Friday, April 29, 2011

NIAW: Bust a Myth

For those of you who don't know, it's National Infertility Awareness Week.
This week RESOLVE has issued a challenge to bust an infertility myth to help spread awareness and educate others.
I wasn't sure I was going to do it, since there are already so many blogs out there, including this one, that have addressed so many of the myths already.
But after reading some of my friend's blogs I realized there are still some myths I can address.

1. Infertility is a real disease, not a worry-induced state that's preventing conception. Infertility is very real and people aren't going to claim infertility unless there's medical reasons behind it. So please know that when a couple comes out and says their infertile that they've already worked with doctors to determine that there are very real medical causes for not being able to get pregnant. And all those causes do not end up being solved by relaxing or taking a cruise :)

2. Infertility is a real obstacle to becoming pregnant, no matter which half of the couple has it. My most recent pet peeve is I've noticed that when a woman claims infertility, the world shows no sympathy and starts offering all their advice on what to do to get pregnant. It seems people are completely unwilling to believe that a woman may be infertile and unable to have kids. But, when it's the male counterpart that's infertile people immediately drop the subject and accept that the couple is indeed infertile. WHY? Why is infertility more condemning for the male than the female? Why is there more acceptance of the couple's plight when male infertility is involved? In our case people would not stop telling me to relax and I'd get pregnant. Or the famous now that you've adopted you'll be able to get pregnant. But as soon as people find out that our infertility is a shared challenge, then the advice stops. Please please please, recognize that infertility for a woman is just as much of a disease and a medical hindrance to getting pregnant as it is for a man.

3. Infertile couples are super touchy. If you read any infertile couple's blog it can seem that it's full of complaints of people saying the wrongs things or not saying the right thing. It seems there's no right thing to say to a couple struggling with infertility. You're inconsiderate if you open your mouth and inconsiderate if you don't it seems. Please know that despite our frustrations with the lack of education surrounding infertility, most of us vent these frustrations only on our blogs. And try to do so in a calm educated manner so as not to cause offense. All the couples I've met, including Gavin and I, mostly bite our tongues when faced with hurtful comments. If anything, I've learned patience, understanding, and meekness during our trials of infertility. We obviously know that most comments are meant with no ill will towards us. But we use the medium of blogging to correct and educate wrong assumptions regarding infertility.

Gavin and I feel incredibly blessed to have such supportive family and friends surrounding us during the difficult trials of infertility. Hearing other couple's stories, any hurtful comments or questions posed to us have been pretty mild or average in comparison to some.

Now get out there and bust an infertility myth! ;)


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