National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness Week

Did you know that infertility affects more than 17% of adults worldwide? That means if you aren’t directly impacted by infertility, you likely know someone who is struggling. Yet individuals and couples experiencing infertility often feel isolated and unable to discuss the challenges they’re facing. 

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is April 21-27, and HALO Fertility is doing our part to spread awareness and change the narrative. For the months of April and May, Halo Fertility is offering patients 24-month interest-free payment plans for IVF and egg freezing. Read on to learn important infertility facts, common causes of infertility, when to seek help, and how you can participate in NIAW.

Facts About Infertility

  • Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 consecutive months of trying. If you’re over 35, you should seek fertility treatment after six consecutive months of trying to become pregnant.
  • Infertility is a global problem. Infertility affects people from all backgrounds and in all areas of the world. And infertility rates are roughly the same, whether a country is classified as low, middle, or high-income.
  • Most people have to pay out of pocket for fertility treatments. That means fertility treatment is often inaccessible to those with lower incomes. Also, the high cost of treatments can quickly take a financial toll on patients. 
  • Many people experience stigma attached to infertility. Although some progress is being made through efforts like NIAW, many people still experience social stigma surrounding both infertility and fertility treatments. As a result, many people feel unable to talk about their infertility or seek treatment.
  • In the U.S., about one quarter of married women between the ages of 15 and 49, who’ve never given birth, struggle to become pregnant or carry a baby to term. If you’re struggling with infertility or miscarriage, you’re not alone. 
  • Infertility can be linked to one or both partners. It’s not helpful to find “who’s at fault” for infertility. Whether it’s male- or female-factor, a combination of both, or unknown, infertility is something you should try to overcome together. 

Common Causes of Infertility

Many medical conditions, structural abnormalities, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices can cause infertility. Often, a combination of factors may contribute to infertility. Fertility testing helps identify problems contributing to your infertility and gives your physician the necessary information to develop a treatment plan. 

Some common causes of infertility include:

  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diminished ovarian reserve (too few eggs)
  • Problems with the fallopian tubes
  • Cancer treatment
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Endometriosis
  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm motility
  • Genetic disorders
  • Advanced age

Many lifestyle and environmental risk factors also contribute to infertility, such as: 

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Exposure to radiation or certain chemicals
  • Exposing testes to high temperatures, such as saunas and hot tubs
  • Being underweight
  • Stress

When to See a Specialist

If you’ve been trying to conceive for at least 12 consecutive months–or six months if you’re over age 35–without success, it’s time to see a fertility specialist. It’s also wise to consult a fertility specialist if you’ve had more than one miscarriage. Because fertility rapidly declines with age, women over 40 may wish to see a specialist sooner. 

You can also make an appointment with a fertility specialist to simply check your fertility status, or if you’re planning to preserve your eggs or sperm for the future. Fertility specialists can also help with LGBTQ+ fertility services. Finally, if you know you have a condition that could impact your fertility, like endometriosis or testicular trauma, you should see a specialist right away.

Fortunately, many treatments are available for infertility, including hormone therapy, surgery to correct structural problems, in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg and sperm donation, and surrogacy. 

What is National Infertility Awareness Week?

National Infertility Awareness Week, or NIAW, is observed every year in April as a way to raise awareness around infertility and its impact. NIAW began in 1989 as a movement founded by RESOLVE, and continues today as both a movement and a nationally recognized health observance. NIAW aims to improve awareness of infertility, teach the public about infertility guidelines, and educate lawmakers about infertility issues and how they impact their constituents.

How to Participate in National Infertility Awareness Week

There are many ways to participate in National Infertility Awareness Week, and we hope you’ll choose to join in by:

  • Contacting your legislators. Write, call, or engage with legislators through social media to encourage them to take action to make treatment more accessible.
  • Wearing orange in support of infertility awareness. Don’t forget to share your photos with the hashtag #WearOrange to help raise awareness.
  • Sharing your own story. Sharing your experiences with infertility is one of the most powerful ways to raise awareness. Consider submitting your story to RESOLVE or sharing it with loved ones or on social media.
  • Donating to infertility advocacy. Consider making a donation to organizations that are working to raise awareness of infertility and reduce barriers to treatment.
  • Hosting an event. Do you love to throw parties, organize, or fundraise? Then why not host an event for NIAW. Gather your friends to make T-shirts. Throw a dinner party and collect donations. Ask your community to celebrate NIAW through displaying orange lights. Or host a virtual event to share stories about infertility. 

At HALO Fertility, we’re here for you during NIAW and every other week of the year. Schedule a consult with our fertility specialist to begin your fertility journey.

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