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Avatar universal

Primary Tokophobia (fear of pregnancy)- support groups?

Hello everyone,

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.

All replies greatly appreciated.
48 Responses
Avatar universal
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.
Good Luck
Avatar universal
Hi,

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.

Thanks again.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.

Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
Hi all,

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.
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