Deciding to share your infertility story is a difficult decision.
This road is extremely lonely, isolating, and full of every single emotion imaginable. Yet couples endure it in privacy and silence. Statistics show that 61 percent of women going through infertility don’t tell their family or friends.
In addition, this diagnosis is the fourth most traumatic life event a woman can go through, nearly equivalent to losing your parents.
At the beginning stages of my diagnosis, I didn’t tell anyone. One would not know this looking at how much I speak on it now. Once I opened up I was approached by my secretary who was also enduring this diagnosis at the exact same time, we work in a clinic with six people! When individuals approach me about their diagnosis, I encourage them to speak out even if it is to one family member or best friend. It feels so freeing! You will be surprised how many people proceed to open up and share with you. I also found the hurtful statements, unsolicited advice, and annoying questions slowed down or even stopped in some cases. I am going to pause right there, by no means do I want anyone to feel pressured. I hope this blog post helps clarify your message and know that you will know in your “gut” when the time is right to open up to others.
Does My Partner Have Feelings on Sharing About Infertility?
Infertility is a shared experience so it’s wise to consider your partner’s feelings about when and how to share about your infertility struggles. If they’re private and prefer to keep matters private it would be wise to ask who they are comfortable sharing with -if anyone at all.
How Do I Tell My Family and Friends I’m Struggling With Infertility?
If couples do decide to share they often have questions run through their mind such as what will people think? Will I be judged? What will my employer think? This decision is truly based on each couple’s current state of mind. It is a decision that only they can make. Just remember your feelings are yours and they are valid. There is no need to suppress or hide them.
Depending on your proximity to family and friends, as well as the nature of your relationship, you may choose any number of ways to share your struggles with family and friends. This could be in-person, sharing a blog, email or private message. It’s completely up to you and whichever option you are most comfortable with.
Should I Tell my Boss I’m Struggling With Infertility?
If infertility is affecting your job performance and additional doctors appointments put a strain on your time then it may be beneficial to tell your boss about your struggles with infertility. This is completely up to you and largely depends on the nature of your relationship and the flexibility in your current role. This is complicated because it’s about your professional role but a deeply personal subject matter. You may find it’s helpful to write a list of pros and cons for telling your boss and go from there.
What to Expect When You Share About Your Infertility.
Expect to hear all the wrong things. Friends and family will have the best intentions but generally don’t know how to respond without minimizing the seriousness and causing more pain. If you decide to share about your infertility, expect the worst. They’ll say “oh, just go on vacation, have a few beers and forget about it”. If only it were that simple. Know that they care but likely haven’t walked in your shoes.
Who Else Can I Talk to About Infertility?
Hard to emphasize this enough but it’s your choice! Opening up about infertility can be incredibly cathartic and even rewarding but it needs to be on your own terms. You’re the one that determines your own boundaries and you can write your own rules of engagement.
In summary, your infertility story is important for so many reasons including spreading awareness on this disease. If you need help walking through this process I would be happy to assist you and virtually hold your hand through the process. Your story is worthy. Your feelings are worthy. You are worthy!
Also Read: 5 Ways to Share Your Infertility Story
SPEAK WITH NURSE PRACTITIONER AND FERTILITY COACH
ARE YOU READY TO FEEL EMPOWERED AND TAKE BACK CONTROL? Together we will discuss what you have been through so far and decide how you can best move forward to overcome barriers you are encountering.