Infertility is one of those diseases not often discussed. Whether that is because of shame, embarrassment, a bad history with reactions, or the fact that it isn’t entirely understood, this is the week when we come together and talk about how important it is to be aware. And that’s the point: not celebrating it, but raising awareness.
Is it really a disease?
YES. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. It can affect men and women. Approximately 8 million couples and individuals in the United States alone suffer from infertility. I have it, my husband has it, and at least one person you know and talk to on a daily basis has it.
Why is it important?
Many of us suffer in silence. We all have our reasons. Personally, I just live a more private life than most people. I don’t Instagram my breakfast, I don’t vent on Facebook, and I don’t talk about my reproductive issues publicly. I’m not ashamed of infertility, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about what is often considered a sensitive topic. If I can at least help raise awareness for one week a year, I feel like I am contributing to this large community of millions of people suffering the same loss, pain, anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism I feel every day.
Resolve to know more
Every year during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), Resolve selects a new theme. This year it is “Resolve to Know More.” I haven’t participated in raising awareness quite as much I should have. You know.. life happens. But I do want to “come out” on this blog and admit my husband and my struggle to conceive. It has been a long, 10-year-long road for us. It has been over 9 years since our miscarriage. It will be the 10-year shit-a-versary this November.
How you can help:
If you know someone struggling with infertility, be kind and offer your support, but refrain from trying to give them advice. I promise they have heard it all before.