me I should think about when I'm going to have my first baby. I told him I wanted to wait until my thirties and he replied with "Why wait?" But it is also seen as some kind of great sacrifice, with people passing around what I call "mommy porn" on Facebook, acting like they are heroes and patting themselves on the back for doing what most people in the world do, creating little mini-versions of themselves. I can't imagine what that combination might make someone feel if they are struggling.

  6. I found out three years ago that I have PCOS and was devastated. As someone who had always (and still does) wanted to be a mother, this was my worst case scenario. I plan to adopt eventually, but in the meantime I can't tell you how frustrating it is to get the constant questions about when I'm going to start a family, as though my uterus is anyone's business. Soon after the diagnosis and before I had settled on the idea that I wanted to adopt, I had mentioned to one of my friends that kids weren't in my future and her mother overheard and said, "Oh you should NEVER say that because if you do, God may take that ability away from you and then you'll be sorry." After I (tearfully) explained that I had PCOS, I received a halfhearted apology for her insensitivity, but the stigma remains. An inability or difficulty conceiving is a hard enough thing to handle, but the stigma and stupidity surrounding these issues make this SOOO much worse.

  7. I am infertile and I guessed correctly that I was in my teens. Found out for sure in my twenties. I don't feel anyway negatively about my infertility. I made a decision quite young that having children would be a selfish endeavour because so many extremely serious medical conditions run in my family. For a bit, when I was 12, I thought about having kids but ultimately when I'd matured, I decided that it wasn't something that I wanted to do. I love kids but I don't want ones of my own. I'm going to instead continue to annoy my partner by rescuing unwanted animals. One of these days I'll come home with the goat I've always wanted.

  8. Could you possibly do an episode on the way men and women are treated differently when they choose to be sterilized? I've heard that many doctors refuse to sterilize women when they ask for it, particularly if they are young and childless, but I've never heard of anything similar for men.

  9. After being diagnosed with PCOS a year ago, I have struggled with the fact that I might not be able to have biological children in the future. I have wanted to be a mother my whole life and have started to redefine what it would mean to be a mother so that I don't limit my happiness or potential family in the future. It isn't easy, particularly when society places so much of a woman's value in her ability to conceive. The tricky part is finding your own meaning in being a woman and being a mother.

  10. I grew up knowing I was infertile after a cancer diagnosis. I would consider it a small price to pay for my health, but I don't like talking about it. When I say, "I'm not going to have kids" people hear, "I don't want kids" and they reassure me that I'll change my mind. They have no idea how infuriating and unhelpful that response is to my situation.

  11. I am a sterile man, and even if you don't want to have children, the moment the doctor tells you that you could never have kids it takes a toll on you. It feels like I am not allowed to call myself a man anymore. Like I failed an exam and didn't get my degree in "being a man".
    "Luckily" I am gay and didn't plan to have kids anyway. It still made me feel miserable. I can barely imagine the pain of the women and men who wanted to have kids.

  12. In my family, the infertility issues aren't my own, but my parents. They both left it till quite late in life to have kids – mid-thirties(mum) and mid-forties(dad) – which caused them some issues. They spent around five years trying to conceive, before consulting a doctor about IVF. The doctor first tried them on very strong treatments supposed to increase fertility, but it didn't seem to have worked. That is, until the final screening and consultation before the IVF was due to begin, when they discovered that my mum was pregnant with me. This was good, but went on to be a difficult pregnancy, as my Mum's family has a history of eclampsia, which is what killed my Grandma when my Mum was only a couple of weeks old, but I was eventually born healthy, with my Mum recovering. However, my parents continued trying for a second child, until they conceived again when I was a few months old. Unfortunately, they lost the baby at 14 weeks. Luckily, they were able to have another child- my sister.

  13. I was born in Fertile unable to have children. but my comments about I have got serious a couple times and when I fell I was at that point of commitment I told them both times that I was unable to have children and soon after that the relationships ended. I always thought relationships are about love not the ability to have children.

  14. I haven't tried to have kids myself. However just because I was first born doesn't mean I was the first pregnancy my mom experienced. I was actually the 6th. My mother struggled throughout her 20s and 30 and 31 to get pregnant and have kids, losing 5 pregnancies in the process. She finally had me a 32 and then went on to have 4 other kids all of which were girls.

  15. I also think it's sad that a lot of people considers adoption as a less valid option for having children, it's equally valid and as far as I'm concerned an adopted child isn't any less of a son or daughter… i think being pregnant is incredibly glorified, and don't get me wrong pregnancy is fascinating and totally valid as well, but i the idea that you absolutely must have a biological son and all the pressure and expectations that come from it are so unnecessary

  16. I think it's great that you made a video on this topic, Cristen! It's very important to support the one's who go through infertility problems! <3

    I'm 20 years old and I was diagnosed with hirsutism a couple of years ago. It does not effect my overall health but I do have problems with extremly irregular periods! So i don't know if I am infertil or not.. I'm not even sure that I want kids in the future, but I'd like to have the opportunity to choose…

  17. I've been with my husband for eleven years and we had tried for years to get pregnant w/o success. Then we found out that my husband had a daughter which meant that the problem was me. Later I found out I have pcos. I took fertility drugs for 2 years before finally getting pregnant. So i hated mothers day. Not only that, but I also have a horrible relationship with my mom so that didn't help think l things either.

  18. I always felt I wanted to adopt children for many reasons. When I found out I was infertile in college, it felt like a bonus – no risk of unwanted pregnancy, and I have a physical reason to back up my moral arguments for adoption. But when I tell people, they act like I should be devastated. Older people – especially mothers of friends – tell me I just don't understand yet what a curse it is. It makes me upset because I'm very excited to be a mom. When I finally adopt my kids, will they be telling THEM how ashamed they should be that they're "not mine?"

  19. I'm a diabetic with endometriosis so I'm aware that I may not have kids, but I refuse to let that define me.. If I want one and can't make it I'll adopt ❤️

  20. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. It has only been 10 month, but we are young and really didn't expect for it to take this long. Every month bring a cycle of hope and then sadness as once again I am not pregnant. It is hard to explain to people what a toll the process takes, I have changed my diet, sleep habits, exercise, and alcohol consumption all in the attempt to get pregnant. But so far we have been unsuccessful.

  21. Just a note to anyone who is considering adopting: I'm adopted, and I LOVE it! It's wonderful to know that my parents wanted me so badly that they went and found me. If you think that you could find room in your heart for a little one (or not so little one) who needs a home, please do. It's so worth it.

  22. I just recently found out I am infertile and, personally, it sucks. it's so hard to not feel like an evolutinary dead end and while I know my value as a person doesn't lie with my ability to bear children, it still gets to me. Having a family was always something that I looked foward to at some point in the future and this kind of just threw a wrench in all of that. It helps to see what other people dealing with it think and how they feel, but I'm still at the point where it just sucks.

  23. I'm 20 years old and was diagnosed with Polycsytic Ovarian Syndrome when I was 17, and was told by my gyno that one of the common results of this condition is infertility. I haven't had any tests done, mostly because I'm terrified of the result I may receive. When I try to talk to my friends about this, most of them just say the generic "You'll be okay" and "There's always adoption", but really I just want to feel like I'm not the only young, unmarried woman who has this hanging over her head. Thank you for being brave enough to talk about the real issues and the things that other people think are too sensitive to discuss

  24. I don't have a personal experience but I have friends and family who have these issues and they are the people in my life who give the most love it hurts me that I am unable to ease the pain for them

  25. Thank you for this video! My husband and I have been trying for almost 6 years going through 2 rounds of IVF, dealing with complications after the procedure, and most recently finally achieving a pregnancy only to result in miscarriage. It takes such a toll on your body, let alone on our hearts.

  26. Kristen, I am a 16 year old junior in high school. so offten times the subjects of your videos don't have any personal implications in my life. but I wanted to let you know that you are breeding the next generation of people who will fight for what you fight for. I want to be just like you and make the world a better place. thank you for what you do. you're amazing!

  27. This video was really good to watch. I've always had problems and extreme pain with menstruation and knew there was something wrong. This summer I'm going for laparoscopic surgery to diagnose and potentially treat endometriosis. I am a student and my surgery is after my final exams. The wait has been difficult because I have no idea what my fertility is like as I've not had surgery yet or ever tried for a child. I always get very awkward when people joke about me and my partner having kids or getting pregnant woch is a lot because we've been together for years. Thank you for talking about this subject.

  28. I've heard from family, on more than one occasion say; 'well, you can always adopt' (as though adoption should be your fall back plan in case natural birth plans don't work). Those types of comments are always insulting on so many levels: 1) not everyone is qualified to adopt, adoption laws are strict! 2) there can be a waiting list for an actual child that is a few years long for an infant 3) adopting is expensive! 4) if, for some reason, you start the process and don't qualify, you have that stigma of 'you can't EVEN adopt?!'. Women will say that a few things define us, unite us, as women–for breast cancer survivors, many women still wear fake breasts bc they can't imagine being a woman for even one day without breasts, for them, breasts define them. But, more than breasts, most women would agree that child bearing is what really unites us. I do understand that I am in my mid thirties, and people love babies, so my family's unwarranted concern over my uterus is understandable, but, both orphaned children as well as infertile women both deserve better than to be a fall back option for each other.

  29. I have PCOS, and endometriosis, and significant scar tissue in my pelvic floor from both of those conditions. I haven't actively tried to have children yet, but my doctors have warned me about my chances of miscarriage and infertility. I'm only 24, and about to get married. it makes me feel less than a woman.

  30. As someone who was born through IVF I've noticed that it isn't viewed in a positive way by many people. I've been told by religious people I don't have a soul because of the way I was conceived and I feel guilty at times that the other embryos produced by the procedure were ether destroyed for research or discarded. I hate knowing that people think I shouldn't exist since I could only have been conceived through IVF, but at the end of the day my parents got a child that they wanted and I got a chance to live.

  31. At the age of 16 I've been told I shouldn't/can't have children. I'm not infertile, all my "baby parts" work fine. My heart is too weak to support pregnancy.

  32. In the Bible when a woman is infertile it seems she is less of a woman. BUT, your hair style makes  you look exceptionally hot. Please tell Prof. Fiance  I  said so.

  33. My husband and I have been trying to have a child of our own for nearly 5 years now. We have both been tested for everything under the sun and our doctors kept saying "there's no reason you shouldn't be pregnant." We were lucky enough to get pregnant twice but both times ended in early miscarriage both ending before week 6. Our doctors still didn't know what was wrong. In October of last year we found out that we were expecting for a third time. I was fortunate enough to get an appointment within 2 hours of finding out our wonderfully terrifying news. My doctor ran some blood tests and found that I have low progesterone and antiphosphilipid syndrome. (My mother suffered from APS as well.) I was immediately put on progesterone hormone replacement medication and a low dose aspirin. I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with our daughter. Making it this far is a relief but fear is still very much there.

  34. I'd like to ask a question that I hope doesn't sound insensitive, because it's merely curious. As an adopted person, it always pains me to see people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on painful and demoralizing medical help when there are hundreds of thousands of children that need parents. It just feels like we live in a society only a child with your DNA is worth raising. Adoption is seen as "selfless and strange" (along with fostering) instead of normal like it absolutely should be with this many people on the planet (and this many anti-choicers in existence). I know people want the experience of being pregnant, but don't understand people complaining about the endless struggles of infertility when there are children who need you right now of all ages in your own hometown.

    (I understand sometimes adoption is a difficult or un-achievable option due to laws, etc; you are not the people I'm talking to here, that's acceptable and I wish you all the best…for the sake of this argument, I'm talking to people who have no restrictions.)

  35. Being infertile due to repeated cancer/cancerous growths/painful surgeries to cut said things out (but never a hysterectomy since I was too young) in and around my cervix and uterus, diagnosed at age 16, I can relate. I have not ever had a lasting relationship because ever partner I have had dumped me after we started getting more serious. I tell them I can't carry children and have decided to be child-free because although I still have my baby-making bits, every doctor has told me that since I have so much scar tissues down there trying to carry a baby would literally kill me, my lady parts would not be able to flex and stretch with a pregnancy. It all would tear and I would bleed to death. I get told by supposedly well-meaning people I am "sick in the head" or "just haven't found the One" yet because I will want to have to have babies then. I am 37. I have no qualms or misgivings about my life and body. If someone can't accept me for me, regardless of fertility, then they don't deserve me.

  36. I was almost an IVF baby– my mother tried for years to have me, and it was only when she went for IVF that doctors finally discovered the problem she had with conceiving. I've also got a cousin who just had an adorable, sweet baby through her second attempt with IVF because of problems that she's had since she hit puberty. When my religion class in my Catholic school discussed how IVF is the devil and whatever (okay, not those exact words)… I really felt personally offended by it. Even though I wasn't an IVF baby, I wouldn't have been conceived without it. And there are so many women like my cousin who want to have a family so badly and their body just won't cooperate on its own. Down with the stigma!

  37. The last letter? sigh. Disclaimer: I don't know if I can or cannot have kids. What I do know is that it bugs me to no end when people tell women and couples "Oh but don't worry. Sarah had a baby and she was 90! Hannah had a baby and she was infertile, too!" This, to me, isn't comforting. Second disclaimer: I'm a pastor. And yes, it bugs me to no end when I hear stuff like that because, though I know people mean well in saying it, in some ways it attempts to minimize the diagnosis. Again…just a Christian, a pastor, and someone who is unaware if they're able to have biological kids or not so I can't provide much else to the conversation except what I've already stated.

  38. My mom actually just died on the 22nd of April. So all this mother's day stuff so soon after she passed is a little bit hard.

  39. I have had SEVEN miscarriages, one stillbirth, and now have a four year old son, who almost didn't make it either. Mother's day is one of the hardest days of the year for me. Thankfully I have had a hand in raising many of my siblings and cousins, and they always have tried to make it special for me, which helps the pain a lot

  40. I don't understand these very sad couples who resign to being childless when adoption is ALWAYS an option. There are kids out there who need loving parents, and it seems selfish of these couples to give up on ever having kids and then complain about it, as if children are only valid when they share the genes of the parents. I dare say, if that is the measure by which you value children, then you don't deserve to have any.

  41. last year at fourteen i was diagnosed with PCOS, and i've come to understand it makes having children difficult or nearly impossible. i'm on birth control to help it + my period, but the fact that i don't know if i even want to have my own kids, and the fact that i'm asexual doesn't matter when i may not even have the opportunity. it makes me so frustrated and sad, and i feel like i'm alone in this sometimes with no one to relate to, or talk to.

  42. Thank you so much for finally posting this video, I was one of the commenters who requested it last year! The grief you experience after a miscarriage is truely unexplainable. In the months after mine, my husband and I felt like we were losing our minds. It is the toughest thing we have ever been through and did put a strain on our relationship for a time simply because we are two people who handle grief differently, and it is a situation where often times, no one knows how to support you because miscarriage seems such an alien concept to those who haven't experienced it. What helped the most was finding and reaching out to other people who experienced the same thing. Having a face or two to put into all of the numbers and statistics, knowing and seeing people who went through it and still managed to survive and thrive after really makes a difference in the healing process. I am happy to say that my husband and I are now part of that group of survivers and we are both so much stronger because of it.

  43. Reminds me of all the sorts of fear mongering I was exposed to as a teen related to various products and activities such as drinking mountain dew or using a computer on my lap that might cause infertility. I could see that could be really scary for someone who might want to in the future have children, and even though I don't think I will have that opportunity it scare me as well.

  44. Miscarriages are the best thing that can happen to a pregnant teen. So sad to say. But they dont have to go through an abortion or give child for adoption or keep it and suffer for 18 years. They get to remember to be more careful next time so that they wont get pregnant because they went through the pain. Its the best scenario. I'll get backlash for this but you gotta admit its good

  45. Frankly, I think one of the hardest parts about my miscarriage was so many of the resources out there being geared towards couples and people who want and are ready for kids.

  46. Hi Cristen. I have an awkward & embarrassing problem. I've been getting majorly turned on by pictures of Britney Spears. It started @ the beginning of the week while I was browsing pintrist (which I recently joined). Is it ok to be in a relationship & still have this effect by people other than my boyfriend? He knows that I'm bisexual but I still feel guilty & Like I've betrayed him. Please help

  47. After 8 miscarriages, I had given up on having our own. I couldn't talk to anyone about the first 3 because we weren't married. after #4, I went to the dr to get as much testing done to figure out what the problem might be only to be told that since I wasn't married or planning to be pregnant anytime soon, it really wasn't worth all the bother…. 🙁 scroll on a bit and now I'm married and have had two miscarriages in 5 months. one baby had Turners Syndrome, but no other tests on me showed any problems. but I was devastated. looking into adoption proved only that there is still a slave market where state agencies and Lawyers who never even so much as hold the child demand $35,000 minimum for you to adopt a child. and a wait time of up to 10 years or so if you're super picky about the gender and race of the child. the adoption agencies give you all sorts of marketing advice which is awkward at best and creepy at its worst- I was told a great way to find potential birth mom's is to hang out in obgyn offices or planned parenthood and look to engage with upset looking women…. so we decided that kids just weren't in the plan for whatever reason, we can foster parent at least, and then I got pregnant at 40 and she stuck. she's an only child, we are old parents, but it's been a hard ass road! I don't care if it's one loss or twenty, they all hurt, I had little dreams with each one I lost, they had names, they should be here! but I have one. I am grateful for her. I only have one piece of advice for those trying to conceive, live your life as much as possible in joy and be selfish about doing what you want. travel or hobbies, whatever. the years will pass whether you have a child or not, if you can look back and say I'm sad we didn't have a child this year, but I am so glad we did x or I got to go here, it's not wasted time. it's living. I wasted so much time being consumed with having to have a child just to be worthy. I hope you all have as big or as small a family as you want, but please know you are worthy and should live with no regrets. if you do end up with kids, you will have great stories to tell and be an example of how to love your life. if you don't have kids, you will still have great stories and be an example of how to love your life.

  48. when i was young i never really wanted biological children. when i eventually started hoping for the nuclear family i was diagnosed with stuff (basically 95% infertility) . not thinking i would want to get in-vitro or force it, i hung up my mothers cap. then i meet a great guy, we are in love, its amazing. and i let myself hope for children, let myself seriously think of in-vitro or hormones. then he got meningococcal meningitis, and now has extreme brain damage and will probably never be able to work again. he will also have to have medical attention for the rest of his life. so can i take care of the love of my life, provide for the both of us, and even think about taking care of a child on top of that? no-less the struggle of trying to bring that child into the world?

  49. I never understand why (when talking about infertility), people always think about women. Yes, both men and women have a chance of getting biological problems, in terms of infertility, however men have their sex organs on the outside of their body. If they play a sport too roughly or if they fall at a bad angle, they could RUIN their sex organs. I don't know the statistics, but i would assume that MEN are more likely to be infertile because of this problem of biological structure.

  50. I know that when I try to get pragnant it will be an uphill battle because I don't ovulate and as a Jew I feel like I must fight that battle to replenish the loss of the holocaust and to follow the commandment of reproduction

  51. It took my parents two years of trying before I finally came along, thanks to endometriosis running in the family (yay). I don't know how my dad handled it, but I know that mom started having nightmares thinking she was infertile. It was particularly rough when she was assigned a book about infertility in a university literature class. Then when she finally did get preggers she didn't figure it out, and my dad had to break the news to her. She took the pregnancy test to prove him wrong, and was pleasantly surprised. (And her best friend was upset thinking that my mom was withholding the news from her.) Mom figured it out immediately when she was pregnant with my younger sibling though, I guess it was her fear of being infertile had her afraid to get her hopes up with me.

  52. Not infertile but struggling with being childless.
    I'm turning 37 in a few weeks and I always wanted to be a young mom. But due to education, work and the sheer will to live a little and on top of it never finding the right partner, it simply never happened.
    I was diagnosed with clinical depression 6 years ago and have been on medication on and off ever since. I simply don't function without my meds, but taking them means, even should I end up pregnant, that there are higher risks involved. Not to forget about my ongoing mental problems. I still want kids, but at the same time I try to come to terms with the possibility that it might never happen for me, while I watch the children of my friends getting born and growing up.

  53. Me and my partner have been trying for 5 years and to no avail but I know what the problem is its me. fin

  54. I never realised there was a stigma or taboo about infertility. Anyone that I've known who has had issues getting pregnant or experienced miscarriage has always been open about it. Perhaps it's different based on location, religion, upbringing etc?

    Where I am concerned I have never been pregnant but I have also never tried, my issue is when a friend has lost a baby or is frustrated with not being able to conceive I feel awkward/guilty that I potentially could conceive but don't want to have kids. It feels like a pressure of "you have the capability so why are you wasting the opportunity?" when I would personally prefer to not have the option at all.

  55. Your video brought me to tears! After two years of trying to get pregnant with two miscarriages and thousands of dollars worth of tests and surgeries, I type this with my son in my arms. It was an extremely painful journey. Every Mother's Day and Father's Day mourning, anger and depression filled our house.
    I know I've talk about our struggle so much it's probably annoying by now, but everytime I bring it up, more people come out of hiding and start the healing process. I'm not going to stop talking about it because I'm a mother, I'm going to continue because I know how important it is to others to have a safe space to talk about it.

  56. I think there is also a cultural element when it comes to discussing the negative sides of pregnancy. It seems that in the US anything but happy baby talk is taboo, which gives people no outlet to talk about the crummy stuff. In my native culture, pregnancy is seen as perilous and it's important to give women knowledge of all the possible outcomes. I have had 2 miscarriages in my life and for myself and my partner they were not traumatic events, they were just something that happened. We've always been ok talking about it, but we've found that EVERYONE we spoke to in the US has a huge problem with the fact that we were not utterly destroyed by the loss, because that appears to be the only response that is acceptable here. Because we grew up in a culture where pregnancy meant the possibility of a child and not the guarantee of one, no one really builds their identity around parenthood, we have reproductive education, and it's ok to talk about the bad stuff; I feel that my husband and I were given permission to process the miscarriages in the way that worked for us and was healthy. I don't want to diminish the pain of those dealing with infertility or miscarriage, their experience is valid. I just think the culture of pregnancy in the US only works well with one pregnancy outcome (that of a healthy baby) and if you deviate from that path (infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, giving a child up for adoption,having a premature, or sick child) society here just does not know what to do with you and that adds elements of shame and isolation which makes the whole situation harder to cope with.

  57. Could you do a video on PCOS? A lot of women are diagnosed with it (like me) and infertility is a side effect. Being 17,
    I was diagnosed at a young age which is rare, and I've been extremely upset due to many of the women who said they were unable to get pregnant because of it. I'd like more information and to understand what I have a little better because the information I find is very vague.. Thank you!

  58. I'm Mormon and my whole life I've never wanted kids, never wanted to go on a mission, or even be as selfless and kind as the church always insists on you to be. Don't get me wrong even though I haven't been to church in over 10 years I still always identify as Mormon because there is a lot about the philosophy that I agree with. But honestly the only time that people would be ok with me not having kids is if I was infertile. Oddly enough I never felt I was wrong for not wanting kids I just knew that others wouldn't react well. But I was convinced at some point my mind would magically change like so many women tells me it does. Now that I'm older I don't even know if I want to be in a relationship at all. Its just such a strain to believe in something that insists you have 42 kids and is truly perplexed when you don't even want one.

  59. I don't see why infertile people don't just adoptif they cant have kids then they should adopt one of the thousands that are waiting everyday for a homethat's what I would do if I found I was infertile (either way though I don't want any kids regardless)

  60. Even though I'm still young and have never engaged in intercourse, let alone tried for a kid, I still fear that when I do try I will be infertile. What's worse is I've lost so much weight and been under so much stress the last few months that my cycles have become irregular, further perpetuating my anxiety. Stories like those you told are what makes me what to specialize in fertility treatments after I graduate. Let hope I can actually get into postgraduate medicine 🙂

  61. CAN YOU PLEASE TALK ABOUT DEMI SEXUALITY;as I recently only turn 16 I have been confused for most of my life about people instantly being attracted to someone at first glance. Since I can remember I have been lying about having crushes and even entered and short and non serious relationship because of the expectation, about only a few days ago I realised I was Demi sexual and personally I don't think there is much coverage on this topic and would like to know any statistic or conclusions in studies about demi sexuality.

  62. hey cristen great video… but maybe you should sound treat the space you record, I am hearing some sound distortion, it could be that your mic sensitivity is too high or you gained you mic a bit too much… there is a chance that it's my speakers, but that's unlikely because I've watched alot of YouTube videos and this one is the only one where I hear distortion, so maybe you should check it out… besides that great show, I'm really enjoying it

  63. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Thanks to surgery I am now cancer-free, but I will likely have a very difficult time getting pregnant, and an even more difficult time not having a miscarriage due to the extensive cervical scar tissue I have. My partner and I haven't started trying to get pregnant yet but knowing that it will almost certainly be a challenge is a pretty heavy weight to live under

  64. I was born with a genetic problem, inherited through my family, that's required me to have five surgeries and probably more in the future. I'm afraid of having children even though I'm engaged right now, because I am scared I will pass the genetic defect it onto them. Do you have any advice? Thank you.

  65. I think this is a very important video, thanks for making it. Mothers day always makes me a bit uncomfortable (because of myself not my mother) I've had a few medical procedures that had small risk of infertility when I was younger – with no wish to have a child then but a dream to have one in the future. As far as I'm aware I'm still fertile but my girlfriend who is trans and has just started hormones has to make the big decision on whether to freeze her sperm or not – an expensive procedure for a uni student and a tough decision for anyone to make let alone a 19 year old with more than her fair share of strife. I think this needs to be a topic more broadly talked about. The only pop culture story I know with an infertility is Skins (season 4 I think) where one of the girls hits menopause at 20. That devastated the character and myself. It's horrible having the choice taken away from you (same deal with abortion and the pro-life movement)

  66. This issue affect meot too,but I rarely think about it. I always been on the fence if I want children of my own or not however now that I think my family has too many genetic problems such as heart disease,kidney failure,and diabetes. That I do not think it would be a good idea for to have children because of this. One thing I think we even more rarely thought about is a trans-woman I will never be able to become pregnant myself ,and the transition process makes one infertile.

  67. Hi Cristen, I experienced a miscarriage of an unknown pregnancy several years ago. Now that my husband and I are trying to conceive, we are having issues (irregular menstruation on my part and my having to take medications to start periods and ovulation) I'm wondering if this trouble I'm having now is due to the miscarriage of so many years ago. I loved seeing this video because you're right, miscarriages and infertility is a taboo topic and it's nice to see that I'm not alone. Thank you for posting this video.

  68. Pregnancy is a deeply personal issue and a painful struggle for a trans woman like me to face as much at it is for cisgender women. Because I will never be able to become pregnant and have children, I have always expected that it wasn’t something in my future, but my brain had other plans.

    We become trans because of a process of endocrine disruption that occurs while we are developing in utero. At the critical time (for the male fetus) when testosterone is supposed to set male based changes in the brain’s neuro connections, something happens to block these changes to one degree or another. For some of us it may be more profound than for others and for myself it was very profound. A male hypothalamus is supposed to release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) on a consistent basis, while in a female hypothalamus the release is cyclic and surges in stimulation of ovulation. In my case the endocrine disruption was so profound that even my hypothalamus was prevented to convert from female to male, and ever since puberty I’ve experienced monthly cyclic fluctuations in water weight and in changes in mood. One of these changes is a physical need to become pregnant. Since I do not possess a uterus and ovaries, ovulation does not occur, and pregnancy cannot take place.

    This results in an emotional struggle that few understand and some even deride. The complexities of being transgender place us in a position that many don’t even want to hear because it challenges past moralisms and for many it’s just too much to get their heads around. Even in infertility groups where I sought some understanding, I was basically shunned. My spouse has been a great protector for me in this situation, and has stood by my side as I faced these issues. Still, I can’t be around pregnant women, and childbirth is a heart wrenching subject for me.

  69. Well , when I was 13 I found out I have a condition called Turner Syndrome ( it when my ovaries and estrogen levels are abnormal / non existent because I have weak x chroma zone) I felt so broken and angry that I ended up having this because I felt the choice of having a child has been taken away from me. It has be 10 years since then , now I am learning to accept my condition and try to find meaning in other things. It still hurts to think that if I get married me and husband wont be able to conceive a baby. But until then I will remain positive and thankful that I have the life i have today.

  70. I have not experienced infertility, but I have been a supporting friend of a couple who did, and I am so proud and happy that they talked freely about it with their friends and shared the struggle and bad times with us while they were going on. It made it so much easier to be a good friend and support them. But also made all of us so much more happy when they finally had a baby.

  71. I love kids, and one of the things I always wanted was a child of my own. But I have a seizure disorder and my doctor informed me that the medications I take will cause major birth deformities in any and every baby I may have, assuming the pills and seizures don't flat out cause a miscarriage.

  72. I was always under the impression I was infertile after I became 16 and still hadn't started menstruation. After going to the gynecologist because not menstruating, I was diagnosed with PCOS. Then I was told it wasn't severe enough to affect my fertility. Flash forward 3 years later when I was 19 and became pregnant. It ended in a fallopian tube rupture at 5 weeks and the doctor that did my surgery took out my left ovary and fallopian tube. After that I was told that having children was next to impossible. After dealing with.years of depression and having to act happy around my sisters and friends when they had their kids, I had found myself in a good place and made peace with the fact I would never have children of my own. Just after my 33rd birthday and around my 15 year anniversary with my boyfriend, we found out I was pregnant. Something I never could have imagined. My son was born August 31st last year and we have never been happier.

  73. I feel like miscarriages get "forgotten" and ignored all the time. My mom had three miscarriages before she was able to carry my older sister to term. For me, it feels super weird to not acknowledge my siblings lives when I talk about my family – even though they never breathed oxygen, they're still a part of my family tree despite not getting an "official" branch.

  74. Thank you to the person who made a post about gender neutral bathrooms in Europe. I'm debating someone in school on this issue and that bit of testimony helps.

  75. I have a severe mental illness, which I think would be cruel to even have the possibility of passing in onto future children. My dad however thinks this is stupid, he literally said it was ridiculous and that it didn't stop my mother (who has a severe mental illness) from having 3 children, 2 of which now have a mental illness. It difficult to make them understand when they were so willing to run the risk and the reasoning that I can have children biologically so why won't I? I still want to adopt however there are so many children out there who need adopting so maybe its not a bad thing to opt out of biological children.

  76. It took us 4 years to conceive my son. I don't think you talked enough about the psychological and emotional toil it puts your through. Every day, testing your signs, waiting to ovulate, then sex sex sex, then waiting, then waiting, then more waiting, then devastation when the test is negative. then the googling on "false negatives", and more tests and more, until you get your period, then the rush of depression and agony at your empty womb. repeat every month for years. Then your sister tells you she's pregnant. then your best friend. then your cousin, then your sister again. You become bitter and resentful, unable to go to baby showers or look at bump photos, because your heart breaks with jealousy.

    Then you get pregnant, and you spend the first half not convinced it's real, not letting yourself be happy. And you still get a pinch of jealous and bitterness when people announce they're pregnant. That's the truth about infertility: it doesn't end when you finally get pregnant.

  77. As someone who hopes to be a mother some day in her life, I wouldn't care how I came to have one. Though I see most people want the child to be a connection between each other. But, I really want to look after something so defenseless and beautiful, no matter who it comes from, as in donors and adoption

  78. Thank you for discussing this. At 18 I had a baseball sized tumor on one of my ovaries and as a result, one of my ovaries and its fallopian tube had to be removed. I have been told that this, as well as a family history of infertility will contribute to very likely fertility issues and that as well as this, my biological clock will stop ticking around 30. This doesn't leave me with much time in the grand scheme of things (when you consider how long some people have to "try" before they are actually able to have kids, if at all). I was wondering if you could do a video on the fears a lot of people associate with adoption. I would love to adopt in the future but I work with children with developmental delays, trauma backgrounds, and autism which is unfortunately quite common for many children who are adopted. I was wondering if you could look into the validity of this and other adoption stigmas to ease my (and others') minds on the option. I still really want to adopt, and would still consider it even if I am able to have children of my own but these "facts" constantly play on my mind.

  79. Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PALS) is a taboo subject in America and this leaves those of us that are suffering to do so behind closed doors. It has left me scarred and alienated from the majority of people I once called friends; I had to painfully realize these individuals were nothing more then casual acquaintances. These were the same individuals that showered me with advice while my wife was pregnant. She had a mostly normal pregnancy. We were prepared and ready to have a family. We were your stereotypical couple that have everything going right. Both of us are college educated individuals, I had a successful career, and we were in a stable situation. Everything was perfectly normal until it wasn't. I had to endure the pain of holding my newborn son while he died and still had to go back to work after only being able to take a short period off of work. America is a closed society and men are expected to be the stoic pillars holding up the fragile roof. This is a topic you should expand on. Shining light on the pain others suffer through only serves to humanize our society and bring about change.

  80. thanks for talking about it. I've also read that infertility is getting worse (men have a reduced sperm count compared to their grandfathers for instance). do u have any ideas what could be causing this? More exposure to chemicals? I love your channel btw

  81. The thing I don't understand is, why people try so hard for YEARS to get pregnant when there are millions of children (including babies) who need homes.

  82. I am infertile too and I am still working through that process. I was diagnosed with Turners Syndrome (TS for short) at birth, which meant that I am missing the x chromosome of the two xx chromosome of typical female genotype. This meant that I had to have 14 yrs of growth hormone shots every day except once a week and lifelong hormone replacement therapy of estrogen and progesterone until menopause, because my ovaries are inactive, thus making me infertile and at risk for heart and bone issues due to lack of female hormones.. My body naturally doesn't grow in height on its own or have secondary sex characteristic growth at puberty. There are other common concerns like thyroid function, kidney/liver function, diabetes..heart and bone health associated with TS.

    My thoughts on infertility is…it brings a lot of mixtures of feelings and difficulties especially during your 20s and 30s..maybe even as ''late'' as early 40s too when others are having children..getting married..etc. I don't think it needs to be shared so publicly or loosely, because it is honestly no one else's business but yours and your intimate partner's.

    It is hard especially when all some of your friends talk about is their kids and life as a mother or father…If I start to feel mixtures of feelings about it because they constantly rub pregnancy..marriage or something like that in my face..what are they trying to get at with me? I personally try to politely see if I can talk about other things outside of marriage and childbearing, because marriage and having kids aren't the be-all-end-all of life. If they can't stop talking about it, I would politely walk away. As for social media, you can x out on pregnancy announcements..marriage announcements etc if it brings you difficult feelings, and there's no shame in that! I am always happy for my friends who marry or who are pregnant, I really am. However, I don't always need to be reminded of my infertility all the time and feel incapable or ''only somewhat of a woman''. That's why I politely x out and no one needs to know.

    The other tough situation is when some people who don't know that you have fertility issues mean well and they say things like '' you should hurry and have children before you are too old'' ''I bet you'd have beautiful kids'' ''You would make a wonderful mother/father..'' ..etc kind thing. I think the key is to know that there are many other men and women who are infertile, and your worth isn't determined by how many kids you have or if you marry someone or not. Your life won't be happier, richer, or healthier just because you are married and have children, and I know we all have a lot more to offer in this world than producing children.

    Besides-you can always have a family with just by yourself or you and your partner too. I think family comes in many ways, just like love also comes in many ways. As long as you have the resources, you can even adopt and love someone truly in need of a loving home unconditionally too and there is also something valuable and wonderful in that as well. Bottom line: infertility isn't the end of the world and having children doesn't make anyone a better person anyways ^0^ I hope this helped someone who is also infertile! -you are not alone. (big hugs)

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