In the United States alone, 12.1% of women aged 15-44 have impaired fertility, with 12% having used infertility services, including advice, medical help, tests, ovulation drugs, and artificial insemination. One-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner in a relationship, one-third is attributed to the male partner, and one-third is caused by a combination of infertility problems with both partners or is unexplainable. Finally, after one year of having unprotected sex, 12-15% of couples are unable to conceive. While these statistics may come across as disheartening, they do offer a glimmer of light—you are not alone in your battle with infertility. This also means that there are resources out there for you and your partner to help alleviate the stress and pain that happens when TTC. Read on to learn more about the various kinds of support you may want to consider during your infertility journey.
Types of Infertility Support
“Support” is a vague term that could be overwhelming to someone who is dealing with infertility. It’s easy to assume that you are alone in your struggle through empathetic friends and family. But no matter how much someone tries to relate to you or “put themselves in your shoes,” they never truly understand what you’re going through unless they too have experienced infertility.
Luckily, you can find support from a variety of places, through a variety of people, and in a variety of forms—there is the right kind of support for every person struggling with infertility, and you might have to try a few of them until you find the best fit for you.
Books, online articles, and even blogs written by those who have experienced/ are experiencing fertility issues provide a deeper understanding and knowledge of both the factual and emotional aspects of infertility.
In-Person Meetings and Support Groups
Sharing your experience with others can be a therapeutic way to work through the emotions associated with your infertility. to learn more about how others react to and cope with their infertility. Even if you choose not to share your struggles, hearing what others have to say can help you feel less isolated.
If you prefer a more intimate setting to share your experiences, consider counseling. If you believe having your partner attend with you can help you work through your emotions and find appropriate solutions and ways to move forward, consider couple counseling. Here, you’ll have the chance to talk with a professional to identify and work through anything you’re going through. You can seek counseling from a trained mental health professional—including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, or family therapists—but be sure to start by asking your physician for referrals.
Family and Friends
When it comes down to it, the people you choose to surround yourself with will have a powerful impact on not only how you feel about your infertility, but also on how you choose to cope with it. Have open discussions with your family members and close friends so that they know where you stand—even if they don’t know what to say, it will help everyone involved to have those close to you know how they can help you.
If you aren’t sure where to begin looking for support, we compiled a list of additional resources—organizations and groups where you can find articles, directories, and other useful information when seeking help for your infertility.
Remember —you aren’t alone, and you never have to be alone. For more tips on dealing with infertility and information on at-home fertility treatment options, check out our blog and subscribe to our newsletter below.