Did you know that a staggering #1in8 couples struggle to build and grow their families? That means that in your community, out of 100 families you know, 12 have or will struggle with infertility.
Ever catch yourself thinking or saying; “At least it’s only infertility and not….”? The thing is infertility is not an “at least,” it is a real struggle even when the loss does not appear tangible. It is a loss of a dream, a loss of potential, a loss of a child/ren, a loss of time and depleted energy.
Did you know that infertility is not only a women’s issue? 50% of infertility is attributed to male factor and 50% is attributed to female factor. And of these 30% are both male and female factor.
Did you know that just because someone has had a child/ren does not mean that they cannot experience infertility? Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to term after previously having one or more children. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, more than 1 million couples struggle with secondary infertility.
As family, friends and community it may seem difficult to support those facing infertility. Sometimes it may even feel like we try but cannot succeed. Here are 8 facts and 8 alternatives to supporting those we know and love who are facing infertility. Let us partner and ensure that no one has to suffer alone:
#ShedTheLight on Infertility - 8 ways
- 1 in 8 couples face infertility: Find a new ice breaker, “How many kids do you have?” could be painful
- Infertility is a medical diagnosis: “Just relax” will not treat my diagnosis, but a box of chocolate shared with friends, or a coffee date may ease my mind for a few minutes
- Infertility is not only a women’s issue, 50% of infertility diagnoses are male factor: Have you checked in with your guy friends? They also need support and are feeling the struggle.
- We live life in 2 week blocks: Fertility treatment revolves around a two week scehdule. We have to wait 2 weeks to find out if we are pregant and treatment worked. Things you can do: send me a meal during treatment, a care package during the two week wait or take me out (movies/coffee) to give me a little break from sitting home, looking at my phone, waiting for the call from the doctors office.
- We grieve every unsuccessful cycle: Offer to hold space for my pain even if you do not understand it. Click here to watch a 2 min video by Brene Brown if your unsure of what to say.
- Being a couple without children feels lonely even in a crowd: We are aware of the emptiness of our arms, respect our need not to accept every social invitation and don't take it personally.
- Sometimes our experience is hidden because we already have a child: The spacing between my children was not a choice, be cautious about comments such as "when are you going to try for another?" , "You should have them close together", "your not getting any younger" or "you made such cute child, you need to have more!"
- Your words have the power to pick me up or hurt me: Be kind in your language, my emotions are fragile, when you are unsure what to say just listen and keep showing up.
Partner with Yesh Tikva to shed light on infertility and impact the lives of the 1 in 8 who struggle.