If you’re looking for advice about options surrounding fertility, pregnancy or counselling, always consult your doctor.
Sex and the City gave women of the world so much. Frank relationship advice, fashion trends, permission to experiment sexually, even a new vocabulary. Tackling so many issues that play a central role in women’s lives, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte showed us that a woman’s lifestyles can be so many different things.
But one of the most important recurring plot lines on the 90s hit show was that of Charlotte’s struggle to have a baby. From an almost fairytale-like optimism and the dark reality of infertility, to building a family, and everything in between, we can learn a lot from Charlotte’s experience with infertility.
Infertility can heavily impact mental health
Over the many series of Sex and the City, we watch as Charlotte’s blind, almost unrealistic expectation of having children changes after realising it may never happen for her. Upon discovering her chances of conceiving with Trey were very low, Charlotte began to struggle with her mental health and sense of self-worth, something which Genea fertility expert, Dr. Devora Lieberman says is extremely common in women dealing with fertility issues.
“Coming up against infertility can really shake a woman’s core belief in herself,” she says. “Many of my patients will feel like they’ve failed, and it’s quite shattering to self esteem.”
“This manifests in struggling with work, feeling quite stressed, feeling a loss of control… [it] permeates every aspect of their lives.”
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From watching Charlotte struggle with the reality of her infertility, to accepting it and building her family in other ways, we learn that it’s OK and perfectly normal to struggle with your own mental health when experiencing infertility, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel, a sentiment Dr. Lieberman shares.
“Women are so hard on themselves,” she says. “Self-care, to look after yourself is so important. Imagine that it was a friend going through what you’re going through, how would you treat them? You owe yourself nothing less than that.”
Infertility doesn’t discriminate
Charlotte York is the character that has it all. An amazing career, an enviable figure, a relationship with an established man and wonderful friendships. She’s young and healthy, yet she can’t get pregnant.
“No matter how fit and healthy you look on the outside, your ovaries are quite oblivious to that,” says Dr Lieberman. “Being healthier will not make you more fertile, and [young women] think that with fertility, they hear things in the media and think it won’t apply to them.”