When infertility is an issue

To the people that enjoy Hollywood movies, the ones that are crazy and go raving mad over their celebrity stars, Anne Hathaway is no stranger. However, many of us that watch and adore her would not tell that our favourite actress had a life issue she was struggling with. When one is on TV, in most cases it is the acted stuff or the one that has gone through many takes, that what you eventually see is perfect. The real struggle is often left out! 

When a couple gets married, society has its expectations, especially on the woman. As the man is congratulated, the woman will be asked when her first child is coming. There are couples that get a child or children in the first year of marriage while others get that blessing years on. This could be because they have discussed and decided to buy time, or at times, it’s infertility issues. When it is the latter, a couple finds ways of dealing with it, they don’t go around town telling everyone they have failed to conceive because the uterus is too weak to carry a foetus or a sperm too weak to swim to the egg. There are several causes of infertility or delayed conception and these reasons are given to the couple. What society needs to do is be sensitive to people like this. When each time you meet a woman who has been married for years you ask when she’s getting pregnant and she politely tells you ‘it’s God’s plan’ or they’re taking their time, you have no right to push her. 

In her struggle to get married, Anne Hathaway reveals she would get jealous of pregnant women; every time she saw one it felt as if they had been sent to torment her. She confessed she was trying so hard to get pregnant, and each time, there was someone around her conceiving easily. She hated it when people asked her questions because nobody knew what she was going through and she could not bring herself to explain her situation to all and sundry. Today she feels it is important to talk because the only side of pregnancy that is glorified and discussed is the good side of seeing a baby bump, but there is no room to share the struggles to conceive, the numerous trips to specialists, no advice on how to deal with over expectant relatives and in-laws. 

Infertility has for long been blamed on the woman, even when the test results show otherwise, she will be blamed or will think it’s her fault that there is no child crying in their house. She will blame herself for not making her husband feel like a man. 

The next time you think of asking a female friend or colleague what is taking her so long, think twice, let your actions not isolate or torment a woman struggling to conceive, it’s already too much for her and she needs no reminder.

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