The terms “sterility” and “infertility” are often used interchangeably in common language, though there are distinctions in the world of medical professionals.

Both terms refer to an inability to create offspring (or to put it in a less creepily clinical way, have kids) and can be a significant issue in the lives of many.

It can happen to anyone, for a huge number of reasons, and be temporary or permanent. In other words, there’s just no knowing who it might strike. Here are some stories from people who have been there.

10. Big surprise!

A sterile diagnosis can’t really be 100% sure…

Source: Whisper

9. Shoot your shot

Is this a really weird sequel to A Christmas Story?

Source: Whisper

8. Stay

Absolutely tragic.

Source: Whisper

7. Oh boy

Remember, there’s always adoption!

Source: Whisper

6. The end

It may sting for now, but who shares your genes is not as important as who shares your love.

Source: Whisper

5. It’s a miracle!

Or a misdiagnosis, but, either way, congrats!

Source: Whisper

4. Love me

Don’t beat yourself up, this is far from a dealbreaker for most people.

Source: Whisper

3. Have a heart

Better to build on honesty now.

Source: Whisper

2. Acting up

Gotta love a happy ending.

Source: Whisper

1. The bummer

Sometimes the feelings are as simple as that.

Source: Whisper

I think it bears repeating that if you can’t reproduce on your own, there’s always adoption. In the United States alone there are over 100,000 kids waiting for homes right now. And it might just be the most rewarding adventure of your life.

How would you feel if you found out you were sterile?

Tell us in the comments.