Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive with regular and unprotected intercourse within 1 year for those 34 and under and 6 months for those 35 and older.
1 in 6 Canadian couples will struggle with infertility. Which means, someone you know is likely struggling but they may just not be open about it.
Human reproduction is a complex process involving an intricate timing of hormonal cascades and precise timing of intercourse. There is approximately only a 20% chance of natural conception in any given month. Keeping that in mind, it’s actually pretty miraculous humans reproduce!
Issues can arise in one or both partners. In fact, in heterosexual couples, 30% of the time it’s a strictly male or female factor issue while 40% of the time it’s a combination of both male and female factors.
If you or someone you know is struggling to conceive, don’t hesitate to seek out medical investigation with a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor), a Naturopathic doctor, Osteopathic therapist, and/or a traditional Chinese medical practitioner. Often, you will see a combination of all of these practitioners as part of your journey to conception.
The process seems scary and overwhelming. Those are all normal and expected feelings. It’s invasive and nobody would choose to have to go through the financial, emotional, or physical stress associated with fertility treatments.
What I can tell you, from my own experience, is that you really need to just take it one step and one breath at a time. I found counselling and IVF support groups online to be a saving grace for me.
It’s so important to just “feel the feels”, process them and move through those emotions and feelings as they come.
What’s challenging is that it’s very hard for people who haven’t struggled with infertility to truly get it and as such, the advice you receive, while well meaning, isn’t often helpful or supportive. The ladies in the groups will offer a ton of support and experience because they have been there or are still in the trenches.
What I will tell you, is that you are not alone despite how lonely it feels. I will tell you that your feelings are valid, justified, and normal. It is a challenging process on all facets of life. But, you are stronger than you think you are and whatever the outcome is, you will find a way to endure.