Infertility awareness

Topic: Infertility awareness: Here’s what to do after a diagnosis

When my husband and I realized that we weren’t going to get pregnant the old-fashioned way, we initially talked to my obstetrician and later on, our fertility specialists.

While we were on this roller coaster of emotions, we didn’t even know what IVF (in vitro fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) stood for. We certainly didn’t tell our friends or family. At the time, we were embarrassed about our diagnosis and grappling with the reality of a potentially childless future.

Multiple rounds of infertility treatments later, and now with two sons, I am armed with some knowledge and experience — information I wish someone had shared with me before we started our journey.

If you are facing infertility, or know a loved one who is going through this difficult reality, I want to share this knowledge with you. I hope it helps.

One in eight couples suffers from infertility in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I think something that’s really important to remember is how common (infertility) is and how much you talking up or sharing your story can really help to destigmatize infertility,” Dr. Tia Jackson-Bey, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York’s Brooklyn office, told CNN.

“It doesn’t mean that you need to shout it from the rooftops or post it to social media, but just engaging those who are closest to you,” Jackson-Bey said. “So many (patients) that I interact with say that once they disclose to their family or to their best friend, that people also told them stories of challenging reproductive issues, whether infertility or pregnancy loss or miscarriage.”

Sharing your story “is something that I really do encourage anyone who’s struggling with infertility to do, is to be open to the person,” she said. “They may have more support than they think.”

Topic Discussed: Infertility awareness: Here’s what to do after a diagnosis

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