As we enter Infertility Awareness Week, it is important to remember that not every woman experiences the same struggles with infertility. You likely know someone who was pregnant within their first month of TTC and also someone who struggled with TTC for so long that they needed to begin the process of IVF, surrogacy or adoption. Infertility is an uncomfortable subject. Those who struggle with being unable to conceive feel as though they have somehow failed. That somehow they are not enough of a woman. It becomes a dark secret that they share only with their spouse or significant other. The purpose of Infertility Awareness Week is to bring into the light that struggling to conceive is not shameful. Infertility has many causes and there is no “cure” for many of these. There are procedures and options, but often these are at a high cost or risk to the couple who is trying to conceive. Daily Mom wants you to know that you are not alone. During this week we will bring you several resources about infertility treatments, options and support.
What defines infertility?
There are degrees of infertility. The majority of infertile couples are actually sub fertile – they produce eggs and sperm but have difficulty conceiving due to disorders such as hormone imbalances and problems of the reproductive tract. Cases of total infertility – where no eggs or sperm are produced – are rare.
- “One in six couples is infertile. In 40 per cent of cases the problem rests with the male, in 40 per cent with the female, ten per cent with both partners, and in a further ten per cent of cases, the cause is unknown.
- Fertility problems strike one in three women over 35.
- One in 25 males has a low sperm count and one in 35 is sterile.
- For healthy couples in their twenties having regular unprotected sex, the chance of becoming pregnant each month is 25 per cent.
- The chance of conceiving in an IVF cycle is on average around 20 per cent (but varies due to individual circumstances).”
Many times finding out that you are infertile puts a strain on your relationship with your spouse. You may experience personal guilt while also fostering resentment toward your partner. It is important to remember that you need to work through infertility together and not harbor hard feelings toward one another. You are working toward the common goal of creating a life so do not lose focus by turning on your partner!
Do not underestimate your feelings about this devastating news but do not let it consume your life and relationships. Take charge of finding out all that you can about your particular struggle with infertility by being tested by your general practitioner, gynecologist or by going to a fertility specialist. These doctors will be able to help you create a plan that helps you move closer toward your goal of conceiving. You may find that you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance that can be corrected with supplements or perhaps it may be treated by removing scar tissue or polyps from your ovaries. The solution to your infertility may be as simple as a diet plan or as overwhelming as IVF but it is always better to know than to spend all of your energy wondering.
If you find that you are facing infertility and are overwhelmed, talk to someone. You will likely find that there are other women, even in your close circle of friends, who struggled to conceive and you never knew. Join forums online or even connect with the Daily Mom Facebook community. Many of our readers (and writers) have struggled with trying to conceive and would love to share encouragement, strength, and even their own personal battles with you.