June is World Infertility Awareness Month and here at Reward Gateway, we want to raise awareness around infertility and the importance of communicating and connecting with each other.
Over 186 million people globally go through fertility challenges. Because of society’s expectations when it comes to having a family, it can still be difficult to talk openly about this topic. For people who are going through this, connecting with others and sharing their experiences can be very helpful.
We’ve listed some tips on how to support someone who is going through a fertility journey, as well as a couple of things that you can do if you’re experiencing your own fertility challenges.
6 ways to support a loved one through their fertility journey
1. Don’t ask people when they’ll have children
It might sound like a logical question to ask, but you often don’t know what someone is going through. There are plenty of reasons why people don’t have children or are not pregnant, and not everyone is comfortable sharing those with others. Asking them when they will get pregnant can come across as intrusive and cause extra pressure.
2. Let them know you care
It can be difficult to always know the right thing to say, but the best thing you can do for your friend or family member is simply show them that you care about what they are going through. You can do some research so you’re informed when your loved one needs to talk, but also keep in mind that everyone’s experiences are different.
3. Show your male friends some extra love
Fertility issues are often considered a women’s issue, but because there is an even bigger taboo for men to express their feelings about this topic, your male friends might be suffering in silence. Let them know that you’re thinking about them too and that you’re available to talk.
4. Take their issues seriously
Try to acknowledge the person or couple’s struggles without minimising what they are going through. If your friend or family member is trying to get pregnant, they are probably dealing with a lot of stress. However, telling them to ‘relax and take their time’ can have the opposite effect.
It can be tempting to try and make light of the situation by telling your friends how lucky they are for being able to sleep in or travel without children, but those comments can feel like you are minimising their pain.
5. Remember them on Mother’s and Father’s Day
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be very painful days for people who don’t have parents, don’t have a good relationship with their children or parents, or people who would like to have children but don’t. It costs nothing to let your loved ones know that you are thinking of them.
6. Respect their decisions
The option that you’re thinking of, they have probably considered too. Everyone deals with infertility challenges in their own way, and options like IVF or adoption are not suitable or even accessible for everyone. So no matter what your friend decides to do, support them in their decision.
4 things you can do if you’re going through fertility challenges
1. Connect with others
You are not alone in this. Many people are currently going through similar experiences, and connecting with them and hearing each other’s stories can really help. You could try joining a fertility group or become part of an online community.
2. Try to reduce stress
Trying to get pregnant can cause a lot of stress, which can actually have a negative effect on the process. Yoga, meditation, or mindfulness can help reduce those stress levels. There are even classes that specifically focus on fertility. Check out our Wellbeing Centre today.
3. Reach out with questions
Don’t hesitate to ask questions or express your thoughts and doubts. You can either reach out to communities of people who have been through similar experiences, or you can contact organisations like Fertility Network UK. Trained professionals have all the knowledge and experience to help you.
4. Remember your resources for support
Reward Gateway is committed to providing an environment that supports the wellbeing of our employees - physically and mentally. Infertility, or not being able to get pregnant after trying for one year, can be difficult for individuals and couples to go through. For those who choose fertility treatments, it can be extremely expensive and both physically and emotionally draining. This is why earlier this year we introduced our Family Fertility Benefit and financial support for those going through treatment.
We also have a few other tools to help support our employees and their mental health.
- Employee Assistance Program
- Wellbeing Coaches
- Journalling Gym
- Wellbeing Center
We hope these tips and resources can also support you and your loved ones. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our benefits visit rg.co/careers.