It’s Not As Easy As 1, 2, 3 – National Infertility Awareness Week


In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I sat down with my sister, who has been working through infertility with her husband for over four years and compiled some important facts, questions, and information to share.

5 Ways to Support Someone You Love Who is Going Through Infertility:

  1. Continue to be a part of our lives. Don’t change how you include us just because we’re dealing with infertility.
  2. Remember the details and ask about them. Just like any other medical condition, we are sorting through tests, information and details, and having our loved ones be active in knowing and asking helps us know that you’re invested.
  3. Unless you’ve been through it, don’t give unsolicited advice. We’re sharing not to get help, just support.
  4. Interact with us in other ways. It’s always on our minds, but we like to talk about other things. Make sure to remember we have other interests and life changes.
  5. Support our decisions on how to best expand our family, no matter what. If we decide not to pursue a treatment, that’s our decision. There are a million factors involved that you may or may not know.

4 Things I’ve Learned While Dealing with Infertility:

  1. There are a lot of people going through this, more than I ever thought.
  2. Yet, many people have never been through it or know someone who has, and have no knowledge of infertility, the complexity, or causes.
  3. It affects approximately 7% of all men, and in the Miami Valley region, there is only ONE male infertility specialist (that’s all of Dayton and Cincinnati). 40-50% of all infertility issues in couples are attributed to male infertility. That means that all couples facing infertility due to the male influence in our region must see a single doctor!
  4. Trying to conceive with infertility is exhausting and sometimes makes me what to give up. Holding onto my dream of having children is the only thing that gets me through. And sometimes new test results or information force me to change what that dream looks like or how I thought I would achieve it.

3 Things I Wish I Had Known From the Beginning:

  1. I wish I had known to see a specialist as soon as I realized that we were struggling to conceive.
  2. That we should both be tested at the same time. My OB told me to wait for my test results because “most of the time it’s the woman,” and “the tests are expensive.” My husband’s test was $100.
  3. The effect that infertility, trying to conceive, and treatments would have on me emotionally, and how those feeling would shape how I interacted with others.

2 Things I Wish Others Knew:

  1. Don’t assume we don’t want to be in your life just because you have children, and please don’t make that decision for us by not inviting us to events or sharing your lives with us.
  2. Just because we’re not talking about it doesn’t mean we’re not still dealing with it.

1 Thing I Wish People Would Just Stop Saying:

  1. “Just stop thinking/trying and it will happen.”

Most infertility requires some sort of medical intervention, and those of us that are working through it are experiencing some level of invasion of our privacy, both physically and emotionally. Being aware of the many facets of infertility, regardless of the results, will help those that are in our lives better relate to our experiences and, therefore, support us through it.


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