Saturday, April 30, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 24 - 30 is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).  I've been very active on Twitter this week in support of NIAW. 

For NIAW this year, Resolve has challenged the IF community to Bust A Myth about Infertility.  I've been contemplating this blog post all month, but for some reason I've been unable to sit down and write it.  I've written the post in my head, but when I try to write it, it's blank.  So be warned, I have no idea what's to come in the paragraphs ahead.

As many myths as there are about infertility, I really want to write about the Truths.

MYTH: Single women are not infertile, they just need a partner.

TRUTH: Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive.  If you are over the age of 35, the time of TTC is reduced to 6 months.  I started TTC at 38 and every cycle has been under the care of an RE.  I can't help but wonder if I had started years before if I would have struggled with infertility or not?  So many young couples experience infertility!  1 in 4 women in their late 30's and 40's will experience fertility challenges. 

MYTH: If you are infertile, do IVF, it always works.

TRUTH:  Infertility is a medical problem that can be emotionally, socially and financially crippling. IVF is unbelievably expensive with no guarantees, it does NOT work for everyone. And if the magic bullet (IVF) doesn't work, the heartbreak is extraordinary.  I've had two failed IVF's and I'm blessed with very good infertility insurance coverage.  Even with this coverage each cycle still has significant uncovered costs.  I would not be able to afford to continue treatment without my insurance coverage.  I'm one of the few lucky ones who are covered, most are not.

I had so much more to say, but I just don't feel like I'm doing the topic justice.  I'm on my second consecutive cycle with 0% chance of success (no treatments) which is simply frustrating. 

For what it's worth, I did post this week on Facebook for the first time anything related to my TTC/SMC/Infertility.  I didn't directly "come out" on Facebook, this is what I posted: 

"Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, soul crushing, life-altering experience.  April 24 - 30 is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). Whether a friend, a family member, a colleague or yourself has fought through this difficult fate that MILLIONS of people are fighting day in and day out, post this as your status if you or someone you know has walked to Hell and back for the chance to be a MOM! Visit Resolve for more information."

Anyone who has followed my blog for any period of time knows the emotional toll infertility has taken on me.  They also know, I wont give up!

One last message, if you know someone who struggles with primary infertility (the inability to conceive their first child) please be very sensitive to them with Mother's Day coming up in a week.  For me, Mother's Day is the most difficult holiday and a HUGE reminder of my pain.

For more information on NIAW visit or 


  1. I love this post. Thank you.
    I can't tell you the number of smart friends of mine, who think that IVF is about 80% effective (on any given cycle)!!!!!!!!!!! They just have Absolutely NO idea.
    And Part of the problem is that so few people feel able or are willing (for obvious reasons) to share their very difficult stories. (I was recently too scared to like a friend's facebook post on this topic, in case it would draw attention to myself!)
    Also for those without insurance, how many people would want to share that they just gambled 30 000 dollars, got nothing, and are going to do the same again in another month.

  2. I applaud your strength, your resolve, your courage, everything. If only it would guarantee you what you want most... and that is the crappiest/shittiest part.
    There are so many people in your corner cheering you on, supporting you through the ups and downs. I can literally imagine all the wonderful comments when you announce your BFP. Because despite the no guarantee, I truly believe in my heart, you WILL be a mother.

  3. It is so hard to share our infertility with many people. I know that I do not feel that I can tell many. The people with whom I did share my attempts struggled along with me. It became too hard to continue sharing as each attempt became harder for me.

    Because of my job, I did not feel like I could be open about my plans/ attempts. So now I can not even explain about the pain of infertility and why I seem so different.

    I wish more people understood the pain. People mean well when they say I just need more time, etc. How can I explain the struggle, its effects on me, and the cost-prohibitive invasive procedures? But at the same time, I am so tired of being the "downer" in a group.

  4. I've shared my process with only a few close friends. I am sure people are work are gossiping up a storm due to all the time I take off work but I don't care. Yay for least the threat of a lawsuit will keep their mouths shut and no one dares come out and ask me directly.

    Even with my friends this has caused some issue, with those who crossed to the other side and those who never had to struggle in the first place.

    It's hard for me to even comprehend the pain and struggle this has been. Although I wish I had a partner, I'm not quite sure the pain would be any less. Sharing it would not diminish it.

    Great post!

  5. Great post! As I head into my first IVF cycle (after all those failed IUIs) I am all too well aware that my statistical chance of success is only 20%. Some people just have no idea. I'm really sorry that you haven't yet succeeded in your quest to be a mom, but I am really pleased to hear that you won't give up! xx

  6. I think the shift from a kind of "social" infertility (being single) to a real fertility diagnosis is really difficult. Even after 2.5 years of treatment, my main diagnosis at the RE's office was, laughably, "male factor," which she uses whenever donor sperm is involved. Cycles off were incredibly difficult for me, too; thinking of you


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