Yet again I was given the advice that I “just need to relax and then it will happen”. I smiled and said “yeah I know” because it’s easier than bringing up the facts (yet again). The reason this advice really bugs me is because it makes it seem like all issues with conceiving are due to stress. I highly doubt that IVF and the many many medications that improve fertility were created because people don’t know how to chill out. There are proven, verifiable medical conditions that cause infertility or make conception more difficult. By definition, infertility is diagnosed when a couple has had unprotected sex for a year without conception, even if no cause has been able to be identified. Infertility affects 15% of couples when using this definition. Another 8% will go on to conceive in the next year, leaving 7% infertile after 2 years of trying. In comparison, heart disease (an unarguably prolific disease) affects 11.8% of non-institutionalized adults . Nearly 10% of the world has diabetes (types 1 and 2 combined) and you’re always hearing about that in the media (you notice it more when your spouse has type 1) . For women, there’s a 38.08% chance of developing ANY kind of cancer: 12.29% breast, 0.68% cervical, and 1.57% melanoma and skin cancer (just to name a few ). All of these statistics aren’t meant to scare you about all the medical conditions out there, because more likely than not, none of these will affect you. Instead, they are meant to prove that infertility is a prevalent issue in women’s health as well, yet it does not get the recognition it deserves. Instead, many keep their problems with infertility to themselves and there is even a cloud of shame that I find hangs over anything to do with it. It shouldn’t be a shameful experience. We aren’t doing anything wrong. We aren’t being punished for something. We need support and I think a lot more would be available if we were open about our issues and if the world was more aware. I have had several friends who have told me that they appreciate knowing what I am going through and that reading my blog has helped them to have a better understanding of what I’m feeling. I want to say a sincere thank you to them – You have made me feel validated, supported, and loved. Thank you for caring and being there. xo
* This post was written and saved as a draft over a month ago. I’ve decided to post it now even though I’m not feeling particularly stressed out or irritated by others’ advice.