We began April with April Fool’s Day, a day when many think it is funny to announce a pretend pregnancy and see the response. However, April 24-30, 2016 is also Infertility Awareness Week, where the other side of the line does not find those jokes too funny.
The National Infertility Awareness movement began in 1989, The Department of Health and Human Services recognized National Infertility Awareness Week in 2010.
This topic affects me personally and I often struggle with it during the holidays and family functions. From my wedding day until now, someone has always asked the dreaded question, “When are you going to have a baby?”. It seems innocent enough, but it opens a big can of soggy worms when someone has been struggling with fertility, especially if there is a long story behind it. Often the person who asks regrets the question and feels bad about the response.
Infertility is a disease that has medical specialists to diagnose and treat the illness. 1 in 8 US couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. Men and women both struggle with infertility for many difference reasons and everyone handles it in their own way. Infertility can be expensive, disappointing, frustrating and depressing. It often leads to feelings of failure and marital disputes.
Being aware of infertility and sensitive to the disease process can help you be a more informed and supportive person to those in your life that may be struggling. Please be considerate and ensure that others around you follow your lead when it comes to addressing infertility among family, friends and even strangers. What may seem innocent to one can be quite hurtful to someone diagnosed with infertility.
The RESOLVE group (a non-profit The National Infertility Association, Est in 1974) has issued the following:
25 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Living with Infertility
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