Infertility is an extremely common problem, impacting approximately 1 in 8 couples who are trying to conceive. It’s also one of the most misunderstood medical conditions. Misconceptions abound, like a common assumption that fertility is a female issue, when in fact, over 50% of infertility cases have a male factor. Likewise, fertility is often portrayed as an age-related problem, only impacting women who delay childbearing, when fertility issues can impact men and women of all ages. These misconceptions lead many couples to suffer in silence, not realizing how common the problem is and how many options are available to them, from diagnostics, to support systems and treatment. National Infertility Awareness Week, taking place this week (April 19-25, 2020), was created to tackle the challenge by educating the public, building awareness and helping couples access the resources they need in their fertility journey.
NIAW is a public event—anyone can take part and help advance this important cause. Below are some simple ideas that can make a big impact.
Tell your story
One of the best ways to support couples experiencing infertility is to let them know that they are not alone. It can be very helpful for couples at the start of their fertility journey to hear from other couples who are further along in the process, both for motivation and to gain practical tips and information. If you have a story to tell, you can join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #myInfertilityStory. It’s an ongoing conversation, but National Infertility Awareness Week is a great time to jump in.
If you have not experienced infertility personally, or don’t feel comfortable sharing your personal details, you can still help raise awareness and change the conversation by joining the #WearOrange campaign this Wednesday, April 22nd. Orange is the NIAW 2020 campaign color, and wearing orange is a fun and easy way to take part. Simply post a picture of yourself in an orange outfit, or even wearing an item of orange clothing like a scarf or hat on social media, with a few words of support for couples experiencing infertility.
Test at home
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is preventing many couples from accessing fertility diagnostics and treatment (see the Covid-19 recommendations issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine). As part of the reproductive medicine community, at MES we’re committed to doing our part to help couples struggling with infertility. We want to make sure that every couple can access testing, during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as in better times. Therefore, throughout NIAW, we’re offering our at-home sperm tests at a 20% discount this week only — just enter the code INFERTILITY20 at checkout and share with friends and family who may be interested in testing at home.
This is only a start—there are endless resources available to help couples through their fertility journey. Check out the NIAW website to learn more, and join us in spreading the word.