There’s a space between deciding to have a baby and becoming a parent. For some, it’s fleeting. For others, it stretches on. But perhaps the most challenging part is that it can be invisible to the people around you — even when it feels like the biggest thing in your life.
Though one in eight couples in the United States struggles to get and stay pregnant, infertility can feel isolating. That’s because, as a society, we’re not talking about it nearly enough. But, if you’re currently feeling alone on your fertility journey, know that there’s a community of people who have been or are right where you are. Here are four tips for reaching out and finding support.
Seek out stories
If you’re not ready to talk, reading stories from others who have been through similar challenges can help you feel less alone. When you sign up for support from our partners at Fertility Out Loud, they’ll send advice from women who have been there directly to your inbox. You’ll also receive resources and guidance that can help you take action, from getting the most out of your doctor’s appointments to figuring out costs. It’s all part of their mission to empower individuals and couples on the journey to grow their families.
Connect with a community of people who can relate
Find a community where you can connect with people who have experienced or are currently experiencing infertility. In addition to online forums, social media is a great place to start. You might try following the accounts of influencers or celebrities who have been open about their fertility struggles. Fertility Out Loud features stories and information on their Facebook and Instagram pages and encourages their community to share their own. Give them a follow and join the conversations in the comments.
Talk with a fertility specialist
Whether you’re considering treatment or not yet ready, it can be empowering to know your options. Plus, you’ll feel more supported with an expert on your side. Many fertility specialists (or reproductive endocrinologists) offer initial consultations to discuss testing options and potential paths forward, and you don’t need a referral to set one up.
Fertility Out Loud can help you find a fertility specialist in your area, and you can even request to have your initial consultation virtually. They also offer tips for finding the clinic that’s right for you as well as a downloadable doctor discussion guide that lets you know what to expect, how to prepare, and which questions to ask.
Be open about your experience
Talk about what’s going on and how you feel with friends and family members. We know it isn’t easy, but letting loved ones know how you feel can open up avenues of support you deserve and need right now. If you’re not sure they’ll understand, share the resources you’ve found helpful. Your loved ones will likely welcome the chance to learn how to support you best. Besides, you never know who else might be struggling in silence or who has gone through similar challenges.
Having conversations about infertility can make all the difference if you’re struggling to grow your family. Fertility Out Loud is here to support you by offering authentic connections, trusted information, and reliable resources to empower your journey. Tap below to learn more and become part of a community that has your back.
- Lepkowski JM, Mosher WD, Davis KE, Groves RM, Van Hoewyk J. “The 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth: Sample design and analysis of a continuous survey.” National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 2(150). 2010.
- Jean Jirka, Schuett Sharon, Martha J. Foxall. “Loneliness and Social Support in Infertile Couples.”Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 25 (1):55-60. Web. 1996. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0884217515333189
- Cabotaje, Angela. “3 Women Share Their Infertility Stories.” Right as Rain. UW Medicine. November 14, 2019. https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/well/stories/infertility-support