Did you know that every year states around the US organize special events to raise awareness about infertility? This year (from April 23-29) -- and this week in fact -- there will be art shows, book launchings, awareness walks, happy hours, meditation circles and more, all focused on spreading knowledge about infertility and the treatment available.
National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) was first started in 1989 by RESOLVE, the non-profit National Infertility Association that devotes itself to assisting those living with infertility. RESOLVE began NIAW with the mission to “enhance public understanding, ensure that people know the guidelines for seeing a specialist, and educate lawmakers about how infertility impacts the people in their state.”
If you or someone you love is living with infertility, you can understand the kind of impact that it is having on lives around the world. Participate in spreading infertility awareness in your area and you can help all of those affected get the recognition that they deserve.
What You Can Do
Each person’s voice can make a difference. The more stories that are heard, the more others will understand how vast the issue of infertility is. You can participate in NIAW by:
Spreading awareness in your community.
You can inform your neighbors by organizing screenings of movies, hosting a rummage sale to raise money for RESOLVE, ask your library to set up a section of books about infertility/adoption or even hosting a dinner party.
Host a DIY Walk of Hope.
Share your story.
By sharing your own personal experience on social media and in your community, you can help educate your friends and family about infertility and maybe they will even get inspired to get involved, too. You can also share one of RESOLVE’s images on your social network or simply take a selfie with the hashtag #ListenUp! to direct people toward more information.
Why Awareness Is Important
Fighting for insurance coverage.
As briefly mentioned above, NIAW is helping to let lawmakers know what the people in their communities are in need of. Insurance coverage for infertility is only available in 15 out of 50 states in America. There are many lawmakers who are not aware that funding fertility treatments could actually save them money. People are choosing treatments that have a higher risk for multiple pregnancies to ensure that the money they are putting into it actually produces results.
In the states where fertility treatment is covered, the number of multiple pregnancies due to fertility treatment is much lower. Babies born in multiple pregnancies are often born prematurely making hospital care for them very expensive. “According to the March of Dimes, one preterm baby costs the United States, on average, $51,600.” Imagine how much money that adds up to in just one year. No doubt, that surpasses what fertility treatments would cost by a long shot.
Spreading the word.
Many people are not aware that they are infertile, or just how common it is, until they have decided they want to start a family of their own. Spreading awareness helps to inform women of the ages when they are most fertile/when that begins to change, provide knowledge about treatment options to those who are unaware, and inspire many to become egg or sperm donors in order to assist those who are unable to use their own.
To find out more about the events that are happening in your area during National Infertility Awareness Week and how you can get involved, visit infertilityawareness.org.