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Breaking the Stigma Around Infertility

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stigma around infertility needs to be broken David Castillo Dominici/PhotoSpin

In the United States, about 6.7 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 are dealing with infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With infertility, a couple has not become pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse (primary infertility) or they have become pregnant at least once, but not again (secondary infertility).

Infertility can have a large emotional impact on the couple, and they may feel they are alone in their struggle. EmpowHER talked to Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s series Pregnant in Heels and author of the new book Mommy IQ about her experience with infertility, why the topic is taboo, and what she is doing to change that.


You have been open about your infertility issues on your show Pregnant in Heels. Why did you decide to be an advocate for fertility issues?

Rosie Pope:

Dealing with infertility is so hard because it feels like such a personal thing, but most people don’t know how common it is – one in eight couples experiences fertility issues. I think that by de-stigmatizing infertility, the treatments and the steps you may have to take to get pregnant (e.g. IVF), it can help make things seem less scary and overwhelming.

That’s why I felt that it was important for me to share my story. Talking about the issue also gets to the root of the emotional elements, which were the most difficult part of infertility for me. When I learned about the process with my reproductive endocrinologist and started following the actual day to day steps, I felt like I was able to manage the process and understand what was going on.


Why is infertility such a taboo topic?

Rosie Pope:

I think that it’s two-fold.

(1)Infertility is “taboo” because the general public may not necessarily understand infertility and the treatments. I really encourage anyone who is worried that there may be something preventing you from getting pregnant or you just want more information, to go a reproductive endocrinologist – it’s really empowering to go to the experts.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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