This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
What’s the definition of ‘can’t have children’?(34 Posts)
A question and I really hope I can get some responses. My husband and I have been ttc for 6 years. We had all the tests and I have had all the examinations, blood tests etc etc. Nothing has come back as wrong but yet there’s no baby. We saw an infertility expert who said our only hope is ICSI (IVF). Either his sperm lack some enzymes or my eggs are too hard! Anyway, that’s background. My question is this - is it okay to say I can’t have children? We’ve chosen not to have IVF - emotionally I just can’t cope with anymore trying. I told a friend and they told me that not having a child is my choice as I’ve rejected IVF. Therefore being childless is my choice. What’s okay? I’m so confused
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Your friend is very lacking in empathy and misinformed about the likelihood of IVF working. Not everyone wishes to put themselves through it, I had it 3 times without success. Sending best wishes to you. You are allowed to define yourself how you want to.
Your friend is being a dick.
Whilst the medical threshold for saying "can't have children" is very high (and rightly given that it's very hard to rule out a 1% chance), most people would accept that 'cant have children' is a reasonable shorthand for 'not being able to conceive without invasive medical input which may still probe unsuccessful'.
for you OP and tell your friend to sod off.
Your friend is horrible. I’d seriously distance myself from someone like that.
Sorry to hear that you have such a horrible person pretending to be your friend. It's definitely ok to say you can't have children.
Anyone asking you to justify like this is not a friend.
I’m so grateful for your responses. I didn’t know if I’m being insensitive to those who have had failed IVF as technically there is still a chance if I did have medical intervention. So thank you for your kind words - you made me cry (in a good way)
We're the same. I can have kids, my husband can't. We could do ICSI, but have also turned it down.
We can't have kids.
Due to unrelated medical issues, apparently we can't adopt either (we've been through this process too).
So no, we can't have kids.
OP your friend is awful. Ask her if someone has cancer and decides they don't want to go through chemo, have they committed suicide?
I have a good friend who had a failed round of IVF, the could afford more but opted not to. I consider her as unable to have children. Your friend sounds like an arse.
If someone said they can't have children I would assume that meant they couldn't without medical intervention. I think lines are getting blurred because people are using IVF etc for reasons such as gender or twins. Therefore some people like your friend, must assume it's a really simple thing to go through and therefore if you wanted a child you'd just pop down the clinic. I'm hoping she's in the minority.
Sorry your friend turned out to be such a nasty person. You can't have children and I'm really sorry it's turned out that way for you.
I think lines are getting blurred because people are using IVF etc for reasons such as gender or twins.
You can’t use ivf for sex selection in the UK. It’s illegal. I have never heard of anyone using Ivf specifically to conceive twins either.
Therefore some people like your friend, must assume it's a really simple thing to go through and therefore if you wanted a child you'd just pop down the clinic. I'm hoping she's in the minority.
I certainly hope so because I've not come across anyone who thinks IVF is a walk in the park
Though to be honest I don't get the impression the OP's friend lacks understanding of IVF, more they're just being a dick to suggest the OP has chosen not to have children.
I think a factor is that my friend had IVF and it failed after 3 rounds as there were no eggs left. Which is why I wondered if I was being insensitive to those in that position.
I can’t work out whether your friend is ignorant, insensitive and just and idiot. Either way she’s not a good friend and ignore her comments.
Lots of people think ivf is a fix for infertility. If you can’t conceive naturally you just go and have ivf and hey presto you’re pregnant. Obviously the reality of it is far far from this. It’s physically, emotionally and financial a tough journey with odds that aren’t in your favour. So no you haven’t just chosen to be childless.
Your friend is an arse. You can’t have children. With medical intervention/IVF/IVSI there is no guarantee of success anyway so your friend is wrong and insensitive, you can’t have children.
Your only “choice” (as your friend so nicely puts it), is not to have IVF, that isn’t the same as choosing not to have children. Choosing not to undergo invasive treatment with a low chance of success is an entirely valid decision and if your friend doesn’t get that, they have absolutely no understanding of your situation.
Sorry you’re in this situation and sorry your friend isn’t more supportive.
Re reading my above post, I don't want anyone to think i'm likening infertility to Cancer but was trying to find a situation whereby its out of your hands and there's not much you can do about it and the only option is gruelling treatment which may or may not work.
In light of your update, your friend should know first hand what IVF involves and know it isn't a magic cure for infertility.
Given her history I take back saying she's been a dick, but it does seem like she's becoming some self appointee judge and jury on who is worthy/unworthy of expressing infertility, which isn't pleasant.
Thank you everyone for your replies and comments. It really helps. I think from this that it’s okay to say that I can’t have children on the basis that I can’t conceive naturally. I also understand that she had a rubbish time with IVF so I’ll talk to her about it all and try and understand each other better. I didn’t think working out how to tell people would be so difficult! Thank you again
@purpledaisies yes I know it's illegal in the UK, close family member selected the sex in America, we live in the UK.
I can see from the update that ops friend had their hand forced in that they couldn't continue with IVF. In this case I'd assume that she's still hurting and not be too hard on her.
I think your friend has been hugely ignorant and unsympathetic OP, and I'm sorry for what you've been through
I agree with PP that if you can't get pregnant without medical intervention then stating that you're unable to have children is not unreasonable x