Don’t ignore your ability to fight infertility.

If you’re infertile (an ugly label used to describe couples trying to conceive without success after 6-12 months (depending on age) or a woman younger than 35 who suffers multiple miscarriages), don’t ignore the lifestyle changes your system may need or treatments you can undergo. From diet and exercise to Eastern medicine to Western medicine to adoption to living child-free, the combat weapons in your infertility arsenal are as diverse as the infertile person. Somehow, some way, you have a perfect fit in this world despite infertility’s affects. Don’t ignore your ability to fight infertility.

If you aren’t fighting infertility but know someone who is, don’t ignore your ability to fight. No one will expect you to find answers, but do some research and educate yourself so you can talk with your loved ones who are fighting infertility. We all need companionship, and having someone to talk with without needing to define and describe every minute detail is invaluable. This is why so many infertile people develop strong friendships with other infertiles. Be a gentle shoulder to lean on, an inviting ear. You may not have answers, but you’ll probably be able to help your loved ones find or at least understand the answers they need. Don’t ignore your ability to fight infertility.

If you don’t know anyone who has shared their fight with infertility (1 in 8 suffer from infertility – I promise you know someone regardless of whether they’ve told you), don’t ignore your ability to fight. Be kind. Be loving. Be supportive. Don’t be negative. Don’t be insensitive. Don’t be nosy. If you have a hard day with your own children, remember the people who’d take a hard day with children of their own rather than knowing no days at all with their own children. If your pregnancy is wearing on you, remember the people who are spending their dwindling hope and bank accounts on working toward pregnancy. You have every right to address your own struggles, but remember when those struggles are attached to blessings and let your secretly infertile loved ones know you don’t take what you have for granted. Don’t ignore your ability to fight infertility.

If you’ve crossed the lines and are now a parent after fighting infertility, don’t ignore your ability to continue fighting infertility. Share your story. Share your experience – the emotions, the treatments, the tips and tricks you discovered that kept your head above water. Be a cheerleader for those just starting to fight and those still fighting. Set a positive example of how it’s possible to be supportive despite not currently facing the same struggle. Don’t ignore your ability to fight infertility.

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. One in eight couples of reproductive age are infertile. Learn more about infertility; support legislation working to ensure medical coverage for infertility treatments; donate to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, which works to provide family building support to Americans. Do something! Don’t ignore your ability to fight infertility.

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7 Responses to Don’t ignore infertility – what you can do to help (NIAW 2012)

  1. Becca says:

    Thank you.
    “I promise you know someone regardless of whether they’ve told you, don’t ignore your ability to fight. Be kind. Be loving. Be supportive. Don’t be negative. Don’t be insensitive. Don’t be nosy. If you have a hard day with your own children, remember the people who’d take a hard day with children of their own rather than knowing no days at all with their own children.”
    This exactly.
    Thank you,
    B

  2. Nicole Cha says:

    Thank you for this Jenny. You always say exactly what is in my heart.

  3. Brooke says:

    Thank you, Jenny. My husband and I are 2 in 8 and chose child-free, but it’s been a painful decision and I often feel alone. Thank you for sharing and reminding others who’ve had success to reach out to those still waiting.

  4. Bonnie says:

    Beautiful! I’ve learned so much from you, and am significantly more sensitive now to the struggles of my friends and family. Thank you for opening my eyes!

  5. Alvaro Gramley says:

    Definitions of infertility differ, with demographers tending to define infertility as childlessness in a population of women of reproductive age, while the epidemiological definition is based on “trying for” or “time to” a pregnancy, generally in a population of women exposed to a probability of conception.,-..`

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  6. Hi Jenny. Great article, thanks. I agree with what you say about diet and exercise being an important factor in fertility. I specialize in ways to increase fertility with a natural and holistic approach. I believe it is important that couples do everything they can to safely improve their chances of falling pregnant. And this begins with ensuring that they consume the right foods and reduce toxins in the body, whilst at the same time making changes to lifestyle with exercise and positive thinking. I would like to wish all the couples out there struggling with infertility the very best in making their dreams come true.

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