My infertility has impacted every aspect of my life: physical, emotional, and sexual. It has impacted my relationships with families, friends, co-workers, and ultimately, my relationship with myself. Never in my life could I have imagined what infertility entails if it hadn’t happened to my spouse and me.

Naively, I thought you just had sex when you were ovulating and you got pregnant after six or less attempts. I had no idea that you can “try” as often as you can, but it may not matter how hard you “try” if you have infertility. This made it feel like everything I was told as a child was a lie.

“Work hard and you can achieve anything.”

“Be careful anytime you have sex because you can get pregnant.”

These were statements I was told growing up, which are not accurate for those of us diagnosed with infertility.

Infertility was emotionally devastating to me. The lack of control, the inability to achieve something 90% of other women can with ease, the feelings of hatred toward my body for being a failure, and the biological feeling that your body can’t do the one thing it was made to do. It depleted my self-confidence and self-esteem.

Fertility treatments (IUI and IVF) provided much-needed hope that there were options for people like me whose bodies could not do this on their own despite their best efforts. However, the lack of insurance coverage for fertility treatments was an insult. I work every day as a healthcare professional to help others with their medical problems, yet insurance companies do not see my medical problem as worthy of covering. It added significant stress regarding our finances to pay out of pocket for every diagnostic test, lab draw, urine test, and procedure we endured.

Feeling left out is a huge component of my infertility. It feels like everyone’s lives are changing but yours, despite the tremendous time, effort, energy, and money you have to put towards resolving the situation. Commonplace conversations of children felt like personal daggers to my heart while others had no concept that talking about their daily life could hurt me so terribly.

Infertility is an uncomfortable topic for many, but for those of us experiencing it, it is an uncomfortable life. #WeCanAll be open and caring for those going through infertility. Ask someone how he or she is doing and genuinely care about his or her response. Those of us experiencing infertility need to be brave enough to share our story so that others may get an idea of what we are going through and most of all, to let others who experience infertility to realize they are not alone. Isolation is a prominent theme in infertility and does nothing to help support or raise awareness on this life-altering medical condition. We need to be brave, supportive and most of all kind to one another to make it through this brutal season of life.

Ciara, SC

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