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National Infertility Awareness Week

Hosted by RESOLVE, National Infertility Awareness Week is April 18-24, 2021. With 1 in 8 couples experiencing infertility (difficulty getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy), RESOLVE aims to bring awareness and advocacy through social media campaigns, wearing orange on Wednesday, April 21, fundraising, and encouraging proclamations by local officials. By increasing awareness, RESOLVE hopes to remove the stigma and change the conversation about infertility.

Often couples struggling to build their families experience mental health challenges in tandem with the medical challenges. Studies have shown that these couples experience anxiety, depression, grief and loss, as what they had planned on and dreamed of is not realized.

Well-intentioned people may inquire as to when the couple might have a child, which can create additional stress for the couple. If hormone therapy is being used as part of treatment, the woman’s mood may be further impacted in addition to her experiencing other common side effects. Religious beliefs may further complicate the couple’s feelings about seeking treatment or whether their family and friends will support them. The couple may feel isolated as the stigma of infertility leads them to keep their struggle between one another and may cause strain on their partnership.

Mental health resources should be part of the treatment process for infertility from the very beginning, and include individual therapy, support groups, and couples therapy. If you’re facing an unexpected path to parenthood, be sure to include a mental health check-up as part of that process and get the support that will help you throughout your journey.


References

Cedars-Sinai: Infertility and Mental Health

 RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

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