How to Support a Loved One Experiencing Infertility (& How We’re Honoring Infertility Awareness Week)
Infertility does not discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or socioeconomic status. Even so, infertility can be extremely difficult to understand, and difficult to talk about with loved ones and family members. If you know someone experiencing infertility, you may not know the right way to support them or have the right words to say.
This year’s National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23rd to 29th 2017. The annual campaign started by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is an ongoing public awareness effort and a platform for anyone who cares about the infertility community to come forward and make a difference. This year’s theme is “Listen Up”.
Here are a few ways that we suggest supporting someone you love during their struggles with infertility:
Let them know you are there, and that you care: It’s okay to feel like you don’t always have the right words or know the best way to support a loved one experiencing infertility.The best thing you can do in these situations is to let them know you are available to listen, to support, to get them out of the house, or to just be a presence if they need someone around. Letting someone know you care about them and their struggle can sometimes go farther than the right words.
Get informed: Infertility can be a complicated topic. Luckily, there’s a lot of information out there. If you know someone experiencing infertility, do your research to stay in the loop on the correct terminology, possible treatment options, and recent advances in research and testing. Our newsletter is a great way to get the latest findings, helpful tips, expert advice, and so much more.
Ask what they need and how you can provide the right support: Showing you are willing to support someone you love in the way that they need can be extremely helpful. Ask what it is that they need, how you can provide the right support, what they need to hear right now, and be sure to follow through with your commitment.
Support their decisions: Treatment means something different to each instance of infertility. And, someone’s willingness to try a certain treatment option and not others needs to be respected. No matter the decision they make, respect that it is best for that individual and support them in their efforts. It is important to know that although advice and suggestions may be helpful, the best course of action would be the show up and support the person you love as they experience infertility, without pushing any other solution or treatment.
Promoting infertility education and supporting those who need it are important to the cause, and provides the basis for a lot of what we do at RMAPA. We will be providing breakfast, sharing educational information and facts, and much more in our office during the week of April 23rd to April 29th. For more information about infertility or to schedule a consultation, please contact us, today.
WENDY SCHILLIGNS, MD, FACOG
Dr. Schillings is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician and gynecologist. She leads all aspects of patient care at RMAPA. In addition, she formerly led the medical team at RE & I Specialist with the Lehigh Valley Physician Group. Dr. Schillings is chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Lehigh Valley Hospital Health Network and Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State College of Medicine.