Today marks the beginning of Infertility Awareness Week. Here at Physicians East, we feel that infertility is an important topic of discussion. About 1 in 8 women will have trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to full term. For women or couples trying to get pregnant, the process may take years and sadly some will never get to experience it at all. It’s a tough course to navigate and that’s why we think talking about it is important.
For women that struggle with infertility, they often feel isolated and alone. It has been described as mourning the loss of a child with each and every month that passes while trying to get pregnant. Each month the woman dares to ask herself if this will be the month that she is able to finally get the good news. She hopes and anticipates that moment when she learns that she will become a mother. When her menstrual cycle hits, it is as if that life she had been dreaming of is lost and she must start over again. It’s exhausting both mentally and physically. If you’ve struggled with infertility, you know this feeling too well.
The purpose of National Infertility Awareness Week is to ask women and their loved ones to join together in support of one another. The National Infertility Association (NIA), has started a campaign, #StartAsking, to inspire people to talk about infertility. They are encouraging women that struggle with infertility to talk about it openly to break down the barriers and the stigma around infertility. In talking, they hope to make the journey just a little less lonely for someone that having trouble getting pregnant themselves. The campaign also asks friends and loved ones to get involved by sending messages or phone calls of support to someone they know that is facing infertility. It’s always helpful to hear that you have someone in your corner! The campaign has a few great resources tied to it that we thought might be helpful to everyone affected by infertility.
Helpful Online Resources Through NIA:
Everyone has good intentions when discussing infertility with their friend that has been trying to get pregnant for two years, but are we saying the right things? Here is a list of a few things NOT to say and some suggestions on what you can say to offer support. This is written by women who know first-hand what it is like.
If you or someone you love is dealing with infertility, here is some helpful information to help you understand this health issue better, provide you with additional resources and answer some questions you might have.
Studies show that when people get involved in the things they are passionate about they begin to feel empowered and in control of something that once felt very out-of- control. It’s a great way to turn something that was once negative in your life into a positive change that others can benefit from.
When it comes to friends or family dealing with someone they love who is unable to conceive, the best policy is honesty. If you don’t know what to say to your friend that has been struggling with infertility, tell her. “I’m so sorry. I don’t even know what to say and I hate that I can’t do anything to make it better. Please know that I am here for you to help you in any way that I possibly can”. It might just be the gentle encouragement and support that she needed to make it through her day.
If you are dealing with infertility, please talk to your obstetrician if you haven’t already. Physicians East proudly offers two practices for your OB/GYN needs, Greenville Women's Clinic and Greenville OB/GYN. Both have wonderfully caring and skilled physicians and Greenville OB/GYN has a team of midwives, as well, to serve your needs. Whether you are at the beginning, the middle or the end of your journey, we are here to support you and as always, want the very best for your future.