All the things you wondered about National Infertility Week

National Infertility Week is typically held during the last full week of April, timed just before Mother’s Day in May.

This year, it’ll be from April 21 to April 29.

Did you even know the week existed? We’ll provide some background on what exactly it is that the week recognizes, along with some reasons you should care.

So, what’s this week all about?

The goal is to raise awareness about infertility, to encourage advocacy and help couples who are struggling with infertility, cope. It’s meant to provide a time for people to “come out” to their friends and families, if they wish. Also worth mentioning: It seems as though there’s no wrong or right way to “celebrate” National Infertiity Week.

Why do we need a whole week for this cause?

It seems as though infertility issues aren’t always fully understood, or they’re misrepresented — or in some cases, not talked about at all.

A whole website exists dedicated to National Infertility Week. As it points out on the homepage, “Anyone can be challenged to have a family. No matter what race, religion, sexuality or economic status you are, infertility doesn’t discriminate. Together, we can change how others view infertility. It begins with being part of a national movement. This week unites millions of Americans who want to remove the stigmas and barriers that stand in the way of building families.”

Often on TV and in the news, you hear of infertility-related issues on the woman’s side only, or related to age. But men are impacted as well, and age is typically only part of the equation. The truth is, infertility can affect men and women of all ages.

Published reports estimate that infertility affects one in eight people, meaning everyone likely knows someone who is struggling, or has struggled, with it.

What can I do?

Talk to your loved ones about infertility, if you feel comfortable. Write a letter to your congressional representative about your experience, if you’d like to ask for better insurance coverage. Share your story. Share the work of others on your social media pages. Volunteer. Consider looking into the Walk For Hope.