This week is known as National Infertility Awareness Week. Many people correlate infertility with the simple notion of “just not being able to have a baby.” Yes, the obvious assumption is that infertility is an emotionally difficult process. However, it can often be described as a crisis or trauma. It creates stress in all aspects of life that are not as well known or talked about.

Below are some common ways that infertility can affect well-being.


Having children or carrying a pregnancy is often a lifelong dream. Imagine your dreams of having a child slipping away with every negative pregnancy test. It can feel like an isolating process as friends, family, and co-workers celebrate a pregnancy announcement. Sometimes there is hope through fertility treatments. However, for others, those treatments do not work, are too expensive, or their fertility is “unexplained.”

An Iranian research team discovered that many men and women experience the symptoms of PTSD when experiencing infertility. However, these men and women are less likely to receive psychological care due to the stigma and privacy that is often associated with this issue.


Fertility treatments can be invasive on the body. Many treatments require medication or hormonal injections, which can have significant negative side effects. IVF requires stimulating the ovaries to harvest eggs (this overstimulation can lead to other health issues). Miscarrying is also physically and emotionally traumatic. Some men and women require surgery. Families need to make time for copious appointments, blood tests, and procedures, which can be exhausting and take time from other important areas like work or family.


According to recent studies, a single IVF cycle can range from $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the center and the patient’s individual medication needs. Medications can account for up to 35% of those charges. It is also common to have multiple IVF cycles. Using an egg donor, which is also common, can range from $14,000-$47,000. Using a surrogate can cost $60,000-$150,000. IUI is around $300-$1,000 per cycle. Medications are pricy and frozen embryo storage costs range from $700-$1,000 a year. Not to mention that many families leave their embryos in storage indefinitely!

While insurance or grants can sometimes cover the costs, many families are left struggling to pull the money together.


Infertility can be a cause of tension between couples and even ultimately lead to divorce. It is important to remember that a relationship is not defined by infertility, nor does it define a person. Seek family therapy if infertility is causing relational stress in your relationship.

In addition, infertility can feel isolating and cause many people to refrain from family events, baby showers, or other activities that remind them of the painful truths they are experiencing. The irony is that going through something as traumatic as infertility is even more reason to rely on and lean into relationships. It will be your family and friends who will bear the grief with you and who will rejoice with you when you are on the other side.

It is evident that infertility touches all aspects of life and can be a large source of stress for couples. The important lesson to take away is that more light needs to be shed on the struggles of infertility. If you or a friend is struggling with infertility, seek help! It is a common issue, with 17.5 % of adults experiencing infertility worldwide. Proactively addressing the trauma of infertility will help you live a fuller and happier life.

To learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE has many resources and information. To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit