In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), The Surrogacy Source would like to share a beautifully written piece outlining a very sensitive issue… a friend or loved one who has recently been diagnosed with infertility. This is part one of a three part series.
Fact – Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. That means in your local gym or spin class 12 out of 100 women will be affected by some sort of infertility.
Infertility is often a very lonely, stressful and overwhelming journey that’s often isolating.
We’ve put together a check list of things that are helpful and not helpful when supporting someone you may know or love who are experiencing infertility.
Learn about it! Read about it! Do your research! With the Internet at your fingertips it’s incredibly easy to read up about Infertility and all of the treatments and options your friend or loved one might be considering. That way when the two of you have a conversation you know what you’re talking about.
Let them know you care and you’re there for them. It’s one of the simplest things you can do- let them know you care.
Ask them how you can help. That might mean asking them what’s helpful for you to say. It might mean asking them if they want to talk about Infertility. Some people don’t want to talk about Infertility, however some do. Let them know you’re always available to talk about their Infertility or more importantly to listen.
The guys need support too. Infertility is not just a women’s thing — it affects men as well. Many men don’t say anything and are sad and are grieving on the inside. While men may not be incredibly comfortable about talking about Infertility just be that safe haven in their storm.
If they say they’ve had enough and want to stop fertility treatment support them. Treatment takes its toll physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. No one can endure endless fertility treatments. There comes a time when enough is enough and only the patient knows when that is. The decision to stop is traumatic and agonizing. Be that person that supports them no matter what.
Be the one who says what others are thinking: if it’s safe encourage therapy. Seeing a reproductive mental health professional for help is a very personal decision. If you feel that the person you care about could benefit from talking to a mental health professional and you can suggest that in a kind and safe way do so.