"This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility is a heart-wrenching, relationship-testing, faith-questioning, life altering experience. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age, so, chances are, you have a friend or family member who has, is or will have to deal with infertility. For many this is a silent journey, but no one should ever have to face this alone. Show your support this week and keep in mind those individuals who deal with the emotional and financial struggle of infertility every day."
As you all know already, I have shared where our journey to starting our own family has taken us. During this week, I just wanted to help you understand a little more about Infertility and it's effects. I can remember the first few months of trying and how are it was to see negitve test after negitive test. I can remember after we hit the 1 year mark and how much it hurt everytime someone asked me when we were going to start our family or asked why we didn't have any kids yet? Many people don't realize how invasive and hurtful this question really is. I know I didn't until we starting wondering what was going on. I know how hard it is to be the face of loss. I also know how are it is to hear people tell you, "When the time is right for you it will happen", or "God's timing is perfect timing", or "Maybe it's just not in God's plan for you", (Let me tell you, this one hurts the most, this one is like stabbing a wound that has finally just begun to heal, over and over again.), and hearing everyone explain to me that we just aren't doing it right or we need to do this or that. Let me tell. We;ve tried it all. And, I just don't understand how someone can tell us we are doing it wrong. Really, That's just silly.
So, within this week, I just wanted to share with you some facts about Infertility. How it effects the husband. How it effects other family members. And what you can do to help.
This year's NIAW's theme is "Don't Ignore". Don't ingorne that infertility exists. Don't ignore the feelings of loss people how are dealing with this have. Don't ingnore time, this one is big for me. Really, if you are someone who is struggle to get pregnant. Don't wait to reach out for help. Don't ignore the streagth it takes. Infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age. And those who struggle with it, mostly do so in silence.
Here are a few facts about infertility (curtiousy of Resolve.org)
What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.
Who gets it?
Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.
What are the risk factors?br/>
•Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
What are the signs and symptoms?
Often there are no signs or symptoms associated with an infertility problem. Listening to your body and getting regular checkups will help to detect a problem. Early detection and treatment of a problem are often critical in achieving successful pregnancy outcomes later.
How is infertility treated?
Medical technology now offers more answers and treatment options to men and women trying to conceive a child. From hormonal treatments, ovulation induction and Intrauterine insemination to more advanced technologies like in vitro fertilization, ICSI to surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and even embryo donation. For more information on treatment of infertility visit the Family Building Options section of our site.
What medications are used?
There are a variety of medications used to treat infertility. It is important to understand the medications and what their purpose is and to speak with your physician about the medications that will be used in your specific treatment plan. Read more about Fertility Medications.
What is artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is now more commonly referred to as IUI (intrauterine insemination). It is a procedure used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. The procedure uses the husband's or donor's sperm, washing and treating the sperm, and then injecting it into the woman during the time of ovulation. Read more about IUI.
What is In Vitro or IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) gets its name from the fact that fertilization occurs outside of the woman's body, in a lab dish instead of a woman's fallopian tubes. Typically, a woman will use ovulation stimulating drugs to produce an excess number of eggs. These eggs are surgically removed from the woman and fertilized in dish with sperm. If fertilization takes place, the physician transfers the embryo(s) into the women's uterus. Read more about IVF.
And, finally, here are some of the "Don't Ignore" Tips from the NIAW website:
•Don’t ignore opportunities to talk about infertility. Do you blog? Tweet? Teach a health class? Have a book group? Take advantage of opportunities in your daily life to share information about or bring attention to the cause of infertility.
•Don’t ignore legislation affecting infertility patients. Several pending and existing laws encroach upon the rights of the infertile to freely build their families. Help change policy and protect your rights by writing to your representative or attending RESOLVE's Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on April 25.
•Don’t ignore infertility support available. Infertility is a lonely road, but no one has to travel it alone. Join an online infertility forum or local support group to find a warm, welcoming environment.
•Don’t ignore people struggling with infertility. Reach out to friends or family members struggling with infertility. Ask how you can best support them in their journey.
•Don’t ignore the impact of making a donation. Every cent donated donated helps bring needed programs and services to women and men with infertility. Sign up for the Walk of Hope or create your own fundraising event in your location.
•Don’t ignore family building alternatives. You can build your family through many paths. During this week, open your mind to options that you had not previously considered.
•Don’t ignore your own strength. If you’re engaged in the fight against infertility, take a moment to recognize your courage and determination, as well as that of the sisters and brothers fighting alongside you.
I know that today's post was long. But I really wanted to take this week to help you help others. In whatever why you can. I wanted to help educate. Most importantly, I Don't want to Ignore, and I Don't want you to Ignore.
Thank you for taking the time to learn and understand, Thank you for taking the time be a support for not only me, but for the others you may know who are facing this silent disease also. Take the time to check out Resolve.org