For National Infertility Awareness week, we asked the Ovia community to share their experiences with infertility, what they wish others knew about the condition, and the best ways to offer support.
Infertility can be a lonely journey — from trying to understand the latest fertility science, to finding the right provider, to coming up with the most effective way to respond to the constant question of “When are you going to have a baby?” — it’s a lot.
If you’re going through this now, we hope these testimonials help you know that you’re not alone.
What do you wish other people knew about infertility?
“Infertility is a medical condition. This condition is not only about trying to conceive, it affects our mental health as well. It can also affect our friendships and daily living. Infertility can consume a large portion of your life trying to reach the end goal of having a baby. Those dealing with infertility will more than likely need a little bit more grace, love, and understanding while on their journey.” – April Christina
“Infertility is such a challenge to navigate and you can feel so alone. One thing people should know is that someone experiencing infertility may not want to talk about it. It’s best not to ask questions unless the person indicates they are open to talking about their experience. It’s a rollercoaster…some days are good, some are heartbreaking, and today may not be a good day.” – Caroline
What kind of support do you wish you had while dealing with infertility?
“I think that there needs to be more openness around infertility. When you are going through it, you can feel so alone and ashamed, like there is something wrong with you as a woman. Once you start talking about it and you know that you are not alone, there is a comfort that comes. If more people talk about it, the stigma will disappear and so will the feelings of loneliness.” – Tobi
“When we were trying to conceive and got the diagnosis of male factor infertility, I struggled with being angry and blaming my husband for what he couldn’t control — which in turn caused a lot of guilt for me. I think he probably dealt with similar feelings of guilt and shame but we never talked about it together, or to a professional. We both would probably have benefited from individual and couples therapy to work through those complicated feelings without hurting each other.” – Leslie G.
“Our best supporters are the ones who listen and ask how we are feeling. When family/friends ask “are you trying XYZ” or “my friend went through it and everything worked out” it is not helpful. No one has poor intentions, but it puts even more pressure on us and it hurts when others assume we’re not doing the best we can. I want to see conversations about infertility be more common and not taboo, and the best way to start that is to lend your ear in a safe, judgment free space for anyone wanting to share their struggles.” – Jackie Straz
Do you have any advice for those struggling with infertility?
“One thing that I say all the time is “your pace, your race.” It’s hard when you see other people pregnant and you’re waiting for your time to come. There will be a day and time that is tailor-fit for your journey. I realized when I understood where I was on my journey, it made this road a bit easier. Continue to stay your course.” – April Christina
If you’d like to share your story, message us on Instagram @oviahealth