National Infertility Week History
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that in 2015, an estimated 6.7 million women aged 15-44 experienced some level of impaired fertility. That’s just over 10% of women in the sampled demographic. Of that, an estimated 6% of women are deemed fully infertile.
Despite the common misconception that infertility is a rare condition that impacts only women, and only due to age, infertility is a problem that causes pain to many families in the United States. Chances are quite high that someone you know is included in these numbers.
National Infertility Awareness Week is a project sponsored by “Resolve, The National Infertility Association” and is typically held the last full week of April. The timing of the week is deliberate, meant to conclude mere weeks ahead of Mother’s Day.
Founded in 1989, the original effort of the week was to raise awareness about infertility and encourage the public to become more aware of their own reproductive health. In 2010, 21 years after the inaugural event, the Department of Health and Human Services officially recognized the event as a federal health observance.
Founders of the weeklong awareness campaign insist that the project is meant to do more than raise awareness; it is also meant to foster community and offer support. Resolve seeks to change the stigma that surrounds infertility and often leads to assumptions and generalizations about the disease. Often painted as a woman’s only problem that is tied almost exclusively to age, many young women and men feel shame and confusion when learning they are suffering from infertility.
Events include an Advocacy Day, which is a time for advocates to speak with lawmakers in Washington DC about the impact of infertility and what they can do to help.