5 Tips for National Infertility Awareness Week. (Tip 1: Tell Your Story.)

As a professional member of Resolve, I am commemorating the 25th National Infertility Awareness Week (#NIAW) from April 20th-26, 2014. The goal of #NIAW is to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and encourage the public to understand their reproductive health.

Join the movement.  For 25 years, Resolve  has been bringing infertility out of the shadows, to help good people who are struggling to build their families.  Here are five tips for getting through infertility:

Tip 1:  Tell your story.

Keeping the secret of infertility makes you feel crummy and isolated.  This isn’t your fault.  One in 8 straight couples struggle with infertility.  Gay couples struggle with infertility, too.  Tell others your story and ask others for their empathy, not their advice.  Look at blogs about infertility and write your own.  You’ll feel better and you might help someone else, as well.

Tip 2:  Don’t panic. 

You can figure this out with help.  Talk with your OB/GYN and an infertility specialist as soon as possible about testing for you and your partner.  If your intuition tells you that something is wrong, don’t wait.  Maximize your opportunities, even it if costs you some money.  You don’t want to look back and have regrets.

Tip 3:  Resolve to know more about all of your family building options.  

I know that a baby from your and your partner’s genes is Plan A.  I support you in that.  But if that is not bringing you the baby you yearn for. learn about your options.  Look at IUIs (intrauterine inseminations), IVF (in-vitro fertilization), donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryos, surrogacy, and adoption.  Many people have found resolution and happy parenting by opening their minds and hearts.  Be open to possibilities.

Tip 4: Talk with a qualified mental health professional who is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  

Did you know that women going through infertility treatment experience the same rates of depression and anxiety as women going through cancer treatment?  Make sure you that you see a mental health professional who has a better question than, “Are you sad?!”  As a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Mental Health Professional Group, I specialize in infertility and its treatment.   I understand infertility medications and procedures and can help you get through this with excellent understanding and some pride in yourself. And bring in your partner.  Things go best when you take the journey together.

Tip 5: Know that you will get through infertility.  I promise.

I have seen thousands of couples and single women who have made it through infertility successfully and started the families they have always wanted.  You can, too.  It will take some grit, time, and effort but you will be happy that you took the journey.  Get started!  Keep your head up!

Good luck!  I’m here for you.  What other tips have been helpful to you that I can share with others?

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