Grab yourself a box of Kleenex and step into someone else’s shoes. #1in6 couples will face infertility. #1in6 people experience a silent torment of emotion. #1in6 wake up and fight through the day with optimism and positivity. #1in6 have empty pockets and empty arms. #1in6 wonder if and when they will ever conceive. #1in6 feel infertility stigma. If brave enough, #1in6 share their story to help someone else cope.
The #1in6 campaign empowers couples to speak out about their personal struggles with infertility. It builds a community of support and provides education to those who are struggling in silence. These heart-wrenching stories can be found here. After reading these raw experiences it is clear that this issue needs global attention because #fertilitymatters.
Why is infertility the unwritten, never discussed rule, that families keep a secret? Typically family secrets are full of drama and something worth feeling ashamed of. Infertility is the exact opposite of that! The issue is real and the couples that are experiencing difficulty have done nothing wrong. The act of conception is not always successful (#1in6). In fact, many different things both medically and physically can pose an obstacle. Not only is this extremely frustrating but once the deed is done we STILL face stigma. It’s engraved in us to keep our pregnancies quiet for the first twelve weeks to rule out miscarriage, but this strategy doesn’t make it any easier if something goes wrong. In fact, it makes the emotional burden deeper and distances us further from the support of family and friends that we need to recover.
Unfortunately, school curriculums don’t teach young adults enough about fertility in sexual education. Our bodies have extremely intricate systems. Yes, there are similarities and we usually share the same anatomy, but our genetic makeup is unique and what works for one person may not work for the other. There are so many different causes of infertility. The list of symptoms and medical terms is overwhelming. Thankfully there are doctors, specialists, researchers and scientists that work every day to help educate and assist couples around the world. Our technology is advancing and these procedures are becoming more common. Special treatment comes with a cost and fertility coverage isn’t very common. On top of medical and emotional challenges couples also deal with financial stress.
Let’s jump start a discussion about infertility and embrace each other through our personal struggles. After all, #1in6 is an extremely common statistic. #FertilityMatters is a trending hashtag for #FertilityAwareness week happening May 12-20th. Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook to educate yourself and others on this global topic that affects so many hearts. Help end the infertility stigma for good!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.