On April 21st, National Infertility Awareness week began for this year. The week-long effort to bring attention to all issues tied to infertility was started by Resolve.org.
The event started in 1989. Resolve has been around since 1974, and defines itself as “a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.”
According to Resolve, 1 out of every 8 people you know will be diagnosed with infertility. What they don’t say, necessarily, is how quiet that one person may be about the topic. Infertility is one of those things that just don’t get talked about. Whether it’s because it’s too painful, people think it’s taboo, or any number of other reasons, people diagnosed with infertility often suffer in silence.
It is for the sake of those silent sufferers that I wanted to draw attention to this week of awareness. According to Resolve, there are three main goals for National Infertility Awareness Week:
- Ensure that people trying to conceive know the guidelines for seeing a specialist when they are trying to conceive.
- Enhance public understanding that infertility is a disease that needs and deserves attention.
- Educate legislators about the disease of infertility and how it impacts people in their state.
There are also several different ways you can take action during these 7 days. If you yourself suffer from infertility, Resolve invites you to share your story. There are many events that happen across the country that you can participate in.
At the very least, you can share the message during the week via social media channels. Resolve offers several ways to participate online, from joining their networds to using their Twibbon on Facebook and Twitter.
Navigating the waters of infertility can be extremely challenging. You not only have to deal with the emotional baggage, but there are often other health repercussions you need to worry about as well. For example, women experiencing infertility may suffer from osteoporosis far earlier than women who are on a usual path. Another issue is that many women take “birth control pills” as Hormone Replacement Therapy. The lack of education about these matters in our society is palpable.
Over the next few days, show your support for men and women who have been diagnosed with infertility. Let them know that it’s ok to share their concerns, their emotional burden, and their questions. Let them know you care. It means a lot––more than you might think. As a woman diagnosed with infertility at the age of 14, this is something I know a lot about.