Tocophobia - Fear of being pregnant

Posted , 5 users are following.

Tocophobia is the fear of being pregnant or of giving birth. There are a lot of discussion forums in America, but very few active ones in the UK and I really need people to tell me that what I'm feeling is okay.

I'm due to be married at the end of this year and I've always maintained that I didn't want children. However, recently, with the wedding and the fact that I'm due to turn 30 this year I think my clock has started ticking. That doesn't stop the feelings and the fears that I have relating to pregnancy. These are not just the worries of a 'normal' pregnant woman, they are far worse. I know that if I found out that I was pregnant I would have to abort it because the idea of there being something growing inside me is disgusting to me, it makes me feel physically sick. Looking at pregnant women disgusts and horrifies me too. I can't tell people this, they think that there's something wrong with me and they get offended and that just makes me feel like I'm a freak.

For me it isn't so much the pain of birth, I'm not adverse to pain and I know that there are plenty of ways to deal with it, though the idea of it doesn't exactly thrill me. The thought of having to carry this alien thing around inside me for nine months does horrify me. I don't see it as a miracle, I see it as more like a growth. I worry that I wouldn't bond with it when it was born, that I would resent it for everything that it put me through for nine months.

I've discussed all this with my partner, who always knew that I wasn't keen on children, but I don't think he really understands how serious this is for me. We've talked about adoption, because I do want children, it's not that I hate kids, but I don't think my partner is a hundred percent on board with that idea.

Does anyone else understand what I'm going through, because I try explaining this to friends, who sympathise but don't really understand the way I feel. With the wedding only a few months away friends and family keep saying to me 'kids next' and I just freeze and smile politely, knowing I can't say how I feel.

Any responses would be great, just to know that there is someone else out there?


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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi redfed03

    I feel exactly the same and I'm in a very similar position to you. I got married in 2010, I’m 32 and the clock is ticking very loudly. We both want to have a child and for us adoption would not be an answer. The only way forward is for me to face my fear and somehow get through a pregnancy and birth.

    I've been seeing a therapist, but I'm not sure it’s possible for me to get rid of the fear. The best I'm hoping for is managing it.

    I don’t feel that I can even think about getting pregnant useless I KNOW I will be supported by understanding midwives and consultant who’ve helped people with this condition before.

    I also need to be guaranteed that I can have a caesarean section before I will get pregnant. Natural childbirth is the most horrifying part for me – although the whole thing just freaks me out.

    I’ve tried to get access to support via my GP surgery, but they are clueless about the condition and can’t help. They’ve suggested I contact PALS, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

    I was encouraged when I found this:

    Don’t let people tell you your fears are “only natural”. If all women felt like we do the human race would be extinct. And you’re not alone. I’ve started a blog to help me deal with this challenge – although I haven’t gotten very far: I guess if you can adopt and be happy with that, it’s not something you’ll have to face.


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  • Posted

    Hi both,

    Just to comment on the first link in the above post - it has broken because of the first + sign so you will need to copy and paste the full string into your browser to get to the page. I will report this as a fault with our system.


    Emis Moderator.

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I believe that I have tocophobia but can’t find any support or person to talk to.

    I am 25, husband is 30, and we have been married for 3 years and together for 5. Our relationship is progressing and we thinking of trying to have a child once my contraceptive implant is removed in under 2 years, however I have a fear of being pregnant and it lasting for 9 months.

    To me being pregnant is like having a parasite attached to me, wriggling around in my tummy and living off me. I cannot stand that. I am not afraid of childbirth, I know it can be painful and due to high blood pressure condition could lead to complications, but I look forward to it and already have ideas I would like if I was giving birth.

    But the fear of being pregnant is only thing holding me back. I have talked to my parents and siblings but my family and doctor, think I am making it up and they are putting off addressing the issue until I am pregnant, which at this rate will never happen. My husband understands my worries, but we no professional to talk to the idea is I may have to adopt a child to avoid being pregnant.

    All I want is someone to talk to to address issue and get on with it.

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  • Posted


    Did anyone have any luck finding some support for the above.

    I got married last year and I would really love to have children. All my friends are pregnant and I love planning for the arrival.....I can cope with having the baby in my arms....I am petrified about the pregnancy and labour.

    Everyone tells me it will be different when I'm pregnant, but I'm not so sure I'll even get there if i cannot get over this fear.

    My husband tries to understand, but he doesn't because he will never have to face the possibility.

    Reading the above posts, it makes me feel a lot better knowing that I am not the only one with these hard seated fears.

    If the above ladies still receive the emails, it would be interesting to know if pregnancy did ever happen for you and if so, how you were able to manage your fear.


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  • Posted

    Hi. I am nearly 29 and have wanted children for about 4 years now. 

    When I was 20 I was adamant I wasn't having any!

    For the past few years I have envied mothers pushing their babies in push chairs but have had a fear of actually being pregnant and giving birth.

    Didn't really think much of it until recently, my partner and I have talked about having children and I always imagined I would have one by the time I was 30 but recently I have found myself making excuses "I'm not in the mood" or alot of the time I have panic attacks and start shaking and we have to stop which isn't really fair on my partner. 

    I have been thinking about being pregnant and giving birth, would I survive it? I have always been scared of injections and pain so having tests and even having a caesarian would scare the crap out of me!

    I am glad that I am not alone and after an online search, I now have a name for my fear and know that other women feel the same.

    I do think that we need someone in our local hospitals who knows about this fear and is able to help and take us seriously. As the fact that I may never have children because of a so called 'stupid fear' is really upsetting for me.

    It's like what my Gran always said if I said I was depressed and felt down her reaction would be "you've got everything you want, you're good looking what have you got to be depressed about?" It's not about looks or possessions though. It's how you feel inside and it is very serious to you even if others think you are over reacting.

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  • Posted


    Thank you so much for posting this! I have always felt this way, and it's nice to hear that I am not alone!

    I got married this year and will be 30 next year, so I know my clock is ticking. I am just terrified of not being in control of my own body during pregnancy and the pain of child birth. I have no idea what my pain tolerance is and am not fond of needles (I've actually had nightmares about them). All of it feels like it would be an out-of-body experience that I would not enjoy.

    I have talked with my husband about it for years, even before we got married. And it seems we've hit a road-block of sorts. We're both okay with the idea of adopting, but we'd always wonder what our own child would be like. And wondering that, I feel like adoption wouldn't be right for us.

    I have even gone so far as to suggest us using a surrogate, but that idea also stresses me out since I wouldn't be able to monitor what's happening to the baby. I'm really not a control-freak....I just like to have all the facts and would definitely want to monitor something like that very closely.

    I'm really at a loss and I'm afraid that not having kids will be something I'll regret later in life.... I just can't seem to get past my fears in order to make that happen.

    Have you (or anyone else) been able to get past your fear of this? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in adance!

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