How Men Can Participate in National Infertility Awareness Week
Every year in April, National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) helps to raise awareness and educate the public about infertility and reproductive care. Because infertility is often considered to be a “woman’s issue,” men are often left out of the conversation. However, infertility affects men just as much as it does women.
It’s estimated that up to 50% of infertility cases can be at least partially attributed to male factor infertility. Because of the stigma that surrounds concepts of male virility and masculinity, many men who are diagnosed with infertility feel silenced and alone. Infertility also has far-reaching effects on men who don’t have fertility issues, especially if a wife or partner is the one dealing with an infertility diagnosis. Being a supportive partner and dealing with all of the emotional peaks and valleys that come with fertility treatments can be extremely stressful and take a toll on relationships.
That’s why it’s more important than ever before for men to participate in NIAW. Doing so not only helps to end the stigma of male infertility but also helps others to see that infertility is a complex experience. Furthermore, it allows others in the infertility community to see each other and be seen themselves. Here are a few ways that you can get involved during NIAW.
From April 18 through April 24, there will be a lot of opportunities on social media to do some online advocacy. One of the major campaigns during NIAW will be the NIAW 5 Day Photo Challenge. Each day is dedicated to a different theme and hashtag that are designed to reveal the face of infertility. Participants are encouraged to use pictures to share their stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform that they like.
Attend a Virtual Event
Throughout NIAW, there will be a number of fun virtual events to help you learn, fundraise, and more. If walking is your thing, there are several virtual Walks of Hope that have already been planned. Or, you can plan your own DIY Walk of Hope closer to your own local neighborhood. If you want to learn, attend one of the many virtual webinars that are available for registration on Nia’s website, covering all things related to infertility, including treatments, mental health, and more. You can also organize your own virtual fundraising event with tools provided by RESOLVE.
The Importance of NIAW for Men
The ultimate goal of NIAW is to change the conversation about infertility, and that includes how infertility affects men physically, mentally, and emotionally. No one should have to feel like they’re all alone on their path to parenthood. By breaking down the barriers and raising our collective voices, we can create a space in which men and women alike can feel supported and seen while going through infertility. To learn more about male factor infertility, contact the Fertility Center of California today.