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Blazing Trails with Better Education


a blog by jennandtonica, Sept. 16, 2010

A lot of women and men battling infertility are also stepping up to the plate to battle infertility ignorance. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, there are so many amazing warriors out there spreading the word and promoting infertility awareness.

That's all fine and dandy and will continue to blaze trails on the road to greater acceptance and better treatments.

There is one major point that has the potential to snowball and do its own advocacy — education.

What if sexual education was restructured to include more information about reproductive health than the average sexually transmitted diseases teachers and parents are worried teens will catch from their boyfriends and/or girlfriends? What if students were taught to be more responsible for their health over and above just using protection?

I wonder if that would that reshape how society views fertility? Would a more rounded education save a lot of infertile tears and fertile feet in the mouth?

It's a lack of education that allows some of the most hurtful comments.

    Fertile comment: "Oh, a baby boom! There must be something in the water!"

    Infertile response: "I must be drinking the wrong water."

    Fertile comment: "You must not be doing it right! Try Kama Sutra, page 274! That worked for us."

    Infertile response: "It's not like Point A isn't getting to Point B. Come on. If squirrels can figure it out, don't you think I can, too?"

    Fertile comment: "Sacrifice three virgin chickens on the solstice, eat pineapple, rub my neighbor's belly for luck, and make sure to stand on your head for 30 minutes after you do the deed."

    Infertile response: "Please shoot me."

OK, that last one might be a stretch, but you get the point.

There are a lot of ignorant comments floating around small-talk space out there, and they can be some of the most painful moments in the infertility war.

What if most people understood that infertility affects one in eight people? What if most people understood that fertility is a medical hand that we are dealt and that all of us are facing a different set of cards? Just like some people are allergic to strawberries, some of us are fertility-challenged. There's nothing we're doing wrong — we're just trying to shuffle the cards to eventually end up with a full house.

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