For those of us who struggle to fall pregnant, 'fertility' is another F word. And it's not an issue that goes on for just a week. Weeks become months and months become years and those years are filled with anticipation, anger, heartbreak, jealousy. Name an emotion and infertile couples OWN that emotion. Bitterness? Own it. Denial? Got three mortgages on it. Sadness? They've put houses and hotels on that one!
But the urge to have a baby is so strong, it can't be shut down or ignored or denied. You all know about my struggles with unexplained infertility. The feeling of failure and helplessness can be overwhelming.
Fortunately we live in an age when infertile couples have more options than ever before, more knowledge at their disposal, and terms like 'barren' are relegated to the waste bin along with 'bloodletting' and 'hysteria'.
This week is National Fertility Week and I urge any of you, my beautiful parents-in-waiting readers, to have a look at the official website. You'll find information on everything from egg freezing to male infertility to assisted reproduction. There's even a Fertility Quiz which is a must-do for anyone you know who might be putting off their baby-making agenda. It's quite an eye-opener actually. For example, what do you think is the answer to this one?
In 2009, the percentage of Australian and New Zealand women aged 35-39 who went home with a baby after beginning a cycle of IVF treatment was:
So spread the word. National Fertility Week doesn't have to end on Sunday. It can go on every day of the year as we tell our stories and share our knowledge, making sure the next generation of young women have the best chance of success when they're ready to start their families.
*Answer is 18 percent. Woah!