So much is written about the hardships of IVF – but there’s a beauty in this journey too; a quiet empowerment that comes only after walking its chaotic path. To me, the beauty is in the unraveling of myths that have been told to women since childhood. We’re taught at a young age that our real power lies in our ability to reproduce, yet the potential problems that come with this expectation are never openly and unbiasedly addressed. When things fail to work as planned, we’re expected to solve for it in silence, or risk feeling the shame of generations-worth of stigma that we didn’t create.
My IVF journey – and particularly coping with IVF failure – has given me the strength to not only break that silence, but find my voice among a new generation of women who refuse to live in these archaic spaces. I’m so incredibly thankful for this awakening. A few of the myth busting learnings below:
Men Are Stronger Than Women
IVF showed me the amazing strength of my own body and the immense power and deep complexity of the female reproductive system that rivals the strength of any man.
Women Need to Work Harder
IVF forced me to truly let go and peacefully accept that we’re not in control of our lives or our best laid fertility plans. Peaceful acceptance is sometimes more effective than frenzied effort.
Failing to Get Pregnant Will Destroy a Marriage
IVF reminded me that my husband and I make an incredible team and that our marriage is stronger and better because of the adversity we’ve overcome together.
Women are Naturally Fertile
IVF revealed to me that fertility issues are extremely common, and equally affect both men and women. According to recent studies, the ratio is 1/3 of fertility issues affect women, 1/3 affect men, and 1/3 is categorized as “unexplained.”
Women Don’t Support Other Women
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope that this notoriously painful process can also be one of beauty, wonder, and new self-learnings too.