This week, April 19-25, 2015, is National Infertility Awareness Week. It's a week to highlight a disease which effects over 7 million people in the United States alone. Yes, I said people. Infertility effects men and women equally.
Although infertility is a medical condition with various causes and treatments, arguably the worst part about it is the emotional impact. :
You feel guilty for not being able to give your spouse the family you both dreamed of.
You feel ashamed of your body for not working the way it should.
You feel helpless while you watch your spouse suffer through guilt and inadequacy over a condition over which they have no control.
You feel isolated because your friends are gleefully posting pictures of their children and pregnancy announcements on Facebook while you sit back wishing and praying for your turn.
You also feel embarrassed because talking about sex and reproduction is a bit of a taboo subject in our society. Nobody wants to hear about your reproductive parts unless you have tanned and waxed them for the purpose of selling things. But that's a discussion for another day....
My point here is that so many couples dealing with infertility suffer through their treatments silently with no support. They either don't know how to bring it up or are afraid of what others will say when presented with such sensitive information. I stayed quiet about our struggle for exactly those reasons. But, the truth is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you suffer from infertility, you are not alone. It is nothing to be ashamed of. There are people ready and willing to support you. Including me.
You are not alone.