“Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.”
~ Albert Einstein.

I have been wanting to write on this since Nick wrote his post – Childless.

In the exchange of comments that followed there, we had this to say to each other. Apart from this exchange, the other comments and responses from Nick are worth a read too.

Me: Nick, to be an infertile woman in India is worse than being a zombie. I know of women who were blamed for not producing children and subjected to tests of all kinds till it occurs to some moron in-law to get his son tested. No one talks about male infertility and I think that is something that needs to be addressed too in childless but wanting children couples.

Nick: Ramana: Yes, I’ve often read that being a childless woman in India is a serious stigma. And you’re right that the possibility of the man’s infertility is often overlooked. Though I think that’s less the case in the UK, where nowadays the man is routinely checked along with the woman.

What prompted this post however is the latest story from a friend of mine in Coimbatore who had rung me up to give some good news. His grand daughter Meena got married in 2001 to a scion of one of the South’s wealthy and well known trading families. I have known Meena since she was a little baby in arms but could not attend her wedding as I was preoccupied with other matters in Pune. The couple went off to live with the family’s estate in the Nilgiris immediately after marriage. After five years when no child was forthcoming, Meena was subjected to all kinds of taunts and ill treatments and was asked to undergo various tests and treatments. It was presumed by the family that she was responsible and not her husband. Eventually, Meena could not take it any more and came away to her parents and started a career as a teacher, got formally divorced and started a new life. She got married again in 2010 to a classmate from school days and moved to the USA where her new husband has a flourishing medical practice. My friend just now told me that he has become a grand father to twins. I could not help asking him about whatever happened to the husband from the first marriage and he chuckled and said that he got married again and continues to be childless!

Obviously, this is a clear case of the man being infertile but the woman facing the brunt of criticism and condemnation. There are other similar stories too that I know of where the husband is infertile but the wife goes through a tough time. Such is our paternalistic society.

On the other hand, I also recently came to know about another couple who got divorced after many attempts to get the wife to become pregnant through IVF protocols failed. The husband got married again and has just become a father of a baby girl.!

Strange are the ways of nature!

19 thoughts on “Fertility.”

    1. Yes, that happens too. In fact two of my close relatives have adopted children. We are a mix of the old and the new Looney. We have a long way to go to become modern.

  1. Seems that we are a bit more balanced here in that the man is typicfally tested as well and I suspect both sides face a fair amount of “abuse” – from the woman being barren to the man shooting blanks. WIth so many children awaiting adoption it seems to me this should not be an issue but then again everything here has a profit motive. Luckily Lynn and I had a boy and a girl relatively easily. As we both always worked we stopped at 2.

  2. Strange indeed, Ramana.

    Looney’s comment reminded me of a couple who, after many years of marriage, adopted. Then, as the cliche goes – and all their friends assumed – they were so “relaxed” she fell pregnant and all was fine. What emerged later that Number Two was actually the product of the mother cavorting with the love of her life. Which didn’t stop the “father” (who learnt about this some time later) from giving the baby his paternity and surname. Does the daughter know who her “real” father is? I don’t know. Lost contact with them twenty years ago.

    I myself thank my lucky stars that I didn’t put my foot into it by remarking on likeness between “father” and daughter. Only saved by the fact that she looked like her mother.

    Anyway the whole fertility saga is a bit of a minefield – but doesn’t need to be. Two of my uncles couldn’t have children. They both married women quite a bit older than them – both their wives with child from previous marriage so there was hardly any secret of who the “culprit” was when no further offspring emerged.. However, I do come from a culture where there was nothing made of these things. It was just as it was. No pointing of fingers. End of story.

    Ursula recently posted..The early hours

    1. India is a blend of all kinds of things Ursula. It will surprise you with totally unexpected modern values from unexpected sources just as it would primitive values from others.

  3. I don’t understand why the man’s fertility isn’t investigated if the couple are desperate to have a child. You would think all possible avenues would be explored. Such is the malign influence of prejudice and dogma.
    nick recently posted..Crossed fingers

  4. That reminds me of Isaac Asimov’s, “All the problems in the world are caused by women. The Bible tells us so.” Sounds like a good reason not to be religious. 🙂
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..How Sleazy

  5. Marriage is and should be between two people. Young couples should be allowed to freely enter a marriage and make their own decisions about whether to have a family or not. Mind you, not all couples want the responsibility of caring for a child and there are also many reasons why some couples cannot conceive. For instance: Childhood illnesses such as mumps at the time of puberty can leave a male infertile, and erratic female cycle play havoc with hormones The surrounding family, village or county should keep their noses out of it, it is actually none of their business and only adds stress to a situation.
    Grannymar recently posted..Sunday One liners ~50

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