Infertility. It still is a subject that can bring an elephant into a room, though it has gotten better in the last 10 years (I think). Each couple, each person reacts to the diagnosis of infertility differently. Most people don't like to talk about it because infertility is such a personal problem. And you would not believe the comments that come out of peoples' mouths. So here I am to educate you a little bit about infertility.
Definition of infertility: unable to conceive; woman unable to get or keep a pregnancy; man unable to impregnate
Approximately 2 out of 10 (or 20%) of couples are unable to conceive within one year. Chances are, you know someone who has or is going through this problem. You may, or may not, know about it. Of the 20%, 10% will get pregnant either naturally or with medical help after one year. Male and female issues are equally responsible for the infertility at 40% each. The remaining 20% are unknown/undiagnosed issues.
So imagine trying month after month after month, then year after year to have a baby. It truly is an emotional rollercoaster. There is constant disappointment, constant wondering what is wrong, and a feeling of utter failure. Each month, you start fresh and get excited only to feel totally devastated later. And then you start all over again.
After over 4 years of devastation, disappointment, anger, and sadness, we finally were able to get pregnant and stay pregnant (we miscarried twins prior to this). We were not able to do it the au natural way. Fortunately, there have been huge medical advances to give couples like us a chance to have a family. Because of that, we met our beautiful baby boy on Nov 3, 2009. We are fortunate enough to be able to afford the medical interventions--it's not cheap--unlike so many couples. Only 13 states cover all or part of infertility issues.
So a few things I ask of you when you are dealing with a couple who are having trouble conceiving...
1). Initially, don't be too nosey. They will talk about it when they are ready. But do ask how they are feeling because it is such an emotional subject.
2). Watch what you say... Please DO NOT say stuff like this
- "Why don't you just adopt?" Personal choice and not something for you to bring up. They've probably already thought about it. And adopting is actually more expensive than most infertility treatments.
- "Whenever I look at my husband, I get pregnant." Makes them feel even worse and like they are failures, doesn't help out how they feel at all!
- "If I have twins, I'll give you one." Really? You really would? Don't lie.
- "Just relax and it will happen." If I charge everyone $1 for how many times I heard this, I would be rich. The majority of couples who have been trying for over a year actually have something medically wrong with him/her. You saying it doesn't make relaxing any easier.
- "Are you doing it right?" Oh I love this one.
3). Don't give out advice like this:
- "Are you putting your hips up after?"
- "Have you tried standing on your head?"
- "Hop backwards seven times."
Yes, I personally was told all of these comments. Some of you may not see why this is a big deal. But unless you've been in shoes that go through infertility, you won't understand. And I hope none of you have to understand.
So why am I writing about infertility? Chances are that there is someone out there who is going through it. I've had the privilege to help others out in the last few years with infertility that have come to me personally about questions and concerns. I've enjoyed helping them so much. It brings a smile to my face. And of the 4 people who have contacted me, I'm happy to announce all of them have either given birth or are currently pregnant.
As for citing any references, the information you see here is pretty much the general statement in most articles or on most internet sites. I had a couple years to do research and gather information. I almost feel like an expert. In fact, I know more about the male and female reproductive system than human should have to know. :o) :o) :o)