Infertility. Maybe it’s something you’ve always known you would have to face when you were ready to start your family. Maybe it “creeped up” on you. Or, perhaps it just arrived, as unexpected and unwelcome as a punch to the gut. Regardless of how it enters your life, infertility can be a real beast — to say the least. If you’re like most, infertility forces you to become a member of a club you never wanted to join. Yet ironically, you’ve never felt more alone. That’s because these struggles aren’t something people tend to talk about. And if you’re not hearing about others’ personal experiences, it can make you feel as if you’re the only one going through it. And that can be lonely, confusing, and even surprisingly shameful at times.
Creating Awareness and Hope
But it doesn’t have to be like that. The truth is you are not alone. In fact, one in eight couples will have to deal with infertility. That’s why Donor Egg Bank USA is joining Resolve: The National Infertility Association to acknowledge #InfertilityUncovered during this, National Infertility Awareness Week® (#NIAW22). We understand the only way to conquer the tremendous, sometimes heartbreaking, challenges that come with infertility, is to bring them out into the open — out of the darkness and into the light. Because that’s where you’ll discover the support, the encouragement, and the hope. But perhaps, most importantly, once you take a good look at infertility — up close and personal — you can start to better understand your obstacles, explore your options, and even discover solutions.
Real Resources for a Real Difference
Regardless of where you are on your infertility journey, it’s important to remember that information is power. If you’ve been recently diagnosed, or told to give up, or are ready to start a family (but aren’t sure how that can happen), there is help — real, tangible, valuable resources to give you the answers you’ve been seeking.
Where to Begin
That moment when you realize infertility is a part of your path to parenthood can be very disorienting. Most likely, you will have a million questions: what are the odds, what can I do, what are my options, how do I find help?
Again, while infertility is a widespread concern, it’s not something most people plan for, are experienced with, or even know much about. That’s why many prospective parents’ first move is to find others who understand their situation. In fact, one of our Donor Egg Bank USA moms, Jennifer, looked to BabyCenter.com for help. There she was able to find other families who were undergoing similar experiences at the same time as she was. Becoming a part of this online community became a lifeline for her — from day one to today, even as she is raising her three children.
Another valuable source for finding a support group is Resolve. This organization offers both peer- and professionally-led groups. While the meetings are currently virtual, the groups are arranged by geography. So, you can find people in your area. Fertility Help Hub offers an app to help you connect with their “Fertility Squad” community. Participants can not only find others who are in all stages of their journey, but are also offered mentoring, information, and even opportunities for giveaways.
Maybe you’re looking for more hard-core facts, research, and information about infertility and your options. The American Society of Reproductive Specialists (ASRM) has created ReproductiveFacts.org to be that resource. There you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions, up-to-date news and information, and even helpful guidance regarding insurance coverage for people experiencing infertility. Or, if you are a fan of podcasts, Fertility Docs Uncensored provides a rare, behind-the-scenes view of the subject. Hosted by three board certified reproductive endocrinologists, the podcast covers everything from financing, to embryo storage, to ovarian stimulation methods.
Finally, if you’re here, you probably have at least some interest in using frozen donor eggs to start your family. If so, we can help you learn more about the process, hear from individuals who have had success, and even check out the data that has helped to make us the leading provider of frozen donor eggs. Or maybe you are already a “fan,” and have used frozen donor eggs from Donor Egg Bank USA. We invite you to share your story, so others can benefit from what you discovered and experienced.
Help for the Donor Conceived
Many individuals facing infertility will decide to use an egg or sperm donor, or embryo adoption to help them conceive their children. One of the most common concerns for these parents is when, if, and how to share this information with their child. Now that the practice of donor-assisted conception has been in place for decades, the age and numbers of donor conceived individuals are growing. That presents the opportunity for more and more research to be conducted regarding the most beneficial approach to this concern.
That research is increasingly demonstrating the benefits of openness and transparency when it comes to talking to donor conceived children. Fortunately, there is a wide range of resources to assist parents in those discussions. The Parents Via Egg Donation website has devoted an entire section to “Talking to Kids About Donor Conception.” Creating a Family is another organization that gives great advice about how and when to share this important information with your child. It even includes a list of age-appropriate books you can read with your child to help them understand what they need to know now.
And if you are wondering what sort of support your child would receive once they’re an adult, you can learn more about organizations such as Donor Conceived Community. With their help, adult donor conceived individuals can access support groups, tools, and opportunities to connect with the larger community.
Even More to Discover
The recommendations, information, and resources shared here really are only the tip of the iceberg. Individuals and organizations (such as Resolve, Donor Egg Bank USA, and others) are working hard to increase awareness, education, and opportunities surrounding infertility. And that focus leads to greater knowledge, understanding, and solutions for those facing a challenging path to parenthood.
The key thing to keep in mind, during this week and at any time, is that we see you, we are working hard to serve you, and we (and so many others) are right by your side — every step of the way.