You might have found out with two pink lines. Maybe you found out in a doctor’s office with a sonogram. Each year, 211 million women learn that they are expecting a child, and 6.1 million women learn that they may never be.
Almost 10% of couples in the United States are affected by infertility(babycenter.com). Infertility means that a woman is unable to get pregnant after a year of trying, or after trying for 6 months, if she’s age 35 or over. There are several factors that impact fertility, including age, endometriosis, and problems with ovulation.
Both men and women can can have issues that lead to infertility, but it’s usually the woman who is most impacted physically. In order to determine if a woman and her partner have fertility programs, a woman may be asked to track her body temperature, have dye injected into her uterus and x-rayed, or even have a camera surgically inserted to view her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Medicines including Clomid, Repronex, and Metformin may be prescribed as treatment.
The emotional toll of these invasive tests can be stressful and emotional. Because infertility is a private issue, it’s not widely discussed, and can lead to feelings of isolation, lowered self esteem, and even depression. For so many women, motherhood has always been part of the dream, and not being in control of the outcome can result in frustration, resentment, and disappointment. Even if couples decide to pursue options like embryo transfers and IVF, there is still a constant struggle between hope and loss, coupled with stress about the costs involved (IVF treatments can cost as much as $12,400 a cycle).
While some women may not choose to speak out about their struggles with infertility, there are some women who have been vocal about their process, including celebrities like Tamar Braxton, Angela Bassett, Aisha Tyler, and Mariah Carey; as well as bloggers like Regina of The Broken Brown Egg, where women can “break the silence” and share candidly.
For any woman dealing with infertility, support plays an important role. Communication and understanding are the key.
If you are dealing with infertility, visit The Broken Brown Egg for a list of resources.