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Infertility shouldn’t be a taboo topic

Mentioning that you have a fertility doctor, are undergoing fertility treatments, have had an IUI or have been through an IVF procedure makes people feel uncomfortable.

Woman with fertility doctor

It’s no wonder women who are struggling with infertility feel alone because no one talks about it openly — and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

When I lost both of my parents at the same time almost six years ago, I’d never lost anyone close to me before. I had no experience with death at all, let alone the death of the two most important people in my life. The death of my parents was untimely and tragic and I was completely unprepared. You might be asking, who is ever really prepared for death?

Throughout the days, weeks and months following my great loss, I felt as though I was comforting others as much as they were trying to comfort me. To this day, I believe that if more people talked about death and dying it would be an easier fact of life to navigate, process and accept. After all, it’s going to happen to all of us eventually.

The other forbidden topic

I feel the same way about infertility, another off-limits topic. We need to talk about infertility! We need to be open, honest, share, educate and do it often. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to discuss our reproduction, sexual health and explain unpleasant medical procedures, and for a long time I kept my infertility struggles to myself. I was embarrassed, in denial and felt like it was much too personal to share. I didn’t want to be judged. I already had one child and didn’t want people to think I was being ungrateful or greedy in my quest to have another. I didn’t want to answer questions or share details of my miscarriages and the heartbreak. I didn’t feel anyone could possibly understand how it felt to need medical help to have a child, something that had come naturally to me once and now my body was failing me. I also didn’t know anyone personally who had faced this disease.

Never underestimate the power of the “me too” factor

I finally realized I couldn’t possibly be alone — that other couples, other women had to be experiencing the same frustrations I was. I realized the power of the “me too” factor. Feelings of inadequacy and sorrow can be immediately squelched the minute someone else acknowledges they too are struggling in a similar way.

I share my infertility story here not just because it’s therapeutic for me, but because it is important to make connections and help others, especially those who might not otherwise reach out. Something as prevalent as infertility should not be so isolating. Infertility is a real issue and there is no shame in it. Infertility should never be a taboo topic.

More on infertility

Infertility and the media
The secret language of infertility
The worst questions you can ask someone facing infertility

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