OHIO — National Infertility Awareness Week highlights the challenge many women face around the world. The World Health Organization said one in six women worldwide are unable to get pregnant.

What You Need To Know

  • Many women don't find out that they have infertility issues until they are trying to get pregnant and it doesn't work
  • The effects of infertility mentally include depression and anxiety
  • In conversations, experts say people should let those struggling with infertility know they are cared for, supported and heard

Victoria Riordan, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor for Thriveworks, specializes in women’s issues.

She said raising awareness gives a voice to the issue healthily. She said a person’s goal is connected to their “core values, their sense of purpose and meaning in their life.” So, when people don’t get what they need, she said they’re devastated.  

As a result, a number of women struggle with depression and anxiety, anger and rage. Those mental health challenges, along with the frustration, become an issue in relationships.

“There’s intimacy effects and people feel hurt, and that breaks down the relationship. So there’s a lot of big effects that are very important to be aware of,” Riordan said.

This is why she said it’s important for others not to assume what’s going on when talking with someone.

“Sometimes we have the habit of saying I know exactly how you feel, right? But we really we don’t even if we’ve gone through a similar situation. We aren’t the same person,” she said. “Our feelings aren’t the same. The way our brain responds to situations isn’t the same.”

Riordan said people should just help people to know that they’re there to support and listen to them.