WHY A SYMBOL FOR INFERTILITY IS NEEDED AND LONG OVERDUE
I am a cancer survivor. At 34 I was a single sales professional, trying to find Mr. Right and start a family. I found out I had a malignant tumor and was treated. For my type of cancer the survival rate is 5% over 5 years if it returns. The delicate surgery could have left one side of my face paralyzed. Thankfully it didn't, but it did leave numbness and a slight disfugurement that I see every day in the mirror. So before I begin, I “get it” about cancer – it is body mutilating and life-threatening. Approximately 41,000 women will die from breast cancer this year alone.
Cancer was easier for me to battle than infertility. There are pretty clear treatment plans with cancer, a hell of a lot more support in society (you cannot leave the house without seeing a pink ribbon or yellow rubber bracelet), and there were ways to quantify how you were responding to treatment and the next step. Infertility? It assaults your mind, body, soul, and finances. No clear path to ‘beating it.’ Often the doctors don’t really know and they are guessing. Did I mention that it is usually not covered by health insurance? An excruciating rollercoaster every month. Infertility has threatened to take EVERYTHING from me and with very little compassion, understanding, and support from the fertile world. One study showed 13% of women have suicidal thoughts after a failed IVF cycle. Only 13%? Seems low.
Breast Cancer Diagnoses per year: Approximately 187,000
Estimated Women With Infertility: 7 MILLION
Estimated Women Visiting Fertility Specialists: 1.2 MILLION
Where the hell has been our symbol to rally behind? Where is our pink ribbon to feel proud of our war with infertility – for our loved ones to show there support??? Why have the infertility organizations not created and promoted a symbol of strength for us???? Not having a symbol perpetuates the shame, stigma, and the feeling of that our struggles don’t mean crap unless and until we reach that holy grail of a baby. Fighting to have a baby is NOBLE! Saving your own life is basic instinct, yet it is celebrated, while infertility has been shoved to the dark corner. It is up to us – the Infertility Warriors to change this!
I am only one woman, trying to take the hell infertility has rained down on me, dig in my heels and fight back. I have created a symbol to recognize, inspire, and empower all my Sisters In Fertility and to raise awareness and compassion in all of society. Think of how different your infertility journey would be with the world showing you compassion – if friends, family, and the medical staff all “got it.” I cannot do this alone. Spread the word.
Click below to see the burgundy heart within a spiral symbol.
Products with this symbol can be found at: