Metro: Women are reclaiming the word ‘barren’ to talk about their fertility issues

Barren has been used for centuries to stigmatise childless women as inferior and worthless members of society, often shunned as witches, their barrenness a sign of physical and moral deficiency.

But in various pockets of the internet, women on infertility forums can be found jokingly referring to ourselves as barren – instead of passively accepting its negative connotations, we’re re-appropriating it as an empowering identity label.

So proud to have contributed to this brilliant article in Metro about my mission to reclaim the word 'barren' and why it represents resilience and strength of character, and belonging to a sisterhood of some of the bravest, funniest, most kick-ass women you could ever wish to know.

I might have blubbed a bit when I read that the author had spoken to some women in a PCOS support group about reclaiming 'barren', and that a newly diagnosed woman said that coming across this website had moved her to tears:

I’m newly diagnosed, sort of getting past the sad bit and looking at language/strategies to help me deal with it.

I just read the Uber Barrens Club homepage and I’m in tears. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.

Share your story

I’m currently trying to write a book that challenges the fantasy infertility narrative of endless positivity and happy endings, by sharing real women’s stories about what it’s really like to struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. It’s a club that no-one wants to join: but knowing that you’re not alone can provide solace and support in the darkest times.

My goal is to represent as many different perspectives as possible: if you’ve experienced infertility or pregnancy loss — whether your journey is current or past, whether successful or not — I’d be honoured if you’d consider sharing your story anonymously.