Women Posting Home Pregnancy Test Results Online Is New TMI Trend

Illustration for article titled Women Posting Home Pregnancy Test Results Online Is New TMI Trend

Oversharing is, at this point, routine on the internet. It seemed that we'd seen it all before—because people had shown it all. But Slate has picked up on a new trend in TMI-ness they've dubbed "WombTube" in which women vlog the results of their home pregnancy tests, sharing their news with world wide web well before clearing the first three months (when miscarriages are most common) and in some cases before they've even missed their first period.

It's not that I think that there's anything wrong with the unbridled excitement of these moms-to-be. (I've posted a video of myself getting a colonic. How could I possibly judge a woman for peeing on a stick online when I've pooped in a tube?) But I do think it's a little bit bizarre for a couple of reasons, one of which being what I've mentioned above about the risk of miscarriage, especially considering that many of these vloggers are part of the Trying to Conceive (TTC) community, documenting their sometimes troubled road to conception on YouTube, which is occasionally plagued with the loss of pregnancy. This is the case with one TTC vlogger who stated that she was attempting to conceive again after a very recent miscarriage. She had previously vlogged about that pregnancy, but removed those videos after miscarrying. Despite that personal emotional roller coaster, she shared the results of her First Response test several days before her missed period.

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The other thing that's a little weird about the WombTubers is that despite their very public practice of sharing their pregnancy results (and sometimes cups of urine) online for the entire world to see, they seem to be otherwise incredibly private people. None of them who were approached for a quote would respond to Slate's Marisa Meltzer's questions.

WombTube [Slate]

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DISCUSSION

I kind of see why this is appealing for people in the TTC community. I've had friends and family go through difficulties conceiving, and in each case, they mostly kept it to themselves. For a while. But once you've gone through a certain amount of disappointment and frustration, I think it starts to compound the frustration to feel like you have to hide it from other people.

A close friend of mine miscarried, but didn't tell anyone at work because it seemed too personal. But when it happened a second time, she broke down. Imagine having something that devastating happen and not feeling able to tell the people around you. She didn't even feel like she could take time off, because she didn't feel like she could explain why. The event was as traumatic for her as losing a parent might be for me — so why should she feel like she has to keep it quiet? Eventually she realized that she needed to be more open about what was going on, if only to explain to the people around her why she was more emotional than normal.

Some people spend years trying to conceive, but in general our culture feels its "TMI" to discuss the associated problems in a public way. I can see how that sense of being shrouded and secretive would lead some women to find an outlet for the experience online.