The Emotional Aspects of Infertility

I knew that infertility was a difficult topic to talk about, and I feel like I've had enough close friends go through it to know something -- but even I was surprised by the statistic that 61 percent of couples experiencing infertility don't tell people about it. That's a lot of people keeping their feelings to themselves -- and I won't say it's true for all of them, but it's hard on a marriage to do that. Blame, shame, anger and regret can be toxic to a relationship. Some people I interviewed said it made them stronger. Some people said it wasn't their marriage that suffered but friendships or relationships with their parents, siblings and in laws. 

A century ago, infertility was not talked about like it is today -- but still I think we're not as open about it as we could be. There's a lot of undercurrents about sex, money and choices there and all of those are hard on their own. Oh, and some religion, too. It's fraught with time pressure, financial pressure and social pressure. I'm pleased to see people working on getting support, and the medical science is certainly improving. 

But we've got a long way to go...there's a lot of issues here for individuals, couples and families. What do they want? How do they cope when it's extremely difficult? How do they deal with the ticking clock?  And what can people who love them do to help?

Here's my story in The Health Journal, along with some tips on that:

Infertility....Has to Start with Fertility

My magazine editor asked me to write a story about infertility...maybe 900 words? And I said, "I just don't think it's possible to cover all the nuances in that amount." So, now it's a five part series! I thought I knew a lot about this, after moderating an online moms group for years, and seeing some of my best friends deal with miscarriages, blood disorders and long waits to finally get to announce their pregnancies. But after talking to many more people about this topic, I feel that it's still so much to absorb. First, people don't know many basics of fertility -- including the ages when fertility declines. I think this is a failure of our health education system that much of our information comes from celebrity magazines -- a number of people cited older actresses having babies as reassurance that they "had time." 

Here's the story, and I hope you'll keep following along!