Support the Infertility Community During National Infertility Awareness Week
“The CDC tells us that 15% of couples in America experience infertility. Infertility does not discriminate based on race, religion, sexuality or economic status. You never know how badly you want something until you are told that it may not be possible.” – Resolve, the National Infertility Association
Decades of growth toward better infertility care
Each year, the last week of April is recognized as National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). Since 1989, this time period has been set aside to acknowledge the difficulties couples and individuals face while trying to conceive and build their families.
Fortunately, in the almost three decades since NIAW began, infertility and the services used to treat the condition are more widely known and improving each year. IVF, even if you do not know the extent of the process, is now a household term, and more infertility patients feel comfortable openly discussing their journey with family and friends.
How to support the infertility community during NIAW
NIAW is important for many reasons, but one key reason is to convey that infertility patients are not alone. One in eight American couples face infertility, so the chances are high that you may know someone who has needed some type of testing and treatment if you have not received any treatment yourself. Whether they are a part of the infertility community or not, many may wonder how to best support those undergoing treatment. NIAW presents an excellent opportunity to get started.
1. Share stories – If you are comfortable sharing your infertility story or a family member/friend has shared their story with you, a great way to keep the train of awareness going is to share the story on social media (with permission, of course).
2. Attend your local “Walk of Hope” – Resolve hosts many Walk of Hope events across the country to support infertility patients. You can also create your own walk if an event is not hosted in your area.
3. Get educated – The easiest way to become comfortable speaking on a new topic is to learn as much as you can about it. Even with the care of an infertility specialist, patients can worry about discussing infertility because they do not wish to face a question they can’t answer. There is no need to become an expert overnight, but discussing your diagnosis and treatment plan (at your comfort level) can be easier and less stressful once you’ve learned some additional information beyond the basics. It is your right as a patient to have your questions addressed by your physician, so you should feel free to ask questions during appointments.
Chelsea Fertility NYC encourages patients interested in learning more about the different kinds of infertility treatment to visit our blog, filled with information about IVF, egg donation, LGBT family-building and more.