6 Ways to Be an Advocate During National Infertility Awareness Week
In a world dominated by social media highlight reels, it can be easy to believe that infertility isn’t a big issue. That an isolated few are struggling to conceive. But the statistics tell another story. A new report from the World Health Organization reveals that 1 in 6 people will deal with infertility in their lifetime. But, despite its prevalence, infertility is still a taboo subject for many, and people often feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it.
That’s why National Infertility Awareness Week is so important. Now through April 29, you can join the thousands of voices working to break down the stigma surrounding infertility and to provide support and resources for those who are struggling. If you want to be an advocate for infertility awareness, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Share Your Story
If you have personally struggled with infertility, consider sharing your story on social media or even with friends in casual conversation. Talking openly about infertility can help break down the stigma and let others know they are not alone. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association encourages social media users to use #VoicesofInfertility in their posts to join the growing movement.
2. Commit to Compassionate Language
A lot of the trauma associated with infertility comes from poorly-worded questions or statements that force those struggling with infertility into uncomfortable situations. Resist the urge to ask people “when they plan on having children” or “if they are trying.” Impromptu advice may also be hurtful or stigmatizing. Avoid language such as “just relax” or “it will happen when it’s meant to be.” Instead, use supportive and empathetic language to let them know you care and ask what you can do to best support them.
3. Go Orange
In solidarity with the 1 in 6 people dealing with infertility, RESOLVE asks you to #WearOrange on Wednesday, April 26. According to the organization, “RESOLVE uses orange to raise awareness, increase activity around an important movement and remind our community every day that RESOLVE is there for them during the disappointments while educating and promoting physical and emotional wellness.” Want to go a step further? Help your city “dress up” for National Infertility Awareness Week by reaching out to your local community landmarks and businesses to request they turn their lights orange.
4. Support Infertility Organizations
There are many organizations dedicated to supporting couples struggling with infertility. Consider making a donation or volunteering with organizations like RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination or the BabyQuest Foundation.
5. Educate Yourself
Learn more about infertility and the challenges that couples face. Read books, attend seminars or webinars or watch videos from reputable sources. Throughout this week, RESOLVE will be hosting Instagram Live conversations with experts in the infertility space and panels to talk through important infertility issues. You can see a full schedule of educational events here.
6. Advocate for Infertility Coverage
Many insurance plans do not cover infertility treatments, making it difficult for couples, especially LGBTQ+ couples, to afford the care they need. Consider advocating for infertility coverage in your workplace, state and federally. RESOLVE Advocacy Network Action Center provides easy ways for you to advocate for increased access to all family building options on a state and national level. Sign petitions, send letters to your congress members and more. You can even sign up to receive immediate action alerts from the RESOLVE Advocacy Network (RAN).
By being an informed and active advocate during National Infertility Awareness Week and beyond, you can help break down the stigma surrounding infertility and provide support and resources for those who are struggling. Remember, even the smallest actions can make a big difference!