Once again, a study is proving things that, anecdotally, at least, we already knew to be true.
A British charity, Infertility Network UK, surveyed 500 women age 35 to 45 who want children, including those undergoing fertility treatment and those still hoping to find the right partner with whom to have a family. The study “revealed“:
- Friends and family are the greatest source of pressure on women without children in an age group where biological clocks ring their little heads off.
- A majority of respondents – 60% – said they feel judged for not being mothers.
- A majority said they aren’t comfortable discussing the issue with family members and friends.
- Forty percent of the women said they were too embarrassed to talk about fertility at all.
According to a fertility specialist at the University of Oxford, the big conclusion is that “many couples are leaving it too long before discussing their fertility options with a healthcare professional.”
Surprised? Nah. But, studies like this one are the catalyst behind public health messaging and funding. After working with a grant making foundation for several years, I learned that people don’t like to give money to support what they think they know. Only hard numbers and survey comments prove a point.
While the folks in white lab coats hone in on NotMoms’ attitudes about infertility, I’m hoping some superbrain looks at why 60% of the women “feel judged for not being mothers”.
Was there a precipitating event that caused them to feel that way? Or, are their feelings actually assumptions, unproven and unspoken? What do the pros recommend for dealing with those feelings? What responses do they suggest to in-your-business family and friends?