National Infertility Week: Listen, Learn & Share

1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Yes, you read that right, 1 in 8. That means that if you are not affected by infertility, it is very likely that you know someone that is.

Before we dive into infertility, it is important to understand what defines infertility. There are two classifications:

  • Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year having sex without using birth control methods.
  • Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been able to get pregnant at least once, but now are unable.

As many of you know, Adam and I are one of those couples that had difficulty getting pregnant. Before going through it myself, the thought of having a hard time getting pregnant never crossed my mind. It also was not a common topic of discussion between Adam and I, our families or our friends. It always seemed as though our friends quickly got pregnant and we assumed the same would happen for us. In reality, it took over 2 years with some extra help from modern day science. That is why I am sharing this information and why this week is so important to me.

Infertility needs to be talked about more, understood better, and people should not feel alone or hopeless. In many instances, we felt alone throughout the process – as if something was wrong with us. In hindsight, I look back and can’t believe we felt that way. There’s nothing wrong with us and come to find out, we know so many people who have fought the same fight.

I am grateful there is a week dedicated to creating awareness around infertility! It is wonderful to see people speaking up, sharing their stories, and offering help and guidance. In this post, I want to shed some light on a few real life infertility stats, offer some helpful resources, and most importantly, provide hope for those who feel lost, scared or even ashamed that they are struggling. You are not alone and shouldn’t feel hopeless.

Let’s talk statistics. Here are a few stats about infertility and those it affects:

  • 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.
  • A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system only has a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month.
  • About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
  • Infertility is not hereditary. However, there are medical conditions that are hereditary which may interfere with your ability to get pregnant. Such conditions are polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and thyroid/hormone disorders.
  • Infertility issues can stem from either partner – it takes two to tango. About one-third of infertility cases are caused by women’s problems. Another one third of fertility problems are due to men’s problems. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by unexplained infertility.
  • Up to 30% of infertility patients are “diagnosed” with unexplained infertility, meaning everything “should” be working conception isn’t happening.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require coverage for infertility treatments. Only eight states have an insurance mandate that requires qualified employers to include IVF coverage in their plans offered to employees: Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Informative and resourceful websites

The internet has a wealth of information on infertility, and with the amount of information out there, it can almost be overwhelming. Below are a few resources to help get your started:

  • Resolve: They are a non profit organization dedicated to provide information, help and support for those going through infertility and those who want to help others going through infertility.
  • Creating A Family: A national adoption & infertility education organization geared towards strengthening families through unbiased education and support for infertility patients, adoptive parents, and allied professionals.
  • FertilityIQ: An online resource for fertility patients to get detailed information on doctors, clinics, treatments, costs, etc.
  • National Infertility Awareness Week: The official website of National Infertility Awareness Week. They have a great list of blogs that have participated in sharing infertility stories and awareness that are worth checking out.
  • Some other blogs to check out include lemonwater, Dreaming of Diapers, and Trails Bring Joy. I’d also like to point out my friend Jamie’s blog, Organized Chaos, where she shares her infertility stories which include the conception of two beautiful daughters and currently another bun in the oven.

In addition to the resources above, there are many great communities out there like What To Expect and BabyCenter that have dedicated trying to conceive and infertility groups. These communities can be a great way to read about others journeys, ask questions, get support, and help you not feel alone in the process.

Northeast Florida fertility clinics

For those of you in or near Northeast Florida, here are some of the fertility clinics in our area:

Landon Loves The Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine

How can you help?

  • Spread awareness! If you have been affected by infertility, share your story with friends and family to let others know that infertility issues are common and nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Donate to RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, to help them continue to educate and inform the population about infertility issues.
  • Get social! Share this post or check out some other inspirational ideas.

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