Couples who deal with infertility know that this issue is not simply an inconvenience or a nuisance. Infertility is, in fact, a disease that impacts not only the reproductive systems, but also the lives of those who struggle with it. This knowledge and awareness, though, is not always obvious to others who have not experienced fertility issues, which is why National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is so important and why this year’s resolution is to get everybody involved and to #StartAsking .
NIAW takes place from April 24-30, and began originally in 1989. The movement was started as a way to educate couples about their reproductive health, as well as provide a space and community for those dealing with infertility. Most recently, in 2010 NIAW became a federally recognized health observance, per the Department of Health and Human Services.
This Year’s Movement:
Each year, NIAW focuses on a specific theme and urges couples with fertility issues to participate in various ways. The theme of 2016 is #StartAsking – which is a movement that confronts the many, many questions that couples face when they have difficulty getting pregnant.
Think about your own experience. What were you confused about at first? What was most difficult to confront? What questions are you still struggling with? What do you most want to talk about – and what do you wish people would not bring up?
To echo these questions and this year’s theme, RESOLVE put together an inspiring video, which you can view here. They are also calling on couples with fertility issues to get involved.
Whether you have just started to experience fertility issues, or you’ve been battling them for some time now, you can probably recognize how important it is to have support. The stress of infertility can have a devastating effect on many couples. That’s why why RESOLVE, as part of National Infertility Awareness Week, is asking people to speak out, specifically on the following issues:
- Talk to your employer about getting insurance coverage for fertility issues.
- Contact local lawmakers and legislators about supporting infertility issues.
- Contact the media to request coverage of the challenges and stress of infertility.
- Request that your OB/GYN or healthcare provider talk in depth about your reproductive health.
- Advocate for affordable treatment options for the disease.
- Talk and learn about men’s reproductive health.
In addition to these talking points and conversation starters, it’s important to #StartAsking your partner, friends, and family members for their support and involvement. Request that anyone helping you through these challenges learn more about them with you.
Along with these great ways to participate in NIAW (which includes using the #StartAsking hashtag!), there are also events you can get involved in, as well as other ways to share and help advocate for those struggling with infertility.
Even though we know how difficult stress of infertility can be, we also know that you’re not alone. Joining a community of people battling the same issues can be both empowering and comforting. Get involved this month, and #StartAsking questions to help you better face infertility.