It is important that we not only open up the conversation about infertility but provide education on how to be a supportive friend.
MCLEAN, Va. (PRWEB) September 15, 2022
An estimated 1 in 8 couples experience infertility and many may be struggling silently. Studies have shown that those undergoing fertility can face a variety of emotional and psychological issues, such as reduced self-esteem, loneliness, feelings of failure, grief and depression. These emotions can be heightened at peak times such as during the holidays. To combat that, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and First Response™ have teamed up to launch Fertile Friends, an initiative highlighting available support and resources for those experiencing infertility as well as tips for friends and family on how they can support those trying to conceive.
“For those going through infertility, it can be incredibly stressful, especially during times when everyone is posting pictures of their children, like back to school and the holiday season,” said RESOLVE Board Member and Vice Chair Elizabeth Grill, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and medical researcher specializing in the emotional aspects of infertility. “Individuals dealing with infertility cope in different ways, and while friends and family might not always understand the way they are choosing to face this challenge, it’s important that they demonstrate their support. Whether attending doctor’s appointments, helping with injections, or simply asking what would be helpful, there are many ways to support a friend’s mental health and remind them that they aren’t alone.”
RESOLVE offers support groups, which provide a safe space to meet others facing similar struggles with infertility and family building. Additionally, RESOLVE and First Response™ are sharing the following tips on how to be mindful Fertile Friends during the upcoming holiday seasons.
- Let them know you care: Talk to those in your life who are struggling and let them know you are there to support them when they need it. Make sure they know that you aren’t gossiping about their struggles and have nothing but love and support for them. Make it clear that you will be there however they need you to be.
- Avoid giving unsolicited advice: Offering advice or solutions such as asking if they’ve considered IVF or adoption is not helpful (if they aren’t ready to explore those solutions yet). Alternative ways to become a parent such as these are long, painful processes and in no way casual conversation or easy fixes.
- Talk about other things: Talk to your childless friends about more than just your children. If you are pregnant, avoid complaining about your pregnancy. When it comes to pregnancy announcements, be cognizant of your friend’s feelings and struggles, and consider sharing the news with them in a private, personal way before the big announcement.
- Don’t minimize the problem: Joking that someone should enjoy their sleep schedule while they can or that they’re lucky they aren’t as stressed over the holidays without children can be damaging. Commenting about how life is easier, or even better, without children simply does not provide comfort.
- Understand their decisions: Acknowledge that you’re aware that these times can be particularly painful and challenging for some and that you won’t be offended by the decisions they may need to make in order to be happy. Don’t take it personally if your friend decides to leave a holiday party early or mute you on social media to avoid seeing an overload of family photos.
“Fertility treatments can take a toll on all aspects of a patient’s health and, unfortunately, their mental health is often ignored,” said Banafsheh Kashani, M.D., FACOG, double board-certified OB-GYN, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist. “Those dealing with infertility can go through many highs and lows during the process and their loved ones may not know how to best support them. It is important that we not only open up the conversation about infertility but provide education on how to be a supportive friend.”
The tips for friends and family as well as links to find a support group for those dealing with infertility can be found on RESOLVE’s website.
In April 2022, RESOLVE and First Response™ announced an initiative to increase awareness of the need for support among the infertility community and rebuild RESOLVE’s nationwide network of support groups, with the goal of establishing one new support group in each state by the end of 2022. Today, RESOLVE and First Response™ are continuing this partnership to expand support for the infertility community, providing advice and acknowledging the need for mindful Fertile Friends to those struggling to start or expand their families.
RESOLVE.org is home to many resources for the infertility community and those aiming to support it, including free support groups, books, podcasts, and other online resources, kitchen table conversations, and more. In April 2022, First Response™ launched The Pregnancy Hub by First Response™, an online community that aims to connect, inspire, and provide resources to those navigating trying to conceive (TTC), pregnancy and motherhood.
About RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association: Established in 1974, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a non-profit organization with the only established nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family-building options for anyone experiencing infertility or challenges in building their family. One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age has trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to all who need it, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family-building options. For more information, visit http://www.RESOLVE.org.
About First Response™: For over 30 years, First Response™, the #1 Most Trusted(1) and #1 Pharmacist Recommended(2) pregnancy test brand, has been dedicated to being a source of truth and guidance by offering an array of products that deliver fast, accurate results when you need them most, including First Response™ Early Result Pregnancy Test that detects all forms of the pregnancy hormone commonly found in urine and can tell you six days sooner than your missed period(3). The Early Result test is also compatible with the new EasyRead app, allowing for twice the certainty of your result(4) by instantly converting your pregnancy test results into the words “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant. The Pre-Seed™ Fertility Lubricant is designed to be isotonic and pH balanced, similar to that of the vaginal environment, to aid in supporting sperm survival. For more information, visit http://www.FirstResponse.com.