Opening Up About Infertility – Three Benefits to Sharing Your Struggle

When you’re having trouble trying to conceive, infertility can be a long and lonely road. Many people only tell their closest family and friends that they are struggling with fertility problems. Celebrities traditionally have been very secretive or even denied having fertility treatment. In recent years, however, some celebs have become more open about IVF and other fertility treatments.

Jimmy Fallon didn’t discuss the problems he and his wife, producer Nancy Juvonen, had until their first daughter was born to a gestational surrogate in 2013. Then he gave several interviews and shared that they had been dealing with infertility for five years. The couple now has a second daughter, also carried by a gestational surrogate. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have twins by a gestational surrogate. Their oldest child was conceived naturally but they turned to a surrogate when they had problems having another child. Courtney Cox and Giuliana Rancic have also been open about their miscarriages and IVF treatment.

Is this oversharing? Maybe, maybe not. If you have fertility problems, you and your partner have to decide what you feel comfortable with sharing and who you want to share it with. There are a few benefits to breaking your silence.

You Don’t Have to Hide Your Feelings

If you explain to other people that you’re trying to get pregnant and having problems, you don’t have to pretend like everything is fine. It can be very stressful to maintain a façade of happiness or even calm when you don’t feel that way at all. Just be careful not to be a constant “Debbie Downer.”

It’s Easier to Find Support

You’d be surprised how many other people have fertility problems. Feeling alone with your problem is one of the more painful aspects of infertility. Being more open about your issues and pursuing fertility treatment can help you find others who understand what you’re going through. There are also support groups you can connect with through RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, at www.resolve.org. If you are undergoing fertility treatment, your fertility clinic may have support groups or a counselor who can help you with emotional issues.

You’re Helping to Educate People

When you tell people that you’re having fertility problems, you make them aware that the issue is widespread. It also may help short-circuit some of those thoughtless questions and comments, like “When are you going to start your family?” or “You’re not getting any younger.” Explaining a little about what you’re going through may make your acquaintances more sensitive and thoughtful in their behavior, both to you and to anyone else in the same situation.

In the end, you have to do what is best for you, whether it’s keeping your story to yourself and a few close friends, or telling the world. Maybe you’ll get that interview on the TODAY show!