If you’ve been following the discussion around #NIAW, then you must have read the many stories of people going through this struggle.
The stories are so important to bring awareness. I also believe that hard facts and statistics can make this medical issue (because it is a medical issue) less taboo and easier to talk about.
Not only that but maybe more people will advocate and work to get better medical coverage for it.
Here are 5 important facts/statistics you need to know about infertility:
1. The CDC lists infertility as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex. In my opinion, if something is listed by the CDC as an illness, then it needs to be seen and known as a medical issue. Therefore, the necessary work needs to be done to bring awareness, get funding for research, and people who are diagnosed with infertility should be able to seek reliable treatment and reasonable coverage.
The next time you talk to someone struggling with infertility, remember it’s not always as simple as “letting go” or “not stressing about it”. It could be an issue they are battling medically. Which can be very draining emotionally and physically.
2. Infertility is actually very common. 1 in 8 couples struggles with infertility. You may very easily know someone who is battling infertility. 6% of women aged 15 to 44 are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying to conceive. It could be your sister, your brother, your aunt, your coworker, or your friend on Instagram. I’m amazed at the number of people that I know personally that have been diagnosed with infertility. Just in my family, there are 3 people who are struggling with it.
I’m much more aware of what to say, what to bring up, what to keep to myself, and what questions not to ask at this point. But I think we should all start rethinking the questions and suggestions we give others about family planning. It’s too common and too sensitive to ignore.
3. Men struggle with infertility as well. This isn’t just something that happens to women. Or to people of a certain age group. Or people who waited “too long”. As I mentioned earlier this week in our personal infertility story, my husband was diagnosed with infertility. We are in our late 20s and we try to have a healthy lifestyle. Yet, here we are. This issue touches all kinds of people. Again, it’s important to be aware and be sensitive with our words, suggestions, and assumptions.
4. Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intrauterine insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. And sometimes a combination of these methods are used. BUT…
5. Only 15 states have infertility insurance laws. But that doesn’t mean that it is mandatory for insurances to cover infertility treatments. It’s up to the employer to decide what kind of coverage they’ll provide.
Being that it is a common medical condition, it saddens me that many people don’t get medical attention because they can’t afford it. And if they do, they are using their life savings for it.
We are so thankful that our current insurance covers the majority of the infertility treatments we need. But that’s not the case for everyone.
Be reminded when meeting or speaking to someone with infertility that they might be carrying a major financial burden. Not only is it draining emotionally and physically, but also financially.
Encouragement for people struggling with infertility: call your insurance before you cross off any type of treatment. Your insurance might cover what you need and you may not even know it. This was the BEST advice I received.
There’s hope in the middle of all this:
I’ve learned so much during this season. I’ve learned to be empathetic. I now understand what it is to grieve. I now understand what it feels like to get a bad report from a doctor. I now understand why these things matter. I now can be there for people going through similar experiences. IT’S NOT ALL BAD. Even though it feels like it.
One thing I also now know is that my God has the power to overcome ALL these facts. Facts, reports, and statistics are great. They inform us and move us to action. But God’s power, sovereignty, and goodness can contend with these things and win every time.
He truly has the final say. He provides the resources. He provides exactly what we need and when we need it. In Him, we live, breathe, and move. He is the one orchestrating a miracle in motion.
Please share this with someone. Let’s help bring awareness and hope.
With love & appreciation,
Quote credit for “Miracle in Motion” to @richwilkersonjr and his amazing sermon series Miracle in Motion. Which you should definitely check out 🔥