Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder where one has a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Discuss topics including social phobias, claustrophobia and treatment options.
Primary Tokophobia (fear of pregnancy)- support groups?
I have been with my partner for about 5 years (we are both approaching 30), but recently he has expressed an interest in starting a family in a few years time.
The problem is I have never wanted children and suffer from a serious fear of pregnancy so even if I wanted them, I am not sure I could go through with a pregnancy. My fear is so bad that even being around a pregnant women I begin to suffer "sympathy pains" (back ache, stomach cramps, dizziness/sickness etc) or anxiety attacks.
To be clear I am not about to have a child just to please my partner, but I dont want my fear to rule out us having them if we *both* decide its something we want in the future.
I have read that Cognitive Therapy can help with this condition, but I am not yet ready to approach my GP to request a referral as I get tearful even thinking about it and it would be an awful waste of their time for me to take such help right now- I want to connect to other people who suffer the same condition and hear their experiences etc.
Are there any online support groups specifically for this condition? Since I never planned upon having children, I have never had to try and address this fear before and googling has turned up nothing particularly helpful.
Hi lady, Did have a look as well, and under fear of pregnancy support groups uk, google it, have a look at baby and bump, its something, but at the end of the day if this is not your scene, then its about time you told your long therm b/f, but you really need to sit down with him, and put your cards on the table, and tell him that your far to afraid to go through with a pregnancy, as it would just drive you crazy, now if he is the man, then he should go along with what you want, because its your body and not his, along with your fears.
And if he's the real thing then he should back down.
thank you for your reply and for your encouragement- I will have a look at that forum.
I have told him about my fear of pregnancy, I just don't think he full understands that its a genuine phobia, as opposed to simply being nervous at the idea. We have had a good few discussions about it and he isnt about to leave me over it, nor try to pressure me into it which takes a lot of pressure off.
Now I guess its up to me to see *if* its an issue I can overcome, regardless of if children are wanted or not.
I just discovered this term tokophobia earlier today, and am a bit relieved to see that it's not just me. My fiancees mother makes it very clear that she's VERY unhappy with me that I don't want kids and often asks my fiancee if I'm the right choice for him, that since I don't want kids I certainly couldn't want a solid relationship and it'll just end in divorce, my own mother has said much the same things, stating that a childless marriage is bound to end in divorce. Even before I had a word for my fear, my fiancee agreed to have a vasectomy to be supportive, but he often gets irritated with my fear and over the top disgust with child birth and pregnancy. No one understands and even doctors and friends are always telling me it's just because I'm so young, I'm 24 and that I'll change my mind in a few more years. No one understands it though, I'm scared to death of the idea of ever becoming pregnant, and even though my fiancee has had a vasectomy I'd still rather have him use a condom and me take birth control pills, I'f rather die than be pregnant. I'm tokophobic to the extreme and have no support, but am always made to feel bad that I don't want kids. I've even begged my OBGYN in the past to have an elective hysterectomy or even partial hysterectomy I don't care what it costs, anything to ensure no pregnancy, but they wont do it by request. I've asked to have my tubes tied, but again the wont do it by request and especially not because of my young age and say that it's only an option they offer to women that have already had 2 children and have to have their partners written permission to have the procedure done anyway. I've told everyone, even doctors, if I ever got pregnant I'd kill myself, but no one takes it seriously stating that I'm just over reacting, it's the most wonderful thing and that if it ever happens to me my body hormones would change and I'd love it, I feel like no one is listening to my fears. No one gets it. If a pregnant woman walks into a room I'm in, I'm already uneasy, and if she starts talking about it, I want to leave the room. I don't want to see it on TV or magazines or anything. Aside from that I also have vasovagal syncope where I blackout REALLY easy with anything under my skin, especially needles. If I get a splinter under my skin I will get a knife or razor blade and work furiously trying to cut it out of my skin, if anything that I wasn't born with is under my skin, I freak out, I cant stand the sight of blood and have panic attacks with needles. There's no way I could ever handle pregnancy and don't want kids, I don't even like infants at all. Yet I feel pressured from everyone, like I'm a bad person, a bad woman for not wanting to have a kid with my fiancee. To try and compromise I offered the idea of maybe adopting a kid around the age of about 7, an age that I can at least tolerate kids, with the idea that there's already a lot of kids that don't have homes, might as well adopt, but it's no use, everyone still gives me a hard time and makes me feel like crap for not wanting a natural born child, stating it shows a lack of commitment on my end.
I understand everything you have written- I decided at the age of 11 I never wanted to have children and am now 27 and still 100% adament I dont want them.
With regards to your doctor not listening, you might find that asking to go on a waiting list for councilling is beneficial - they cant say you are overreacting, mental health is as important as physical health.
I dont know where in the world you are, but in the UK you can over your tubes tied, albeit not very easily. I can't imagine ever needing my partners "permission" for something like that- it feels very oppressive as if you somehow belong to him, which just isnt the case.
I'm in the United States. Life here isn't as great as some people in other countries seem to think. It's especially hard dealing with the stigma that people put on you if you want to be married and not have kids. I hate it so much. Being female just *****, period.
I am in the north of england, uk. I have the same problem. I am terrified at the thought of being pregnant, giving birth, and having children / having a baby that is mine to look after and always have been since I was a child myself. To the extent that I now have gone off sex as well which is adding to the distress and just makes me cry sometimes.
I'm not sure exactly where the fear came from, maybe sex ed books when I was young, combined with being an only child so never saw my mum pregnant or had sisters to do it before me to learn from. When I was a teenager I actually got pregnant and had a termination but this fear / problem was here way before that happened. I also was so much in denial at the time because it was so terrifying, if I think about it, it feels like it happened to someone else and not to me.
Now I am approaching 30 and have been with my partner a few years. We have never brought up the subject but I am worried he will want kids one day and that I will not be able to give that to him. Also I do think about when I'm 60, if its just me and him and no kids - will we be lonely / regret it?
I am having counselling (for this and general depression / anxiety) but I can't seem to shift this feeling of terror about it. I wish I could.
Maybe its just not meant to be for me. I am terrified of having the conversation with my partner tho as he means the world to me.
Every word you have said to describe your phobia is EXACTLY what i feel.
I am not married yet, and i try hard to avoid long term relationships cause i feel my partner would one want kids, and then the pain of heartbreak will be unbearable cause i know i could never do it.
And you couldnt be more right about the fact that NO ONE understands, they throw sh*t at me instead, with insulting statements like "women have done it for millions of years" or "you'll change your mind".
I too feel nauseous when i see pregnant women, i can't stand them. Neither can i stand watching movies, tv shows with pregnant women, especially childbirth scenes. I have to leave the room, and even so...i even cry once i've left.
I feel childbirth is the most barbaric thing on earth, and wonder how people can be happy when watching a woman scream her lungs out, and see her face contorted in pain.
I do not feel this feeling is abnormal, in fact i consider people who do find childbirth 'beautiful' to be sadists, barbaric misogynists.
I have tried counseling, but my therapist dismissed my fears, and made me feel unworthy cause women should WANT to go through that kind of torture to have kids.
I wish there were support groups for women like us. I haven't met a single other person who shares my feelings, and it is very lonely, frustrating and depressing.
I don't know about any support groups, but it was really a relief to find this post and know that there are women like me out there. I have always felt alone in my fear of pregnancy too. Ever since I was a teenager, I felt very uncomfortable around pregnant women, and I knew I never wanted to go through that ordeal. I don't like children either, and usually have to leave the room when they're around. My last relationship ended because I didn't want to have children. Now my younger sister is pregnant, and she is really upset with me because I don't want to hear about her numerous pregnancy symptoms or see her swollen belly. I have never had counseling for this, because I knew that no amount of counseling could make me want to have children. However, now I am considering it to help me deal with my sister's pregnancy. Has anyone else hear had tokophobia put a strain on your relationship with a close friend/relative who is pregnant?
My sister has just announced she is pregnant so I know exactly what you are going through. I have straight out told her about my fear of pregnancy in the hope that she wont take offence to me distancing myself a little. Only time will tell if it has worked.
I am considering starting a tokophobia support forum since I haven't been able to locate one but have found that there are enough women who suffer this for it to be worth the trouble. I will update this thread once I have done so.
Thank you for your words. I feel exactly the same, i went through a divorce already, and now i am 35 the last age to have kids, but still I dont want them, i am terribly scared about the idea of being pregnant, but not only that I cant see myself as a mother I really dont want kids. I dont like them, I live in Guatemala, which is a latin, closeminded city, so it is great to finally find someone who understands exactly what is like to be different, and neither accepted nor understood. If any one like me reads this post please write me; ***@****
Let me give you all some insight. I was 12 years old when I decided I was not having any children, no discussion of the issue. It cost me three great relationships, influenced the choice of the man I married (bad selection, we divorced), and the decision caused me great grief from family members, parents, friends and the community in general. I am now over 50, single, no kids, no partner, no husband, only one other living relative. It's extremely difficult when your older family members die and you are alone, but I would rather face this situation that commit suicide rather than go through a pregnancy. Pregnancy is barbaric, disgusting, abusive, disfiguring, mutilating and it reminds me of an animal slaughter, actually. You DO NOT have to have a baby if you do not want to do so. Stand incredibly firm, and be willing to lose relationships and irritate and fight with your family members if necessary. Remember, parents will be furious and hurt when they figure out that you mean business and they are not going to have any grandchildren. I was emotionally smacked around for 17 years over this decision, and I still know it was the right thing for me. You will pay a high price, but it was either no children or I was going to kill someone else and then kill myself if pregnant, and I meant what I said. I finally convinced people I would be happy to endanger them and/or their children if they kept pushing the subject. I didn't plan to act on it, but they believed me, and that finally shut them up. You have a right to do what you want with your own body, and it is nobody else's business. I had to tell a few loudmouths I would kill their children and myself before I would go through a pregnancy, and that shuts them up. Scares the hell out of doctors, too, for the legal liability. DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU. But understand, there is a price to pay. I am totally alone now, and I will likely be totally alone for 20-30 years. Be prepared. I'm dealing with the loneliness now, and it is no picnic, but it beats the hell out of suicide 25 years or so ago, because that was the plan if I got pregnant and couldn't have an abortion. Pregnancy disgusts me no end. I deserved better, and I got it. Let someone else be used by a parasite. Not for me.
Something happened when you were twelve that caused you to make a very weighty decision, do I have the right impression? I'm sorry you were unable to get the help you needed back then for whatever it was you were going through.
The violence you reveal in your vehemence against pregnancy, to the point of willingness to take the life of someone else, yourself, and your unborn child demonstrates you are in intense need spiritually and emotionally. Let me know by private message if you would be interested in learning about the One Who is able to help you.
Disgust and fear of pregnancy are two very different things. The low value you place on human life is sad. You have chosen loneliness for this life, but I hope you will come to know what it is like to be loved by God and not choose loneliness anymore.
"Disgust and fear of pregnancy are two very different things"
I would have to disagree, fear/disgust manifest themselves very similarly. I know for me, the idea of a parasite feeding of me is disgusting, but equally, the idea of something growing inside of me is a terrifying idea.
Regardless of whether her hatred of pregnancy and children is driven by fear or disgust, doesn't change that it is her body and her life. Threats against other people may feel extreme to somebody on the outside, but its a fight or flight response- a threat to show people how serious she is very different to actually not valuing human life.
It would be a real relief if you did start a support forum. I have always wanted to connect with people who shared my views on this subject.
I have tried talking to many friends, some directly, some indirectly...easing into the subject, but i back away once i realise they dont feel the way i do. Its disheartening :(
Lately, my boyfriend's bestfriend and his girl just had twins, and they were all on me to be next in line to have babies. I left and burst into tears in the bathroom. That incident sent me into an abyss of suicidal depression. :(
Oddly enough, sometimes i do wish i could have kids, but even so, i would only if GUARANTEED a C-section. I mean GUARANTEED! I sometimes fear that even if i found a doctor who'd agree to an elective C-section, i feel they will trick me and not go through with it and wait till i go into labour and force me to have a vaginal delivery. UGH :'(:'(.
This may sound stupid and unprofessional, but i do think most doctors are unsympathetic.
Anyway, I cannot take anymore ridicule from the world. I think women like us need a platform to voice our feelings and not be judged..
I COMPLETELY understand EVERYTHING in this thread.
I am a woman, 24 years old, and suffer from extreme disgust with pregnancy. I can't stand the thought of something growing inside me, for all the reasons stated above. I've tried talking to my mother, my grandmother, my friends, my doctor, and no one listens. No one understands. I've been saying since I was 8 years old that I'd never have children, but everyone always tells me I'm melodramatic, I don't know what I'm saying, I'm selfish, immature, irresponsible, don't want to grow up, I'll change my mind when I'm older, when I meet the right man, etc.
I'm in a long-term relationship with a man who (thankfully) is the only one who seems to understand my fear and not treat it as some sort of childish notion. Luckily for me, he's not interested in having children either, and offered to have a vasectomy, but I want to be the one to be fixed. I feel like somehow if I have my tubes tied or my uterus removed, it will get rid of my fear somehow, and I'll feel some relief. I've begged my doctor on several occasions for an operation but she's refused on the grounds that "I'm too young." I live in Canada and I don't need my partner's permission to do it, but the doctors still won't do it anyway.
I'm considering counselling. Has anyone on this thread tried it? Has it worked for you?
I'm in Canada too.
I've tried counselling twice.. it didnt help me. I already have really horrific videos, pictures and stories of horror births lodged into my brain.
I dont mind trying counselling again. But i think it would mainly help to divert my mind, ease my depression, tolerate other pregnant women around,etc. I doubt it can help rid this fear completely.
I keep equating birth with someone stabbing my vagina with a knife repeatedly, then tearing it apart, slicing me...for hours.. and me not ever passing out from the pain and bleeding, but being conscious ...screaming, yelling, suffering...UGGH. Sorry, i got into graphic details.
But i feel like i'm the only "logical" person out there. Who wouldn't fear something horrendous like that.
Hi, i'm really glad I've found this. I'm slightly different, I had a daughter at 18. I'm not 27 and married, my husband is desperate to have one of his own although he is my daughters 'Dad' in every way apart from DNA. Her sperm donor, as I like to think of him, has no interest whatsoever. I am petrified of going through it all again, it was horrific the first time round and I've blocked out the first 2 and a half years of her life due to my serious depression and being on my own.
I'm looking for some help to get over this fear, i'm not against having another child but the thought of carrying it and labour and birth make me feel physically sick and often scared to the point of tears. If anyone has found anything that helped I would love to give it a try. I also found out recently that I have endometriosis which means I can't put it off much longer without risking becoming infertile! I hope some of you have managed to find help! Thanks in advance for any help!
I'm 29, married, love kids and have always wanted some... but the idea of pregnancy is abhorrent and deeply revolting to me. Earlier in my life, when I said things like "pregnancy grosses me out!" everyone assured me that that would change someday, and I would know when I was "ready." Well, I'm ready for kids now, have been for months at least, but the thought of letting some alien parasite live inside my body is still not something I can deal with. I get sick and upset just thinking about it.
I've had nightmares several times where I'm looking in a mirror and suddenly see that I'm pregnant, and in the dream I immediately run screaming for a knife. I can't imagine not doing that in real life - I literally can't envision trying to go about my business violated and hijacked in that way. I think I would panic and freak out and do violence.
Family members have suggested things like meditation or willpower or counseling, and that always makes me feel upset and sorta betrayed - what I think is: you're telling me you *want* me to try and allow this disgusting self-stealing thing to happen to me?? Do you not value me at all?
So I tell them I'm going to look into therapy options, but that's a lie. My revulsion at the thought of being unable to eat and sleep and feel normally *because there's some creature nesting in me* is so deep-seated that any successful "therapy" would amount to brainwashing: making a fundamental change in me that I don't want.
I think my family is just going to have to accept it. (Husband's mostly on board already, thank God. Says he's willing to look into surrogacy or adoption if I "can't get past this.")
I'm just very glad to see I'm not alone in this. Most people are not very understanding.
I feel exactly the same (especially the first 3 posts). I live in the UK. I have the problem my boyfriend never considered not having kids until he feel in love with me and he gets so upset about the concept of choosing between us we can't effectively talk about it, I feel so bad it hurts him so much. I've never liked babies. I can't even look a baby in the face and like to be at least 1 metre away from them at all times, and hate the noise. They all look like aliens to me. So there is no way I can even think about carrying one inside me. I feel like the only person I know who feels like this, everyone thinks I'm a freak. I have never really liked kids even though I used to child-sit for friends because I can treat them as adults. the many years I went off children completely. In the last 2 years I had a boyfriend that had 2 kids (3 & 4 years) and started to try to face fears and communicate with them. So my boyfriend I'm with now of 1 and half years has 5 year old niece that I get on with now that I have faced that fear but he is pretty clever for his age, anything younger I don't like, any'thing' 'without a brain' is how I put it. I have tried cognitive therapy for other anxietys I have, not terribly successful but helps I guess. I don't think it can help with this though. So far all I have said to my current boyfriend is that I will try to get over it so we can maybe have a surrogate but thinking of having 'it', a baby, in my house terrifies me.
I'm in the exact same boat. I'm 27 and for as long as I can remember I never desired to have children one day. The idea of getting pregnant and having kids feels like a prison or death sentence to me. I fear a lot of things from my body changing, it wiggling around inside me (kicking), labour pains, blood, being ripped in two, the constant screaming and never being left alone for a second, and breast feeding.
I don't even like kids and never got on with them. I want a quiet life and knowing that will all change once I have kids.
I do get frustrated because no one understands and I fear I'll forever be alone. A relationship will inevitably end if you and your partner want different things, especially having a family or not one day. I recently dated the guy of my dreams, who was very vocal about wanting to be a father one day and loves his nephews. He is very broody. At the back of my head I knew this relationship would never last. He even asked how I felt about kids to which I replied with "I'm ambivalent"... Anyway, I really wish I was normal and like everyone else, not some freak. I can't even watch movies with birth scenes without feeling like I'm going to vomit and have panic attacks. I feel faint when I hear my friends talk about their experiences. I wonder if I'll ever be normal or actually meet a guy who doesn't want kids either, but that is very hard to find.. They don't have to do all the leg work!!
I am 24, and I have this...My mom almost died in childbirth with my sister and when my older sister was about to have her baby she was bleeding everywhere. I have been terrified of this since I was little. I found out in late November I am pregnant. I am a hot mess.
I am so glad I found this group. I have been absolutely terrified and utterly disgusted by all things pregnancy for as long as I can remember. Any time I ever shared these feelings, people tell me it will change when I'm “ready." Well, I am 28 and married, and the older I get the worse it gets. People seem to think I'm weird or crazy because of how I feel, but I haven't shared everything, or they would think I'm insane for sure. I cannot stand the thought of ever being pregnant even though I do really like kids. The idea of getting fat and gross, having something live inside you that you can't control freaks me out completely. Why does everyone think it's so wonderful to feel babies kick? I think it creepy and disgusting! Something is beating you from the inside! The idea of regular gyn appointments are stressful enough to me, I can't imagine going all the time, being prodded and poked, and seeing different doctors, not knowing who you'll wind up with when you deliver. I have nightmares of giving birth and of delivering others babies. A couple nights ago I one a dream so vivid about delivering a friend's child that I gagged in my sleep and woke up. Swollen ankles scares me. The thought of having a bunch of strangers holding my legs in the air as my lady parts as exposed and torn to pieces makes me want to run away and never look back. I recently heard from an nurse friend that women pooping themselves is apparently “normal" in the obgyn world. That is NOT normal, people. That horrible and demeaning. Why do you have to be so careful of what you eat (sushi for instance), but you can birth the baby in blood and ****? So many women, my friends and family even, act like I am crazy and it's a horrible thing that I hate breast feeding. I think it's disgusting, sounds painful, and weird. I don't even enjoy my husband messing with my nipples, why would I want my child to suck on them? That seems a bit incestual to me. I know that it is not actually incest, but it creeps me out completely. My husband thinks I'm just exaggerating, but he knew when he married me how I felt, to a certain extent, but he thought he could change my mind. I know this isn't normal and I wish I wasn't this way. I'm pretty sure I'll end up alone if I can't overcome it, but the only counseling I've seen for tokophobia has been in Thr UK, not the US. :(
Wow, I am so happy that this topic is being discussed, I to have a fear of pregnancy and child labor. I feel that both are very unpleasant, and I don't want to suffer the consequences of either. Many people ask me that if the time comes and I get married that I would change my mind. I'm sorry but if being pregnant and giving birth is part of his agenda I will have to leave the relationship all together.
I too have issues being around pregnant women, they look uncomfortable, unhealthy and simply sick. I often say that pregnancy is a 9 month long flu. Truth is I would love to be part of the group but I am not interested in changing my mind. I’ll be 30 next week and have been this way is middle school. I could go on for days on this topic but it would simply discuss me.
On a lighter note I took it upon myself at the age of 25 to get my tubes tied. I spoke with my doctor who approved the procedure who then sent me to psychologist to make sure that I was making the right decision. This is the law here in the United States for individuals under 30 something with less than 2 children and not married. The only hard part about the procedure is that you have to find a doctor who is willing to do it. I must admit, I got lucky. The only bad part about the procedure is that before I went under anesthesia the hospital staff kept asking me if I was sure. The nurse who was trying to put my IV in actually told me that I was making a mistake. When I told he I wasn't this B***H actually was infuriated with me. Other that the procedure went well, I woke up groggy while being the happiest person on earth at the same time.
I personally do not feel that fear of pregnancy is abnormal. We are just being truthful to ourselves, the s**t is horrible. Most women hate going through this and only a hand full will admit it. I don’t want to be in a room full of strangers (doctors and nurses) with my legs spread wide open in serious pain while something pops out of my privet area. Second nausea for a few months, some women the whole pregnancy seems like torture. Third, cuts, stitches, torn skin, the possibility of hemorrhoids, depression, and c-section along with issues using the rest room aren't pleasant in the slightest.
I am also relieved I have found this page. I have had a morbid fear of pregnancy and childbirth all my life. I can take it back to seeing a TV programme in the Seventies in which a woman was giving birth - I would have been about 4/5 years old at the time. I remember being absolutely terrified. This was followed by a seeing a large colour photograph of an unborn foetus in an Encyclopedia given to me around the age of 10 This left me so traumatised that my mother had to throw the book in the bin and I did not sleep well for years after. I am now 44 and have never in my life had any desire to be a mother. I am repulsed by anything to do with pregnancy, be it on the TV or in real life. Being next to a pregnant woman makes me anxious and sick and I have to avoid all conversations about it. As you can imagine, most of my family and friends have had children but I have little or no interest in them regardless of their age. I am regarded as a freak of nature, Ive been called heartless and cold. None of these descriptions are accurate but they are applied to me because women and most men simply cannot understand my life choice. Fortunately I have a wonderful partner who has been with me for 24 years and has never once questioned my decision. My true friends never question my decision - they try and understand as best they can. I am very lucky. I would never ever be nasty to a child or wish them harm in any way ...but I just have no interest at all. Dealing with this phobia is a daily struggle and it helps so much to know there are other women out there like me.
My husband, too, at first thought I would "get past" it somehow. When he saw me (multiple times) break down and freak out at even *imagining* it when we talked, though, he eventually accepted that it was so fundamentally unacceptable to me that there would be no way for me to do it safely. We ended up opting for surrogacy instead. Maybe yours will come around?
I can't understand men who give us a hard time about feeling this way. I guarantee THEY would freak out if some creature started sickening and deforming them, shoving their internal organs out of the way to make living space for itself...and they were told "no no you should love this process!!"
I have the same problem as the rest of you. I am extremely terrified at even the thought of pregnancy. Every aspect of it. Gaining weight, morning sickness, stretch marks, vaginal birth. All of these things disgust me and freak me out but really they are the things that I have been telling people that I don't want to happen to me to kind of cover my true feelings. But the real problem is that the idea of having something inside of me taking over my body and changing my body and making all of this crazy stuff happen terrifies me more than anything else I could ever imagine. It happens with other things too. I experimented with a few drugs and alcohol as a teenager and every time I tried them I would freak out and go into this crazy state of fear and anxiety and I just didn't understand, like why do all the other kids think this is fun? This isn't fun at all this is the most scared I have ever felt in my entire life. I would just be asking my friends how long until this stuff wears off?? And now I am too scared to even use the laughing gas at the dentist because I am afraid it will take me to that place in my mind of feeling like something is inside of me taking control over my body. It is my greatest fear. And I just know that is how pregnancy would feel to me. 9 months of counting down the minutes until it is finally out of me and I finally have control over my body again. Sometimes I imagine what would happen if I accidentally got pregnant somehow, and I imagine myself looking at the little pregnancy test stick and just freaking out and then ending up in like a mental hospital screaming and begging for them to get it out of me.
Growing up in my family and the religion I was raised in having children was not really an option, it was an expectation. You grow up, you get married, you have kids. I never really was taught anything different, so of course as a young girl I always thought about things like what I would name them, and how many I would want, and what I thought they would look like. I never had a problem with kids or with pregnancy or the thought of it until I was a teenager because that's when I really started to think about what it would be like to be pregnant.
I think that I know where my intense fear of having no control over my body came from. I had a very rough time with puberty. I know that it sounds stupid because every single human being has to go through it, but just something about it was very traumatic for me. When I was about 7 years old my parents took me into my bedroom and told me I was going to start growing breasts soon and that I needed to start wearing a bra. And that soon I would be going through puberty and getting a period and what not. I just was scared because I didn't want any of those things. My mom bought me some bras and said I had to wear them. I remember trying it on and wearing it around the house for a couple hours and then taking it off because I didn't like how it felt. I felt like people would see the straps under my shirt. Somehow wearing it just gave me this creepy feeling and it made me so uncomfortable and I just had this feeling of violation. Anyways it became a huge fight between me and my parents. They tried to force me to wear it for years and I reacted by dressing in full boys clothing. Every once in a while I would try it on again and then immediately take it off. Anytime anyone would even mention the word "bra" I would cry. I still don't know what exactly the problem was, it just gave me this horrible uncomfortable anxiety, like all the men were looking at me cause I was wearing a bra or something. Anyways when I actually reached puberty and my body started changing I got really depressed and cut myself everyday for years. I thought about suicide often. It took me years to get over this depression.
I am very scared about how to deal with my tokophobia. I have someone whom I love very much and would do anything to make him happy. Anything that is within my realm of capability and I honestly feel that pregnancy may not be within that. We have talked about it and he said he would basically be heart broken if he couldn't have his own biological children. I am perfectly willing to adopt, but he makes it seem like he isn't really that interested in that. I feel like he is treating me like I have a choice, and I really feel like I don't. I just keep telling him that I want to, but I can't. And he still doesn't understand. I just wish he knew how it felt. I don't even know if it would be safe for me to get pregnant considering my previous experience with my body changing, and puberty doesn't even seem as drastic as a pregnancy would be. What if I got really depressed again and did something to hurt myself or the baby?
I just don't know what to do.
there seems to be 2 very different types of people here.
1) people with an extreme fear of getting pregnant
2) people who HATE children.
personally the second type really makes me sad. just watch the news about all the babies being killed by their mothers and i wonder if these are the types that would do such a thing. first of all, you would NOT be here had your mother felt the same way. if pregnancy is not your thing then don't get pregnant, but to spew such hatred towards babies and children is really sad
when i was young i NEVER wanted children either. moved in with my future husband when i was 14 (very abusive childhood and left the second i got a chance) and when i was 15 i became pregnant. the second i did it was NOT about me anymore. God put life in me. the fear never really went away it was just that it wasn't about ME anymore.
that kicked my fear. even with subsequent pregnancies i still had that fear and it got worse the closer it was time to give birth, but once again.........it wasn't about me.
it did not mutilate my body. i have zero stretch marks
just letting you know that if you have a genuine fear of pregnancy, it is not impossible to have a child.
if you have such hatred towards children............. do the world a favor and never have one
Have you considered surrogacy? It's expensive and a huge headache, but that could satisfy the husband's desire for "his own biological children."
So much of what you said rings true for me too. Your partner has to be made to understand that it's not just an issue of "I don't want to do this." Especially if this kind of feeling has been powerful enough in the past to cause you to cut and/or consider suicide, then it's an issue of safety. If there's a risk that body-horror will overwhelm you at some point and you'll run for a kitchen knife, then it's not safe for you to carry a pregnancy. And if you can't do it safely, you shouldn't do it. Hurting yourself or a baby would be the worst possible outcome.
Tried counseling, drugs, and finally after 4 years, told my husband the ugly truth. He said I ruined his life when it was clear he wanted biological children. Gave divorce papers but he wouldn't sign them.
What I learned and hope others can learn - don't lie to yourself nor try to convince yourself. I've known since I was 8 years old and never grew out of it. The fear actually grew worse. However, going through the steps of counseling individually, couples, and drugs has allowed me to exhaust all avenues. Without guilt, I gave it my best try. My husband and I are still struggling but at least I'm no longer hiding my fear and the "fights" are mediated by a 3rd party to help us arrive at a mutual understanding.
I think surrogate might be next option and then adoption. My best advice is to try all therapy avenues until you honestly feel you gave it your best efforts. Then make decisions if having children is still something wanted. Being a mother is an option. The "how" is your choice based on your research, level of commitment and desire to really truly have children.
Hi lostallhope, just realised I replied to a wrong person, I am actually suffering the same situation as you, I am really looking for anyone who really understands Tokophobia, as this is not as easy as people thought, people think I am selfish but it is really more that tha!!! Just like when people suicide as they suffered from depression, people ofthen say they are selfish, but on one can undestands their feelings.!
I have decided since I was in primary school that I will never ever have a baby. But now I am married, my friends and family all telling me the same thing, that if I dont have a baby in my whole life, I will regret later and I will not be a complete woman and my husband will leave blah blah blah....I am really really confused now cuz I love my husband so much I dont want him to leave me!
I'm 19 and I've had tokophobia since I was in primary school too. I'm with the love of my life. He really wants to start a family some time in the future. I think he'll make a great parent, and if it's with him I think raising a child could actually be a lot of fun. He knows about my tokophobia, and is very supportive (he wishes he could get pregnant in my stead, and would also love to adopt). For the time being, tokophobia is not a big problem for me.
For the time being.
His family is... "old-fashioned" (nice way of saying CULTURALLY BACKWARDS) and they want us to get married and have kids already, regardless of whether or not we have the finances to care for a child. We've also put off marriage because we know their demands will become incessant after we marry. They've also hassled us over other things, like our terms of endearment for each other (I can only call him either "honey" or something "manly"), my place as a woman and how I'm not supposed to get a man involved in my duties (we cook and clean together because WE ENJOY EACH OTHER'S COMPANY), the fact that I go out with friends sometimes (shameful!), my health problems which they think are just things I made up and I'm not trying hard enough (if I'm not careful, I could actually die horribly—though at least that would shut them up). Frankly I'm surprised such a loving, understanding person could come from such a family. He chalks it up to growing up with the Internet.
My tokophobia: seeing pregnant women, even pregnant animals (with the exception of animals that were already big to begin with, like rhinos and whales) makes me at least a bit nauseous. The more progressed the pregnancy, the worse the disgust. But the worst thing for me is the fact that there's something growind inside of me, big enough to rearrange my guts and kicking me from the inside... And the process of giving birth sounds horribly disgusting too. The labour pains scare me, but a C-section actually sounds worse to me, having to be cut open so wide to take this... thing out of me. I like children when they've grown a bit, I think most babies are ugly, even uglier than modern pugs and Persian cats (they look completely different from ones in old paintings and photographs; then some idiot though they'd look better as if their faces were punched in). Babies just look off, you know? Swollen limbs, misshapen faces and heads, the wriggling, baby smell... iugh. My partner knows all of it and understands. But his family would have my head if they knew.
This is AcesPlace. Thank you. The threats were used to shut people up. Some people can't figure out that NO means NO. When threatened, and I mean REALLY threatened, even if I had no real intentions of acting on it, people learned QUICKLY to mind their own business and shut up! I became really belligerent about this issue because people had the GALL to question me! It is nobody else's business--nobody else has the right to even voice and opinion. Oh, they might voice an opinion, alright, but I made sure they knew in advance there would be severe consequences. It all boils down to this--BE AGGRESSIVE, CONGRUENT, and CONSISTENT. N E V E R give anybody an inch. Shut everybody down for spite. It shuts them up. It's your body, your life, your choice. You owe these people nothing! I paid the price for my decision. I would do it again.
While I do agree that wishing harm on one's children is a bit harsh, what is one to do when people who should accept "No, I do not wish to have children" and move on with their lives do not? The fact that threats that are dire as these need to be utilized makes me wonder about the people receiving said threats and what their goals are.
So awesome to see how many women struggle with this. Here is my situation: I AM 25 WEEKS PREGNANT. And absolutely terrified. I have had suicidal thoughts, severe panic, chronic depression. I am currently seeing a psychiatrist twice a week and a therapist twice a week. I am more afraid of being pregnant than I of birth. When my son moves, I panic. When my stomach gets hard and tight, I panic. Thinking about what is to come has consumed my thoughts and my life. I have lost 8lbs this pregnancy because I have no appetite. I want to get through this. Does anyone have any success stories?? Also, did anyone make a support group? I am so desperate for help and healing.
Where do I begin…
1. “there seems to be 2 very different types of people here.
1) people with an extreme fear of getting pregnant
2) people who HATE children.”
Where are the people who hate children in this thread? Seems like you are seeing what you want to see.
2. “just watch the news about all the babies being killed by their mothers and i wonder if these are the types that would do such a thing.”
Yeah, not because of mental diseases, right?
3. “first of all, you would NOT be here had your mother felt the same way. “
4. “if pregnancy is not your thing then don't get pregnant, but to spew such hatred towards babies and children is really sad”
Refer to Number 1.
5. “it did not mutilate my body. i have zero stretch marks”
Good for you? I guess those people who have stretch marks and/or needed an episiotomy did something wrong then.
Let me explain myself; I am not trying to be rude. However, I fail to see why someone would look at a thread for those with tokophobia and jump to the conclusions you have reached. People like you are the reason why it is hard to express our fears and wishes.
After years of struggling I've finally come to terms with what I have - a severe primary tokophobia. I'm almost 30, married, and an MD - all of which make it even worse.
People talk so much about infertility and "those poor women who can't have babies". But what about us - women with tokophobia - who also want to have babies but can't because of a mental, and not a physical condition? We're not "the poor women" in the eyes of the society; we are the crazy, overreacting b*** who can't pull themselves together. There such little awareness of our condition. I wish things would change. I cry so often because I can't fulfill my dream of having a baby.
I have recently discovered I had tokophobia. Even as a child, I always thought that if I had children, it would be throught adoption/raising a partner's child. Even in the past two years or so, when seeing a baby or a small child and feeling a strong need/want to have one, pregnancy wasn't in my plans.
For exemple, one of my collegue just got a baby, and she's the cutest thing ever. The last time I hold her, I had two thought.
First, that I could totally see myself raising a child with who I share no DNA and love them like my own.
Second, that maybe I should start looking for a girlfriend so she could get pregnant and like this I wouldn't be a single mother.
None of this sounded like a stretch to me. I didn't want to be pregnant, but I thought it was just because I didn't care for it.
In the last few days, I've realised it is more than that.
It all started when I had sex for the first time (3 days ago). Even though he used a condom and I am on the pill, I've been terrified that I could be pregnant. I am not always reliable on my pills and it really only needs one spermatozoid.
Just5 thinking about it and I want to throw up, which is not a good state of mind when you are terrified of pregnancy. My stomach area is churned and I feel gross constantly.
It doesnt help that I am far from home and not due back for three and a half month, so I don't even know how an abortion would work where I am right now. It just makes it worst.
I am not afraid of childbirth (at least not for the moment), nor am I afraid of raising a child, but the idea of being pregnant makes me sick.
When I got a full blown panick attack this afternoon, I knew it was getting out of control. I've never been so anxious to get my periods.
At this point, I don't think I'll ever have sex with a man ever again. Too much headach and stress.
I feel the exact same way. I always imagined having a family of my own.
And its so hard coming to terms with the fact that it'll never happen.
Its true about society condemning women like us. It makes my blood boil.
Mental health stigma all over again.
I have suffered from depression and suicidal tendencies because of my phobia and no amount of research into childbirth has helped. It has actually made it worse :(
I had this exact same thing with my first pregnancy!! I did cognitive behavioral therapy and went on medication. I worked so hard..and it was ok... Even ended up having another baby since. I think there is no reason to let the phobia determine the quality of your life when you want kids.
How did you do it? I'm married, he knew my feelings, I accidentally got pregnant in April. I'm about to start my third trimester and all the old feelings are coming back. Avoidance, fear, disgust, crippling panic attacks...i have no idea how to survive the next few months.
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