I am 1 in 8


NIAW2014

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Be part of the infertility movement, learn more about infertility. Resolve to know more. Knowledge is power!! Infertility is more common than you may think, one in 8 couples you know struggle with infertility. I am 1 in 8.

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. One third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factor (like us), and about one third (30% can be attributed to female factors. In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.

I found this article on RESOLVE’s website, and thought it was really good….so I wanted to share. It’s from a retiring volunteer support group leader:

“Top 10 things I learned about Infertility”

  1. Infertility is linear…you don’t know how you’re going feel about any treatment or any part of it until you get there.  One minute you may say “no way” to IVF, and then you find yourself giving yourself shots and counting follicles!
  2. Men (husbands/partners) do care, and they will be great fathers. But, in my experience, I’ve noticed that their highs are not as high nor are their lows as low on the path to parenthood. Most of them are able to picture life without children without tears coming to their eyes and can easily see how life with more money and no children can be a viable version of a happy ending. I don’t completely buy the conventional explanation of “it’s not happening to their body.” I think it’s more that many of them are Cubs fans and are used to painful disappointment for the team they love.
  3. There’s no dipping your toe into the infertility world. You’re either underwater or by the side of the pool.
  4. You cannot understand this until you go through it. Period.
  5. Pick a few people to talk to this about, and then forgive them if they ask you how it’s going when you don’t want to talk about it. Letting people in and talking about this pain can really ease the burden, but once they’re in, they’re in — no two ways about it.
  6. Baby showers, baby pictures, hearing moms complain about their kids — these are all things that can, and probably should, be removed from your life for the time being.  
  7. Jealousy and intense dislike (I intensely dislike the word hate) are a natural part of the human rainbow of emotions. Feel them, forgive yourself, and move on.
  8. It’s likely that not all relationships in your life will survive infertility. Friends who get pregnant while you can’t may be casualties. It happens.
  9. Have talking points when you go to Christmas dinner….or just out for coffee. When people ask if you have kids or if you plan to, have something ready to say, so you don’t have to think on your feet.  Mine were: “It doesn’t look like it’s in the cards for us.” That seemed to make people feel a little bad for asking (which I have to admit I wanted) and let folks know we’d tried, which, for some reason, I also wanted.
  10. Nothing stresses a woman out more than being told to relax. This is not your fault.  

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25 thoughts on “I am 1 in 8

  1. I agree with most of this… but I take issue with #2, especially this sentence: “Most of them are able to picture life without children without tears coming to their eyes and can easily see how life with more money and no children can be a viable version of a happy ending.”

    It may or may not be accurate that guys experience the highs and lows of IF differently than women do. I would more buy into that from the perspective of the things happening to the woman’s body, the hormones involved, etc. But to belittle a man’s desire to be a father and insinuate that desire is less real or important that a woman’s desire to be a mother… that’s based on nothing more than gender stereotyping, and is unfair to both men and women, frankly.

    • I don’t think it’s in anyway belittling a man’s desire to be a father, or insinuating that the desire is less real or important. There are men out there that DO have a strong desire to be a father… And they are the exception.

      If the article had said “all men” I could see where it might be offensive or gender stereotyping… But it didn’t. And most stereotypes are placed because there are circumstances and situations that have made certain things or people appear the way they are being perceived.

      • I find stereotyping in any manner is insulting and disrespectful to the group of people you are stereotyping. You say that the group of men who don’t fit into the writers description are the “exception”, but that implies that there is some “rule” they are supposed to be following. In 2014, it is long passed time where we stop treating groups of people like they all should behave the same, and start recognizing that everyone is different, and each individual has, and deserves, their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are different than everyone else’s.

      • Stereotyping for the sake of stereotyping IS insulting and disrespectful. And it doesn’t imply a rule they should be following, only a rule that’s been set by the group themselves. I think a better word would be perception than stereotype. And I don’t think we treat people like they SHOULD behave, but rather how they HAVE behaved. Everyone IS different and each individual has – and deserves – their own thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are different than everyone else’s. And the fact of the matter is, there ARE men out there that ARE able to “picture life without children… And see how life with more money and no children can be a viable version of a happy ending” just as there are women out there that feel the same.

      • I agree with you because my husband was able to see a light at the end of the tunnel if we decided to live child free, where I could not see any way of that working. And it is mostly the same for my IF friends. Mostly – not entirely. For some couples it is exactly the opposite.

  2. It’s a pretty good article, I’m out and proud with my friends and family though. I don’t care if the subject of infertility is uncomfortable for them, for me it helps to talk about what latest thing I’m doing now. I have found that beating around the bush inspires others to say ignorant things. So if I am open and frank about my struggles…they will hear me and empathize rather than pity me.

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