Wednesday, November 7, 2007

She Said She Said

On this 4th day of National Infertility Awareness Week, I'd like to pay respect to the millions of women who live with infertility every day. I've come to know a mere fraction of them and I think that one of the most important things to remember about infertility is that it has many different causes, and every single case is different.

Which is why those 'helpful' comments and suggestions that are offered to us- from people who think they know what they are talking about- are not just inappropriate, but are dead wrong. Like the woman who tells you that her cousin's accountant's sister-in-law went through the same thing as you and here's what worked for her; or the woman who heard that her friend's friend's sister went to a specialist and was told to pop some mystery pills and she got pregnant that first month. It is going to sound way obvious to many people who are reading this, but you cannot compare one woman's story to another. You don't know the complete medical history (and even if you did, do you have a degree in Reproductive Endocrinology?), so keep your opinions and advice to yourself and let us seek out qualified professionals to help us, if we choose (and can afford) to do so.

Not to mention that often, the woman passes her battery of fertility tests with flying colors, but her partner is the one who does not. I also have come to know women who are dealing with male factor infertility, which comes with its own set of challenges. Or women who are struggling with both female and male factors. Not only do they have to diagnose and treat two sets of issues, but they have to coordinate treatment and deal with the frustration of maybe having one partner's issues resolved, but the other's are not.

Then there are the unexplained cases. I know a few of these women as well. Their battery of tests comes back normal. Consultations with specialists do not reveal any issues. And yet, month after month after month, they get BFN after BFN after BFN, even after a full year of trying. How do you proceed with medical treatment when you don't know what you're treating?

Which leads me to the point of this entry. Instead of assuming that all infertiles are the same, please view us as individual cases with very different medical histories and physiologies. I invite everyone to take a look at my blogroll and read a few (or more) of the blogs that I've listed. Most of them are friends, and most of those friends are dealing with infertility in one form or another. Please take a moment to learn a bit about the people and the emotions behind the disorder.

3 comments:

Yodasmistress said...

Yay!!!

Karen said...

Amen!

Geohde said...

Hear hear.

I always get the story of the woman who got pregnant on the threat of IVF.

I've been known to turn around and say 'Honey, how many times do I need to threaten my body with IVF before it happens, because the cycles are really *costing* me'.

Urgh.

J