Infertility often seems far away, like a fear you hope will never happen. Sometimes people talk about infertility like they talk about cancer. In their minds they know it exists, but until it hits close to home, it doesn’t seem real.
Even if you may not think you know people who suffer with infertility, most likely you do.
- Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. (2002 National Survey of Family Growth)
- Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained. (http://www.asrm.org/)
- A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month (National Women’s Health Resource Center). After six months of trying, 60% of couples will conceive without medical assistance. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)
- Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)
Infertility is not just out there, it’s not just something that people deal with if they wait until 40 to have children or if they don’t take care of themselves. Infertility is everywhere. 1 in 8 couples is a pretty large statistic.
And it’s not just a statistic. These are people. The 1 in 8 is your coworker, your sister, your friend. It’s your yoga instructor, the teller at the bank or that sweet couple you know who “just never had kids.” Often those struggling with infertility feel ashamed or just so disappointed that they don’t talk about it.
But we exist. Remember us when you meet someone and automatically ask if they have kids. Remember us when complaining that your husband “just looks at me and I get pregnant.” Remember us on Mother’s Day, when the whole world is praising and thanking mothers. Remember that often those celebrations and others – baby showers, births – can be hard for us. It’s not because we’re not happy for you… we’re just sad for us. We’re not just statistics… we’re people.
To Learn More:
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (About infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)