This is National Infertility Awareness Week, which marks something different for each of us. It could remind you of a challenging time, but one also filled with growth, beauty and a happy ending. Or maybe infertility is a current, consuming, perhaps even devastating centerpiece in your daily life right now. If you haven’t experienced a fertility struggle yourself it may cause you to think of your friend, co-worker, child, or sibling who has dealt with this or is struggling with it now.
Even here at Blooma, where most of us are already moms, it’s valuable to notice that for many it was a long journey to motherhood, and others may be struggling to grow their family.
This week, let’s notice each other in a new way.
It’s understood that 1 in 8 couples experience fertility challenges yet I think it is more prevalent than those numbers alone. Through my work as a fertility specialist at Fertile Ground over the past 12 years I’ve found some couples suffer privately and do not seek a formal evaluation and diagnosis. Since 61% of women experiencing infertility don’t share their struggle with friends and family, someone close to you may be suffering without you knowin
Another common misconception about infertility can revolve around age. It may seem unlikely that this could be impacting people in their 20’s or early 30’s. Actually, there are a myriad of issues that can impede a couple’s fertility at any age, ranging from hormonal imbalances to structural or congenital issues. It’s also common for men of all ages to contribute to the fertility diagnosis. In fact, for one-third of couples with infertility, it’s due to a male fertility issue, and another third is due to a combination of both male and female.
In an equally heartbreaking way, secondary Infertility, which affects people who already have one or more children but are struggling to conceive again, can also be overlooked. Secondary infertility makes up about one-third of infertility cases and comes with unique challenges.
Given the prevalence of infertility it’s safe to assume that there are people in your community, and here at Blooma, who are dealing with this.
This week, let’s be aware.
At Blooma we come together to move our bodies, to breathe together, to join a community of people who care about one another. I come because it is an important part of how I care for myself and manage my stress.
Stress plays a large role in infertility. Yes, everyone experiences stress—but did you know that the stress levels of women dealing with infertility are equivalent to those dealing with a cancer diagnosis, AIDS or heart disease? Where can women and couples who are experiencing infertility go to receive care and support and ease their stress?
Fertile Ground is a free-standing holistic fertility center that I started in 2007 with the goal of supporting women and men to overcome their fertility struggle. It is a place where people who are dealing with reproductive challenges receive physical care and emotional support. We offer acupuncture, Chinese medicine, lifestyle counseling, Maya Abdominal therapy and other forms of therapeutic bodywork to support patients along their journey to becoming parents and achieving greater health and well-being.
Did you know that these modalities have been used to correct infertility imbalances for thousands of years?
There is hope, and it begins with awareness.
This week, I encourage each of you to consider how you might become a better ally for this cause. If you are experiencing infertility this is an opportunity to reflect on how you can better support yourself and others struggling alongside you. If you are not, I encourage you to explore how you can be a great ally for those who are.
If you would like to join us this Saturday we are going to be at the annual Walk of Hope. This is an excellent opportunity to come together as a community that cares about infertility and to raise awareness, solidarity and HOPE. All are welcome and we would love to have you and your friends and family participate! Sign up here. There is a $30 per person fee that goes directly to Resolve, the National Infertility Association.
If you have questions about how we support couples experiencing infertility contact us here:
Fertile Ground Women’s Health and Fertility Center
(612) 823-0012 email@example.com
Or check out our website: fertilegroundmn.com
Kara is a Blooma Mama and the founder and a senior practitioner at Fertile Ground Women's Health and Fertility Center which is located at 40th St. and Lyndale Ave. S