Immortal Infertility

So you're given the ability to live forever and now you want to become a parent...and then you find out that you can't sire or even have children. Well, that totally sucks! However, for those who become immortal and either want to live hedonistically or just see the possibility that whatever children they may have may not inherit immortality, this may come as a blessing.

The reason for this is that a race that reproduces but doesn't die will eventually overcrowd the world. Also, immortal characters aren't as unique if there are too many of them.


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    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics' The Eternals are not only immortal but nearly indestructible as well; however they can only have Eternal children with other Eternals, and even then, only once every millennium or so.

  • The Justice Champions from Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm are kind of like this. Their infertility comes from their bodies diverting resources toward more critical systems, such as the mechanisms that generate their powers. This condition can be temporarily reversed by drinking the correct chemical compound.

  • The Immortals of the Highlander series of films face this trope as the downside of their having immortality. In Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Connor MacLeod has adopted a son because he can't have children any other way.

  • Nathan Brazil, the immortal guardian of the universe in Jack Chalker's Well World series. Since it's not possible for anyone else to be immortal (you have to be programmed into the computer that stabilizes the universe) he considers not being doomed to outlive descendants a mercy.
  • In Piers Anthony's series, Incarnations of Immortality, while serving as an Incarnation, one thing that is stopped is aging and, since reproduction is an aspect of aging (cellular meiosis), they are unable to bear or sire children. When they leave "office", the restriction is lifted. This causes one of the characters to be nearly the same age as her son, physically at least (she had relatives raise him while she was in office. )
  • In Aleksandr Zarevin'sLonely Gods of the Universe, any female who takes ambrosia becomes The Ageless and gets a pretty good Healing Factor, not to mention regressing to her 20's if she's older. However, she also becomes unable to conceive. This does not apply to men, though. In fact, the reason humans have hair colors other than black is because of the children sired by Human Alien men who have taken ambrosia with human women, as all humans originally had black hair.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Night Watch books, vampires are stated to be able to have one child after being turned, after which their reproductive system shuts off. No one can quite explain why this is the case. This does not apply to any other type of Others, but vampires are a special case.

  • Almost any female vampire.
  • Persephone from Greek Mythology, for the same reason.

  • Implied through Jesus' teachings in the Gospels, through His discussion with the Sadducees about the seven brothers that married one woman who all died, that those who are worthy of the resurrection will "neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in heaven", indicating that there won't even be the desire for sexual intercourse among believers in their resurrected forms.
    • Sometimes used by Bible students to argue the case that the "sons of God" in Genesis chapter 6 could not be angels, but rather be the children of Seth's lineage marrying those of Cain's lineage (the "daughters of men").
    • This doesn't stop an Other Light member in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come from trying to impregnate a female "glorified" through an Attempted Rape that God foils by causing him to die in her arms before being incinerated.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marines and Orks. The former are known to achieve lives of over a millenia (and that's in a galaxy of horrible things trying their hardest to kill them), but the process that turns them into superhuman soldiers also makes them sterile (though as Warrior Monks, they don't have much interest in families anyway). The latter will continue to grow bigger as they age (being part mammal, part fungus) and in fact need to die to reproduce, producing spores that will mature into more orks.