Infertility: A Taboo Topic?
One of the most common misconceptions of having a family is the belief that if and when we choose to, we will be able to have one. This assumption is not challenged until such time that difficulties in conceiving arise.
Infertility is Complex
Infertility is a multi-layered phenomenon, and there are a number of issues involved for the people living with it. It spans the emotional, biological, social, physical, psychological and financial aspects of relationships and lives.
These new, and sometimes destructive, emotions become commonplace for everyone struggling to have a child especially when relatives and close friends seem to conceive with ease. It becomes difficult to look happy when you feel hollow and sad and to cope with the intensity of grief, desperation, and loss while facing up to the harsh reality of infertility.
Infertility is an Emotional Rollercoaster
For couples who live in month-to-month cycles of hope and disappointment as they navigate a tight schedule of appointments, treatments, and tests which put their usual lives on hold, the whole journey is a series of ups and downs. Prolonged fertility problems significantly invade every area of life, straining relationships and eroding self-confidence. To put it simply, infertility is devastating.
Infertility SHOULD NOT be a Taboo Topic
Many people going through infertility keep their feelings and struggles under wraps. Although everyone has the right to privacy, the secrecy can leave many people to cope alone and in pain; worse, often uninformed. Many fertility specialists confirm that couples often tend to conceal their fertility problems. In one survey of couples who are having difficulty conceiving, 61% said that they hid their infertility from family and friends, and nearly half did not even tell their own mothers.
The Influence of Social Media
With the explosion of social media, seeking support has never been easier. However, even when couples who are going through infertility do find a community online, the exchanges are still largely anonymous. Infertility is still a topic that most people shy away from discussing, shrouded in mystery and sadly, shame.
People should not feel or be made to feel ashamed about something that is not even their fault; something they have no control over. Fertility is a massively misunderstood disease that affects around 1 in 6 people who need help dealing with its consequences – just like any other disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes infertility as a physical illness requiring treatment, yet society doesn’t. We need to move with the times. We need to raise much more awareness of the pain that infertility brings because it is not going away. The moment more people put their names and faces to this disease, the more society will understand its scale and impact. It is time for infertility to come out of the closet.