Infertility: Breaking the Silence
A Taboo Topic
Infertility is often thought of as an unmentionable subject to talk about. Many people might not think of it as an disease but it is, and it can have a tremendous impact on people's lives. I, myself, have unexplained infertility, and it has changed me as a person in positive as well as negative ways. Infertility can create a wall between you and the rest of the world if you let it. Many people may feel uncomfortable talking to someone about their infertility, or perhaps they just don't know what to say. Well, today I am breaking the silence.
Talk About It
It is okay, and even healthy to talk to someone about their infertility struggles. It is not something that anyone should feel ashamed of suffering from because it is an illness, and it is a heavy burden for someone to keep to themselves. For one reason or another, an infertile person's body is not working as it should. People dealing with infertility often take medicine, undergo different types of treatments, procedures, and even surgeries. It is a time consuming process that can easily become a huge part of a person's life. You must fight to overcome it, the same as with other illnesses. To not talk about it, or ignore, it is almost like living a lie. Sometimes I wish that I could wear a sign advertising what I am going through, because it is a constant source of pain to always have people asking when I plan on having children or assuming it will happen soon. It would make life easier if the subject were more freely discussed and if people knew what kind of common well wishes or statements really don't help someone who is struggling to feel better. Infertility does not make someone any less of a person. If you have a friend suffering from infertility, talking about it can be an excellent therapy because it can help with the pain and enable a suffering person to not feel quite so alone.
Do you know someone who is struggling to get pregnant?
The Negative Impact of Infertility
Infertility can have a terrible impact on lives and relationships. It can cause depression, fighting, divorce, and other terrible things if a person let's it. Of course, as in any situation, everyone is different, but these are some of the things that infertile people may be dealing with.
Depression is one of the more obvious effects of infertility. It can make you feel hopeless, like you will never get to have the family that you always dreamed of. Sometimes it is almost like a person is living in limbo because you want to hold that beautiful baby of your own in your arms so bad, but it just might not be happening for you. It can be hard to realize when to let go, and when to keep fighting for your dream.
The physical impact of infertility can be harrowing. There may be devastating miscarriages, painful and dangerous hyper-stimulated ovaries, or even just the uncomfortable side effects of hormones and medications. There are so many awkward procedures where your body just feels tired and invaded after, and it often seems all for nothing. A person's body can be left feeling beaten, sick, worn down, and ready to give up.
Loneliness and fighting are other difficult problems that infertility can cause. This struggle can make a person feel very isolated from others. Infertility can break up marriages due to the constant struggles, pain, and differing of opinions on what to do and when to stop. It can affect friendships and possibly destroy other relationships. Seeing friends getting pregnant multiple times, while it hasn't happened for you even once, can be incredibly hard to deal with. It may even be difficult relating to people that don't want to have children because they might not understand what you are going through and why it means so much to you.
If you are suffering from infertility, it is so important to learn how to grow from the hard times. You must learn how to use the bad and turn it into something good. If you let the grief take over, it can consume you. Don't let infertility become who you or your friends are. If you need help, seek it. If you see a friend struggling, be there for them.
Would you feel comfortable talking to someone about their infertility if you saw they were suffering?
The Positive Impact of Infertility
Infertility is a heart breaking thing, but I have seen how it can be used for something good too. There are many ways that this can be seen. Some are obvious, and others you may have to search harder to see.
Infertility can be a financially good thing for a couple. If it takes them a few years to get pregnant, it may give them time to get student loans paid off, move up in their careers, and get a decent savings going. Some people may even look back and see that it would have been much harder affording a family back when they originally started trying.
An obvious positive impact is that while a couple does not have children, it gives them a little more time to have life experiences together. It would be easier for them to travel and do more adventurous and spontaneous things that they would not be able to do with children. Sometimes, I look back and see the many things that my husband and I would not have gotten the opportunity to do if we had had children then, and while I still long for a baby of our own, I am grateful for the adventures that we've had.
Infertility can help to make your marriage stronger. Couples can use this struggle to learn how to be there for one another, how to show love, how to communicate better, and so many other wonderful things. Sometimes painful struggles are the best way to strengthen bonds and help you grow closer to your spouse. Even now, I am remembering some of the more agonizing days and how they just made me just love my husband more because I could see him trying so hard to be my supportive rock. My husband is also the one who really helped me learn to look for the good during the bad times and to be more positive, which I will always be grateful for.
Another way that infertility can be used for good is that it can help grow and strengthen your faith and who you are as a person. The trials that infertility has caused me have truly opened my eyes to some of my many failings. When you are feeling like you are as low as you can go, that is one of the best times to pull yourself up, by making yourself stronger, braver, more optimistic, and even less selfish. My suffering really opened my eyes to the suffering of others around me, and helped me to be more appreciative for what I do have. If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, just remember to never give up hope, find ways to help others drowning in sorrow-even if you just show them your love and support, and to always look for the good in the bad.