Infertility Awareness: Please Don’t Suffer In Silence

What’s the darkest most depressing word you can think of? For me, the answer is the word infertility. Yup, that’s it. Not a word that is morbid or horrific. Just a normal, everyday medical term that caused me some of the deepest pain I’ve ever felt.

It’s funny how something that most people will never talk about is also the same thing that about 5 million couples in the United States have experienced in some way, shape, or form. (7 Myths About Infertility) If so many couples experience infertility, then why is it something that we remain silent about? Anything having to do with sex or reproduction is often looked at as taboo conversation material, but I happen to think differently.

Infertility 1

I, too, was once quiet, not revealing to anyone around me that my husband and I were having trouble conceiving. Even when we began medical treatments and eventually prepared for IVF, we still did not tell very many people. What I learned from that was if you do not share your worries, doubts, and troubles with the people in your life, you have no real support system. If you do not have a support system, you will emotionally fall apart trying to carry the load all by yourself.

The thing about keeping silent about infertility is that it creates this feeling of being alone. You feel as if you are broken because your body is not doing what all the women in your life are able to do.

This is something I learned the hard way. I always have kept issues in my personal life private. I only open up to others when it’s almost too late. Once I started sharing our story of infertility with others, I found out that many people in my  life had also experienced some form of infertility. I had absolutely no idea about any of their stories, but it was as if they were waiting for me to share my story so that they could then share theirs!

By sharing my journey, not only was a weight lifted off of my shoulders, but I feel that I also helped provide the opportunity for others to do the same. Many of the women that told me their infertility stories had really deep, emotional experiences that I connected to. For many of them, as they told me the details of their experience, I could see on their faces that their wounded heart was healing. That helped me in so many ways. I can’t even explain how much it meant to me to have so many women from all walks of life open up to me with such personal details of their struggle to conceive.

Infertility 2

The thing about keeping silent about infertility is that it creates this feeling of being alone. You feel as if you are broken because your body is not doing what all the women in your life are able to do. You begin to feel abnormal, and soon feel like you are being punished for something, even though you know that’s not true. It put my whole life into a tailspin, which I’m still recovering from today, six years later.

So please, I beg you. Share your infertility story and give someone else strength.

Help them feel like a normal woman and reassure them that they are not alone. If you haven’t experienced infertility, be there to listen to those who are ready to talk about their difficult journey. Give them a free pass on the number of times they can cry on your shoulder. Excuse them from smiling and supply unlimited hugs while they mourn. Just be there so that they don’t have to suffer in silence. By just doing that, your friend will forever be grateful, just as I am for all of the people in my life that helped me on my journey of infertility. Let there be no more lonely suffering in silence!


Melissa was born and raised right here in Iowa. Although she grew up in southwest Iowa (about as close to Missouri and Nebraska as you can get!), she has called eastern Iowa home for 15 years. She and her husband Eric live in North Liberty, along with their 4 year-old daughter Kennedy. Melissa attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her BA in Early Childhood Special Education and her MAE in K-6 Learning Disabilities. She currently teaches kindergarten for the Clear Creek Amana School District, where she has taught for 14 years. In her spare time, Melissa loves to be outside playing or working on projects in their yard, spending time with family and friends, and baking up goodies for her family. She also enjoys taking walks with their two dogs, plump beagle Lenny and shy dachshund-beagle mix Cooper. Life as a full-time working mommy keeps her very busy, but Melissa wouldn't have it any other way!


    • Lauren- Thank you for the kind words and for sharing the link to the Turquoise Project. Such a great idea and thanks for posting my piece to the project site. Hopefully it will help many others!


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