It’s common for people who take the IVF route, or use other methods of assisted reproduction, not to want to talk openly about it.

Even though the first IVF baby was born in 1978, for many people there is still a stigma attached to conceiving a baby in ways other than through sexual intercourse.
People who choose not to talk openly about it, may do so for many reasons, some of which we will explore further here in this blog.

Fear of being considered to be less of a man, or less of a woman

Some men don’t want to tell people about their infertility, because they believe that others may view them as less of a man. This is because many people associate virility with fertility, when they are actually very different things. They also may feel uncomfortable talking about going through IVF, out of a feeling of embarrassment, associated with some of the procedures they have had to go through.
Women can also have these feelings that others may see them as less of a woman, if they are unable to conceive naturally, or feel embarrassed about the process.
Actually, going through IVF or other ART (assisted reproductive techniques) to conceive a child, shows strength, commitment, determination and an overwhelming desire to follow their dreams and become a parent, all admirable qualities.  

Some people want to wait until they have spoken to their child about it first

For some individuals or couples, they may want to wait until their child is old enough to understand natural conception, before they talk to them about being conceived through IVF. Talking about it openly, may run the risk of their child hearing something from others, that is inappropriate for their age or understanding. Some parents may decide that they would never want to have the conversation and that their child would never need to know, others may decide to tell their child from a very young age.

They don’t feel that it’s anyone else’s business how their child was conceived

People don’t tend to openly talk about how their child was conceived if it was through natural conception, so why shouldn’t it be the same for those who’ve been through ART?

They don’t want to be asked awkward or embarrassing questions

People are often naturally curious and those who have been through assisted reproduction can often be asked probing personal questions about the IVF process. Not telling anyone is a way of side-stepping the possibility of this happening.

Religious, community or traditional beliefs

In some faiths, IVF has been viewed as wrongful and so they want to protect themselves and their child from hurtful or judgemental comments. Some people can also be hurtful without realising that they are being, due to how they have been brought up or their own out-dated beliefs and approach.

IVF and other forms of ART (assisted reproductive techniques) provide an amazing opportunity for people to become parents, who otherwise may have remained childless. It’s because of the wonderful advances in medical science that this has become possible.

However, it’s also important to remember that whether to talk about it or not, is entirely down to personal choice and the rights of the individual or couple. What matters most, is not how a child was conceived, but how much they are loved, cared for and treasured.

If you need to, you can seek support from counsellors, to help you to come to terms with the way infertility may have impacted you and your life.
Here at the IVF Network, we provide information, support and advice for individuals and couples who are dealing with infertility. We do this through our dedicated channel of experts, our website and our blog, to help you to make more informed choices on your own personal journey.