Editor’s Note – Hi guys, as some of you may know, I am starting a guest blog series here and the first post in this series is something that might be very useful for all my female readers. So over to Becca who will be sharing her experience with fertility issues and offering some advice on how to cope with the same.
Thank you so much for having me here, I blog over at Post IVF world and as the name suggests, I talk about my life now that IVF is over, I also speak a lot about hormone health, mental health, and pregnancy loss. (but honestly, it isn’t all doom and gloom like it may seem)
Seeing as I have the opportunity to write this guest post, I really want to talk to you guys about fertility.
Have you thought about your own? If you haven’t you are not alone!
Education around fertility and hormone health is severely lacking in our society, mostly because it’s not fully understood or recognized as something that is a general issue, but the facts are, fertility starts declining at just age 27 for women. I bet most of you didn’t realize that?
Most people think fertility issues are largely from the women’s side but recent studies have shown fertility issues are one- third female issues, one-third male and one-third unidentified reasons.
What that really means though, is that it could happen to any of us, often to people who, on the surface appear to be perfectly healthy people!
I was lucky, in that I found out I was infertile at 15, I was young and although it has been very hard at least I knew where I stood early on. I could make a plan to have donor egg IVF, I had information to make choices.
There are so many people who don’t feel able to talk about their hormone health, hormonal issues or concerns with their reproductive system until its so late that there isn’t much that can be done.
I am campaigning as hard as I can to raise awareness and get people talking about fertility, it is something that I want people to understand is okay to talk about, and there are some amazing communities out there that can offer advice and support!
So let’s get talking!!
I have always found it relatively easy to talk about hormones and the reproductive system, in turn, this has helped my friends be more aware and knowledgeable on this subject, and has helped them feel confident to go to their GP when they feel like something isn’t right.
So why not, next time you are talking to your friends, ask them about their periods and hormones, get the conversation going, it is amazing how many people I talk to about this and they say they haven’t had a period for ages but are presuming everything is okay, I know it can be scary, but as someone who can’t have children, get checked out, before it is too late.
(Pass this article around as much as you like, it might really help someone!!)
You might find that people close to you are struggling more with this kind of thing than you ever knew, and just felt ashamed or embarrassed to discuss it (fertility issues can do this to you!)
For now, I wanted to write a set of guidelines, something to help people out who are supporting someone going through fertility issues or concerns, I get contacted quite often from people who just don’t know what to say, even if they are lifelong friends, it can feel like a bit of a minefield!
So, here is my checklist of Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Just sit with them and listen, you probably don’t have the questions, especially if this is an unknown world to you, so the kindest thing you can do is to be quiet, they will probably need to just talk it out! (for me, the more I talked about it the more it made sense in my head)
2. Let them know you are here, no matter what, you love them for who they are! Fertility can be so harsh and can make you question what’s good about yourself. If you can’t do the one thing nature intended (at least this is how I felt) I couldn’t be fixed, and I needed to know it hadn’t changed how people saw me!
3. Let them know that whatever they are feeling is completely natural, and it is okay to feel this way, for as long as they need, it’s hard enough without beating yourself up because you feel guilty for feeling the way you do.
1. Tell them everything will be okay, because it might not be, and it can make them feel like you truly don’t understand how they are feeling.
2. Rush them, when you find out you have infertility problems, it can be a period of mourning or grief, and this is something that can’t be fixed overnight.
3. Tell them that your friend had fertility issues then got pregnant naturally after 2 months, although it sounds positive, this is an unlikely scenario and really isn’t helpful to people who are going through it.
4. Force them to discuss it, they might not be ready, you can still be there for them by doing things you usually do and not treating them any different!
I know this is short, but hopefully, it goes some way to help you support others, and if any of you guys have more questions or just want to chat fire me an email, I would love to connect!
I am over at:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @postivf
All images are taken from Pixabay