That headline? Unfortunately, it’s true. 1 in 8 couples are affected by infertility.
To put things into perspective, think of people you know and their partners. Coworkers of yours, friends, even family. Odds are that you know someone who is struggling with infertility, whether or not they choose to disclose their struggles. Often individuals feel as though they have to struggle with infertility in silence, and that it’s a taboo topic that should only be kept within the couple. Thought trains like this are part of the reason so few people know just how common infertility is.
This feeling of lost loneliness is why RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, focuses so much on promoting National Infertility Awareness Week. This year, NIAW runs from April 18th through the 24th. And even if you do personally do not struggle with infertility, there are all kinds of ways you can show your support and get involved.
Want to get involved? We can help.
Since the main purpose of NIAW is to spread awareness about infertility, its causes and treatments, we’ll start there.
1 in 8 individuals works out to just around 15%. That’s a significant number of people who are trying to get pregnant and can’t. And yet, for the most part, we don’t hear very much about infertility – or fertility treatment awareness – in the mainstream media. Infertility is viewed as an “issue” that is always something that happens to “them,” rather than “us,” and, as plenty of “us”es and “them”s can tell you – infertility can happen to just about anybody. There are so many varying factors involved.
Sometimes infertility is the cause of endometriosis or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which affects the egg’s ability to release and implant properly. Sometimes it’s the result of anatomical abnormalities, like scarred fallopian tubes or fibroid tumors block the egg from meeting the sperm or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting as it should. Advanced maternal age, which affects egg quantity and quality is always a factor, and infertility can even occur as the result of an overly active immune system that treats the egg and/or fertilized egg as an “invader” and kills it off by doing it’s job.
Alternatively, there are also male fertility factors involved, which are equally as common as female infertility factors. These include things like low sperm count, sperm that are abnormally shaped or sperm that don’t swim right. Sometimes men have an anatomical deformity and/or blockage that prevents sperm from being able to mix with semen before ejaculation, or they may not make any sperm at all.
There are too many things that contribute to infertility, and not enough is being said about it.
You can make a difference by participating in National Infertility Awareness Week
Your voice – and support – can make a big difference in the movement towards infertility awareness.
- You can read and share stories submitted by participants. Every story you post on your social media network helps to get the word out in an exponential way. Have an infertility story of your own? RESOLVE and the rest of us would love to support you on your journey, and let your story help others realize they are not alone..
- Make it a point to get involved. This year, there will be virtual walks that you can participate in. You can share what you learn on social media, show a friend or family member that you support their cause, and that you’re willing to stand with them, and others like them, whenever they need it.
- This year, on Wednesday, April 21st, #WearOrange is the place to be. Show your support on social media by posting yourself in orange, be it t shirts, sweaters, makeup, or more, and hashtag the post with #WearOrange to show your support.
There are many other ways you can get involved. Check out https://infertilityawareness.org/ to learn more!
It’s the Overlake community’s sincerest hope that someday, an infertility diagnosis will simply mean a slight medical change for individuals and couples, rather than the beginning of a potentially draining journey. Do your part this year and show those who need support the most just how many people hear them.