Why is Assisted Reproduction so taboo?

Published: 29 August 2017|Last updated: 12 June 2019|About Assisted Reproduction.|

Assisted Reproduction is a phenomenon of today’s society. However, why is it so hard to talk about it?

Why is it so difficult to talk about assisted reproduction? Whenever someone brings up problems of sterility or infertility don’t you notice a certain feeling of unease? An awkward silence? Why is it a taboo subject, if one out of every six couples fails to conceive a child, in other words, almost 80 million couples worldwide? All of us know someone within our own family setting or our circle of friends who is affected by infertility. It’s something we live with. It’s all around us, everywhere. It might be our sister, our friend, our neighbour or our co-worker. Or it could be our son’s friend who was conceived through a treatment, or one or more of his classmates … We know that it is increasingly difficult to reproduce, it’s a social phenomenon. So why is it so hard to talk about it? Out of fear? Shame? Embarrassment?

Resorting to assisted reproduction treatment is linked to the couple’s private life, to their most intimate sphere, to their sexuality and their reproduction. Talking about it is like undressing, exposing the deepest part of oneself. It’s like expressing failure through something that is the simplest and most natural thing there is for two beings who love each other, which is, to have a child. A secret told in private that upsets the couple and whoever listens to it. As well as this, we have to add how others see it. Thus, the couple prefers to remain silent, which intensifies their isolation and contributes to the subject continuing to be taboo. They start to be afraid of criticism, bad omens, inappropriate observations, dubious comments or even mockery.

However, in recent years, thanks to forums, blogs, discussion groups and support associations for infertile couples, the silence is increasingly being broken and couples more often accept making use of assisted reproduction treatment in order to have a baby. There has been considerable progress, although the taboo and unease is still there. It is probably fair to say that Assisted Reproduction is a complicated story for society as a whole, not just for the infertile couple. Assisted human reproduction is scary and yet it should in fact reassure us. It’s our future, our key to happiness. Couples who are afraid of not being parents know how to appreciate the opportunity offered by assisted reproduction and are willing to shout it from the rooftops…

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