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Like many of you, my journey to motherhood was not at all what I expected it to be. Navigating the world of infertility was confusing, isolating, and I constantly wished there was somewhere I could turn to for stories, resources, and support along the way. That’s why I created The Fertility Tribe, to empower women and men with inspiring stories, a community of support, and expert resources to guide them on their unique paths to parenthood. 

simply put, infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after at least one year of having frequent, unprotected sex, or after 6 months if the woman is above 35 years of age. if you and your partner are struggling to conceive, know you’re not alone — 15 to 20% percent of couples in the united states struggle with infertility issues, making infertility fairly common. infertility affects both men and women, and usually becomes more likely with age.

it’s no secret that fertility treatments can require a large financial investment. however, there are ways you can make treatment more affordable. one of them is having insurance that covers fertility treatments. although not all insurance policies offer fertility benefits, here are the steps you can use to find out more about your insurance under your employer.

Two sisters hugging

intrauterine insemination, or iui, is a fertility treatment where semen is inserted directly into a woman’s uterus. the semen involved in the procedure is prewashed in order to get rid of defective cells. the goal of the procedure is to increase the number of sperm that reach the uterus which makes the sperm’s journey to fertilization easier and increases the chance of pregnancy. it is an affordable and less invasive alternative to in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, but has success rates that are slightly lower.

little girl at the beach

one aspect of fertility treatments that many patients can overlook is the time commitment. it can often be difficult to balance doctor appointments, fertility treatment schedules, personal life, and a full-time job all at once. this article can provide strategies that you can use to help juggle all of your commitments for your particular situation and fertility treatment.

despite the fact that miscarriage is so common, this does not make the experience any less difficult or painful for a woman or couple, and society still tends not to address the physical and emotional toll that miscarriage can have. it can also be very difficult to talk about an experience with the loss of pregnancy, and these experiences can vary on a large scale from person to person.

child hugging labrador

if you have been struggling to start a family due to infertility issues, you may have looked into different types of assisted reproductive technology (art) that can help increase your chances of pregnancy. according to the center for disease control, art involves procedures and fertility treatments that specifically involve the handling of eggs and embryos, although other definitions can encompass procedures beyond these types of interventions.

toddler playing on small table

for couples seeking treatment for infertility, medication can often be the first step towards increasing chances of pregnancy, especially for women who do not ovulate or ovulate irregularly. during ovulation, the release of an egg from a woman’s ovary allows for fertilization of the egg by sperm. if ovulation doesn’t occur, this can make it more difficult to become pregnant. in this case, oral or injectable medications can be used to induce ovulation by stimulating the release of eggs from the ovaries.

infertility can have a profound physical, mental, and emotional impact on an individual. this can understandably take a toll on romantic relationships, as navigating the stress, conflicts, negative emotions, and financial investment associated with fertility treatments can be a struggle for many couples. however, the relationship challenges caused by infertility and fertility treatments do not have to cause a rift between you and your partner.

depending on your particular situation and fertility journey, there may come a time when fertility treatments start interfering with your work life. between doctor appointments, surgical procedures, monitoring, medication side effects, and self-injections, the time and effort required by fertility treatments can make it feel like a full-time job all on its own. the large commitment and intensity of fertility treatments can make it difficult to maintain a distinct separation between work and personal life.