If you’re dating and you know you can’t get pregnant because of female infertility, you might be wondering how to tell your boyfriend. Here are a few suggestions for talking about infertility…
A reader emailed me with this question:
“I had a really bad case of endometriosis, and I know I can’t get pregnant now. I’m only 22. When do I tell my boyfriend that I’m infertile?”
Below are my suggestions for her, plus a few extra tips for telling your boyfriend or girlfriend you can’t have kids. For more information for couples coping with infertility, read What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant: The Complete Guide to All the Technologies for Couples Facing Fertility Problems by Daniel Potter and Jennifer Hanin.
And, here are a few tips for telling your boyfriend you can’t get pregnant…
Talk about infertility in your dating relationship when you start getting serious. If you’re talking about living together, getting married, or starting a family then you should definitely talk about the fact that you can’t have kids. Be as honest as you can about why you can’t get pregnant.
Be prepared to discuss the options for couples coping with infertility. The more you know about in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, surrogate mothers, sperm donors, adoption, fostering, and accepting a childfree life, the better you’ll feel about the possibilities. When you’re telling your boyfriend that you can’t get pregnant, don’t present it as a depressing “no win” situation.
Remember: how you feel about infertility affects how your boyfriend will respond. If you’re devastated, angry, or bitter that you can’t get pregnant, then your boyfriend may mirror your feelings. If you’re accepting and matter-of-fact, then your partner may react the same way.
Don’t assume that your boyfriend will end your dating relationship. Some people are happy to try different ways of getting pregnant, and aren’t married to the idea of having their own biological children. Don’t assume that your partner will want to leave if you can’t have kids! And, don’t assume that he or she will happily consider infertility treatments or other ways to have a family. Give your partner space and time to adjust to the idea, and formulate a response. The response could be immediate, or it could take a few weeks – it just depends on personality traits, family situations, lifestyle, etc.
There are other ways to cope with fertility and start a family – so a diagnosis of male or female infertility does not mean the end of a family! Don’t give up hope, even if you know you can’t get pregnant. Many families are incredibly happy with their adopted children, foster children, surrogate children, or even living a childfree life.
And, let go of your feelings of guilt about not being able to get pregnant. For help, read 5 Tips for Forgiving Yourself for Infertility.
You might also find Can Your Relationship Survive Infertility? helpful.
What do you think about telling your boyfriend that you can’t get pregnant? I welcome your comments and questions below…