Nearly 1 out of 6 couples in the US face Infertility
Nearly One out of Six couples in the US are facing Infertility. A report came out this month in which researchers found the numbers to be higher than previously believed. This statistic may seem staggering to many. To the people facing infertility it may bring up another thought, “If this many people are affected, why do I feel so alone?”
Despite the high numbers of people facing infertility it still can feel like you are the only ones going through it. This may be because there is a general reluctance to speak of fertility concerns or problems. It takes courage to bring up something so personal. Unfortunately, once you take the risk of sharing you may be met with feedback that, while well meaning, often minimizes the pain of what you are going through. Comments like, “just relax, don’t think about it and you will get pregnant” or “have you considered adoption?” or “you are lucky, my kids are driving me crazy” often serve to underestimate the real fears, thought processes and stress of people facing infertility. For supportive friends and family who are tempted to make comment such as these please note a) it is almost impossible NOT to think about pregnancy when you are on a biweekly emotional roller coaster of trying to conceive b) Most couples facing infertility are making very personal decisions, know all their options, and think of them repeatedly. C) While one might prefer well behaved children, couples trying to conceive want children – even if they drive them crazy!
Sometimes it can be validating to meet with people who understand. Knowing that there are huge numbers of couples experiencing infertility isn’t enough to break the isolation associated with infertility. Connecting with people who understand and are going through some of the same challenges can often feel very supportive and help lessen the feelings of isolation. The Twin Cities area has various avenues of support for people surviving an infertility diagnosis. Support groups, both peer and professionally led can be found on the RESOLVE website. It can also be helpful to meet with a counselor who is comfortable with, and knowledgeable about, the physical and emotional components of infertility.
Despite large numbers of people facing infertility, infertility can feel lonely. There are ways to decrease this feeling of isolation. I encourage you to reach out – whether simply to the RESOLVE website, a support group, a friend who has been there or a counselor experienced in Infertility concerns. You do not have to go through this alone.
If you are looking for a counselor who works with the emotional and relational pieces of Infertility and family planning in the Twin Cities area please contact Trisha Falvey