National Infertility Awareness Week
For many generations, infertility was thought of as being more of a curse, a state that a woman had all the blame, even though men comprised close to half of all cases. Medicine has significantly evolved since the Renaissance, from surgical techniques to the creation of antibiotics these past few centuries. Yet, only until recently did anyone truly bothered with reproductive medicine; this in part because few considered it more of a condition or something people simply had to deal with as part of life’s difficulties.
Fortunately, our governing body the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recently declared that infertility is a disease. This means that everyone (let alone insurance companies) should view infertility no differently than say diabetes, hypertension, or other chronic conditions that can be overcome with treatments. But unlike these diseases, infertility challenges an individual to the core making it difficult for many just to get through the day, let alone keep their relationships healthy. Many need a lot of support and encouragement to keep their TTC (trying to conceive) journey going.
We commend those organizations that started out by organizing groups in the past to provide this support. But attending and joining still took much courage, excluding a majority who were still grappling with the acceptance of having reproductive difficulties. Many would also not be able to attend who would want to due to time constraints and geographical distances.
The internet is now serving as a vehicle that allows users from around the world to seek all the support and information they need from the comfort and privacy of their home. An explosion of people have logged on and feel more comfortable meeting others undergoing similar difficulties that maybe no one around them would understand. This awareness due to the media and now primarily the internet has also made it easier for many to talk about fertility issues without any associated stigma to friends and family regardless of which culture, creed, or country one belongs to.
Despite all this new found awareness there’s still a long way to go with over 7.3 million Americans and around 80 million people around the world facing infertility. Also, in the light of the octuplets being born earlier this year to infertility treatments, and potential new regulations being talked about in various states it’s very important to maintain a united front when it comes to helping those millions of people going through infertility and continue to advocate for the patient and improve the options available to them.
We’d like to say to all of those going through infertility that you’re not alone and to never give up on your journey. For those of you who know someone who might be going through infertility always offer kind words and be extra supportive.
Originally published on FertilityTies