NEW!!! A guide to talking openly about infertility….

talking-about-infertility.pngI was asked by Bud Fertility and Now Baby for some guidance on talking openly about infertility…..this was published last week.

Here’s what I had to say….

By talking openly about my experience with infertility, not only has this been a way of coping with my journey, having somewhere to vent on the down days and the support of the TTC community, it helped me gain a better understanding of not only the medical aspects of what to expect, but most importantly, the emotions involved and with the highs and lows of assisted fertility. I don’t put my own experience out there because I think my struggle was more gruelling than anyone elses. On the contrary. There are women out there who have gone through heart wrenching negatives after round, 4, 5 6 + of IVF, some who will never experience the miracle of carrying their own child, some who will eventually have to program themselves to cope with the realisation they will never become parent, as well as those having to deal with loss along the way. I was VERY lucky, I know that….and it’s for that reason I want to share my journey openly, to encourage those still on their journey, to talk about it, rid the taboo of this word, Infertility.

Talking openly about such an intimate part of your life and relationship can be very daunting, sharing such information isn’t for everyone. For me, I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve, so it came naturally for me to talk openly with people about what we were dealing with. But even then, the more intimate, raw, gritty detail proved difficult to speak of, through fear of embarrassing myself or the person listening. However, I found a way to share my journey with others, which at the time was crucial, looking back now I hardly remember some of the symptoms, feelings, physical changes that people want to know. People about to go through it or are already on their fertility journey want to know the uncomfortable bits, they want to know how you feel at certain points, how it affects relationships, if loose stools could be a symptom of a positive, if other people have been catching their pee in hairspray lids or are frightened to sneeze at fear of the embryo falling out.

Its only after I’d had the boys that I really shared with the world who was behind my blog. But I know, from reading other womens stories and talking openly about it and sharing my journey has been a great support for many women, and urge others to do the same.

The subject of infertility is a tough one to talk about, here’s some guidance on how to talk about it openly with others….


  1. RESPECT each other

Before even thinking about talking openly about your journey, make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Is he happy to have your private life laid out bare for all to see? Set boundaries that you both agree on, what should be shared and where to draw the line, if any.


  1. SHARE it

So, if for you the idea of sharing it petrifies you because you want it to be a secret form your family/friends, but you want to look back on this journey, why not write it up and log it? Beit in a diary for just you and husband to keep, or in a blog under a decoy name. Nobody has to know it’s you behind that screen, but you’d have the support of TTC community and a place to vent all of your hormone induced emotions. Writing it out can be a huge release, you can be as honest as you want, or delete it after a good vent. For me, this was what kept me going.

  1. This is YOUR journey

It can be very easy to forget that we don’t all tick the same. One womans journey will be completely different to anothers, we all respond to medication differently, have different backgrounds as to why you’re dealing with infertility, ages are different, relationships, etc. Remember this is YOUR journey. Your story. One woman may have been through several failed rounds of IVF and still no baby, another may be lucky first time, it’s important to remember that your end goal is the same, and you’ve all gone through your own highs and lows to get to this point.


  1. We are 1 in 8

When openly talking about the fact you are dealing with infertility, it might be a good idea to mention that 1 in 8 people are too. That little bit of information can soon smash the taboo about the subject of infertility, when it affects so many of us, it seems ridiculous that someone could be uncomfortable talking out loud about it. Don’t be ashamed, don’t be embarrassed. Embrace this journey, It’s part of your history.


  1. Use the SUPPORT around you

Dealing with infertility can be a very lonely experience. Although surrounded by family and friends, you can feel like nobody really understands what you’re going through. Talk to them, tell them how you feel, what your worries are. Just a good chat between you and your partner can really help you feel like you’re ready for anything. Plus, how are they to understand unless you tell them? Tell them how they can help, not to ask too many questions, ask more, not at all maybe. Pick a good time.


  1. Know that you’ve HELPED someone, somewhere

That someone could be you, it could be someone in the family or a complete stranger. But talking about your experience with infertility will have helped someone, somewhere. Maybe just you and your partner talking about it, that will have helped you both air a few feelings, keep you both on the same page. Maybe a friend or family member hadn’t realised that you’re going through a tough time, now they understand what’s going on and can support you more, or a friend is going through the same and suddenly doesn’t’ feel so alone. Or maybe, half the world away, someone if reading your story and taking hope from it, on what started as a really bad day.


However you do it, maybe even something as small as responding to yet another “when are you going to start having babies” question, with, “ well, we are actually struggling at the moment” or simply writing your journey down….. your educating someone, giving hope to the next person and supporting another.

Together, we are slowly breaking the silence of infertility, and the more voices heard, the less uncomfortable the world will be talking about it.