Fertility Awareness: Why Visibility Matters
Posted on April 16th, 2022
For people dealing with infertility issues or going through fertility treatments, the experience is a lonely journey. This is partly because many of the emotions that bubble up to the surface during infertility can be difficult to talk about with others. Plus, conversations with friends and family about in vitro fertilization (IVF) or third-party reproduction can feel like a minefield. Unfortunately, even though friends and family have good intentions, their opinions on fertility and reproductive health are often formed by misconceptions that have spread like wildfire throughout social media, TV, films, and articles.
Lack of awareness about fertility doesn’t just affect people on a personal level – it can also limit their access to family-building options. For example, when lawmakers are uninformed about fertility issues, they are more likely to create policies that make it difficult for people to receive fertility treatments. Some policies may even prohibit certain forms of assisted reproduction altogether.
Fertility awareness and visibility matter on both a micro and macro level. From casual talks over coffee to legislation that affects entire populations, the pillars on which we build the conversation that surrounds infertility and assisted reproduction should be based on awareness, education, and understanding. That’s why National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) exists.
What Fertility Patients Can Do During NIAW
One of the best ways to fight fertility misconceptions and change the conversation is to give a face and voice to the concept of infertility. When people don’t have a personal connection to an issue, it can be difficult for them to understand the importance of it. However, a personal story from someone who has lived through it has the power to move mountains and make others see infertility from a whole new perspective.
If infertility and/or fertility treatments have played a major role in your life, and you feel comfortable openly sharing your story, NIAW is a great time to tell the world what you wish people knew about infertility. Social media offers a natural platform in which to tell your story. One option is to participate in the NIAW 5 Day Challenge, in which each day of the week is dedicated to a different awareness-raising activity on social media. Or you could simply share your story using the hashtag #WhatIWantYoutoKnow.
If you don’t feel ready to publicly share your story, that’s OK too. There are still ways that you can raise awareness and change the conversation, including:
What Friends and Family Can Do During NIAW
You don’t have to be a fertility patient to participate during NIAW – advocates and allies of all walks of life can help change the conversation. In addition to participating in the above activities, one of the biggest things that friends and family can do during NIAW is also one of the simplest – listen to the stories of those who have experienced infertility firsthand. Listening is one of the most powerful tools we have in combating the dissemination of myths and misconceptions that plague infertility.
To learn more about infertility and fertility care, contact Aspire Fertility today.